Press Releases

SOMERSET, KY -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers announced the winners of the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District. The winning artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year, representing southern and eastern Kentucky.

The first place winner is Payton Martin, a senior at Prestonsburg High School. Payton displayed great artistry and detail in his pencil portrait of President Abraham Lincoln. He is the son of Georgia and Danny Martin of Prestonsburg and his art teacher is Maggie Robinette. Payton will receive two airline tickets from Southwest Airlines to attend a national reception this summer in Washington, D.C. along with all of the 2019 winning artists from across the country. He is also eligible for a scholarship from the Savannah College of Art and Design. 

"It is always an honor to have your art recognized and I can think of no higher recognition than from Congressmen Hal Rogers and seeing it displayed in our Capitol," said Martin, the winning artist. "Having won third place in this competition my freshman year, I am glad to see how much I have improved. From here, I hope to attend the Savannah College of Art and Design to further develop my skills as an artist."

"Our region has a number of incredibly talented artists and this competition provides a way to highlight our students' work on the national level," said Congressman Rogers, who hosts the competition for Kentucky's Fifth Congressional District each year. "Payton's incredible drawing of President Lincoln will captivate thousands of visitors in the Capitol Building throughout the year, representing southern and eastern Kentucky."

The second place artwork was a social media favorite entitled "Niagara of the South," submitted by Emily Sharp, a sophomore at Whitley County High School. Her acrylic painting features Cumberland Falls, nestled on the border of Whitley and McCreary counties in southeastern Kentucky. Her parents are Raymond and Tania Sharp of Corbin. Her art teacher is Wayne Hensley. 

The third place artwork entitled "Ophelia" was created by Lyjesta Buker, a senior at North Laurel High School. Her chalk pastel artwork of a young woman surrounded by flowers was inspired by Shakepeare's Hamlet. Her mother is Michele Buker-Bowles of London and her art teacher is Tony Johnson. Lyjesta won the competition last year, and visited Capitol Hill last summer to see her artwork hanging in the U.S. Capitol Building. 

All of the artists will receive a Congressional Certificate of Recognition and a letter from Congressman Rogers for their participation.

For more information about the Congressional Art Competition, click here.

The Congressional Art Competition, sponsored by the Congressional Institute, was initiated by Congress in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of young people living in their districts. More than 650,000 students have participated in the competition.

Payton Martin

2019 Winner of the Congressional Art Competition: Payton Martin, a senior at Prestonsburg High School

Cumberland Falls

2nd Place: "Niagara of the South" by Emily Sharp, a sophomore at Whitley County High School 


3rd Place: "Ophelia" by Lyjesta Buker from North Laurel High School