CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Forest Hills High School sophomore has won the 2022 Congressional Art Competition, U.S. Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson announced.

Leira Bertolasio, a sophomore at Forest Hills High School was named the first-place winner for her acrylic paint on canvas titled “Girl with a Pearl Earring”.

An independent panel of judges chose Bertolasio’s work from a record 81 entries, which is one of the largest groups of students to participate in Pennsylvania’s 15th Congressional District Art Competition.

The winner was announced Saturday during an exhibit at the Winkler Gallery of Fine Art in DuBois, Pa.

“Congratulations to Leira on winning first place in this year’s competition,” Rep. Thompson said. “I am looking forward to welcoming Leira to Washington, D.C., and seeing her artwork hanging in the Capitol. The field was large this year and I am proud of each of the 81 students who entered the contest.”

First place, Girl with a Pearl Earring

2022 Congressional Art Competition Winners:

First Place 
Leira Bertolasio
SCHOOL: Forest Hills High School
HOMETOWN: Sidman, Pa.
WORK/MEDIUM: Acrylic Paint
TEACHER: Carol Cecere

Second Place
NAME: Connie Yang
SCHOOL:  Richland High School
HOMETOWN: Johnstown, Pa.
WORK/MEDIUM: Collagraph Print Watercolor
TEACHER: Martha Ringler

Third Place 
Moira Stanisch
SCHOOL: Elk County Catholic High School
HOMETOWN: St. Marys, Pa.
WORK/MEDIUM: Color Pencil Drawing
TEACHER: Elizabeth Scacchitti

Ms. Bertolasio’s artwork will be displayed in a special exhibit in the U.S. Capitol for one year with winners from each congressional district in the nation. She is invited to attend a reception in Washington, D.C. with other winners, which will take place in June.

 The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.  Since then, more than 650,000 high school students have participated in the nationwide competition.