Tyler Recchia, 17, was honored last week in Washington, D.C., for his winning entry in the annual Congressional Art Competition. The competition honors high school students from every Congressional District in an awards ceremony at the Capitol and their artwork is displayed for one year in the Cannon Tunnel gallery that connects the Capitol and the House of Representatives.
“It was an experience of a lifetime and it helped me for my future,” said Tyler.
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“Not only is it seen by people who travel through the capitol every year on special tours, but because it is in the special Cannon Tunnel that connects the House of Representatives with the Capitol, it’s travelled daily by dignitaries and representatives from all over the world who visit there,” said Janet Recchia, Tyler’s mother, who accompanied her son to Washington, D.C.
Tyler’s painting, “Kayla’s Dream,” is part of his series on women and their personalities. Painted with oil on wood, the piece uses symbolism and owls to reflect the personality of his friend, Kayla.
A Valencia High School graduate, Tyler is going to the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, Michigan, this fall to study product and transportation design.
“I wanted to take my creativity from painting and drawing and put it into a realistic use so I can help out society and design the future,” said Tyler, who has already started working in design through freelance work and an internship with Funrise Toys.
Creativity runs in the Recchia family. Janet is an art teacher, her husband is an animator at DreamWorks, and Tyler’s older brother, Jordan, graduated this year from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, MI.
In 2006, Jordan won the same honor as Tyler in the Congressional Art Competition. Jordan is currently working on a project in China to design a form of motor transportation for an education section in the Lok Ma Chau district. He will be attending the College of Creative Studies in Detroit, MI, for a fifth year to minor in product design and metals.
“There are no words to express how proud I am of them. To have one go, and then two, is an extraordinary blessing. I can’t tell you how emotional it made me when I was there to see my second son be able to experience this great honor,” said Janet.