Starkville High School 11th grader, Rayven Davis, recently won the overall Best of Show in the Mississippi 3rd Congressional District’s Congressional Art Competition. Congressman Michael Guest’s office facilitated the annual arts competition for 2023.
Among dozens of entrants in multiple categories, Davis took home the Best of Show for her self-portrait. It will be on display in the United States Capitol lobby throughout the 2023 year. This is the 20th time that Starkville High School students’ work has been displayed at the United States Capitol.
The celebrated veteran art teacher, Andrew Lark, is the driving force instructor (Visual Arts 3 Class) at Starkville High School. He is behind this year’s winner and several other students having won and/or placed in the competition.
Davis said: “God is the force behind my work. His hand guides my hand and God is the reason that I am able to do what I do producing the work that created my self-portrait. This piece was the culmination of a year-long journey of having periods of frustration, lacking the self-confidence to do the work, and to follow Mr. Lark’s instruction, especially when it came to design structure and developing different art techniques. I ask viewers of my work to look past me, move me out of the way and see God’s handywork, give Him all the praise and glory for talents God has placed in me seeing the art that brings even more broken people to Him.”
When asked what she envisions after high school, Rayven said, “I’m trusting God to guide me through. I have a lot more skills to learn before I start planning my future in art. My mom told me she once dreamed about going to Washington, DC but never thought she’d get the chance but now through me she will have her dream fulfilled when she accompanies me to the U.S. Capitol.”
The Congressional Art Competition for 2023 began in January. Davis was informed on April 13, 2023, that she was the overall Best of Show winner.
There will be a formal reception held, on June 20, 2023, in Washington, DC hosted by Congressman Guest. Davis and her mother will fly to DC where she will receive her official recognition as the overall winner of the 2023 Congressional Art Competition.