Blumenauer Announces Winner of Art Competition at Public Forum on Protecting the Arts, Humanities, and Public Broadcasting

June 1, 2017
Press Release

Portland, Ore. – Congressman Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) yesterday named Patipon Ketmanee, a senior from David Douglas High School, as the winner of his art competition for high school students in the Third Congressional District. The announcement was made at Blumenauer’s public forum on protecting the arts, humanities, and public broadcasting.

Patipon immigrated to the United States from Thailand three years ago and will study Art at the University of Oregon this fall. His artwork, titled “Dream House” will hang in the Congressman’s Washington, DC office.

“Now more than ever, we need to be encouraging young artists to express their voices, not stifling them. Proud to have Patipon Ketmanee as our winner and looking forward to having his artwork in my D.C. office,” said Congressman Blumenauer.


Painting from 2017 art competition

"Dream House" by Patipon Ketmanee


Background on Decision to Boycott the Congressional Art Competition

In April, Blumenauer decided his office would not participate in the Congressional Art Competition for the first time ever, and instead would hold its own art competition for high school students in the Third Congressional District. The decision followed the censorship of a student artist earlier this year. 

The competition sparked controversy when some Republican members of the House silenced a student artist from Missouri by repeatedly removing a painting from display. The painting portrayed conflict between the African American community and law enforcement in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teen. Following pressure from Republican leadership, the painting was permanently removed – deemed a violation of a rule that artwork in the Capitol cannot “depict contemporary political controversy, or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature.” Competition organizers intend to enforce this rule going forward.