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Madera artist goes to Washington

Despite barriers in language, finances and education, a Madera student will go to Washington, D.C., after winning first place at the Congressional Art Competition.

During the trip, Rigoberto “Rigxx” Santiago, a senior at Mountain Vista High School, will see where his winning entry will be displayed in the nation’s Capitol. His submission was “The Marine,” a portrait of a U.S. Marine done entirely in pencil. It was one submission among hundreds from across the Central Valley.

“I was surprised,” said Santiago. “I expected to get third or second place, but not first.”

The oldest of five children, Santiago was born in Mexico. He came with his family to the U.S. when he was 6 months old, where they settled in Madera. Growing up in a Spanish-speaking household, he was enrolled in school knowing only the language of his home...

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