Smith announces Congressional Art Competition winners

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The winners of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition were announced by Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ), who sponsors the annual competition and art show for high school students in the Fourth Congressional District as part of the nationwide competition organized by the Congressional Institute to help recognize and foster artistic talent in each congressional district.

“We are glad this event, though modified, remained popular and competitive, ensuring that (Fourth Congressional District) high school artists, who had already planned and worked hard to create amazing artwork, could still participate.

“The 2020 show was set up in a ‘virtual’ gallery,” Smith said, noting, “The show had over 1,000 views of the spectacular work by these aspiring student artists.”

Smith congratulated the top artist, a junior at Wall High School, Wall Township, whose work will be displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

“Congratulations to best-in-show winner Nicole Damiano for her watercolor ‘School of Compliments,’ to the competition’s runners-up and to all the students who entered their work. We are thankful for their participation and for sharing their artistic gifts with the district during this difficult time,” he said.

Smith thanked the judges who reviewed the work together in the online gallery on his official website. According to a press release, the eight winners selected by the judges are:

• Best in Show: “School of Compliments,” watercolor, Nicole Damiano, Grade 11, Wall High School;

• First Runner-up: “Nico,” scratchboard, Alanah Gaines, Wall High School;

• Second Runner-up: “Mementos,” oil on canvas, Kylie Frew, Grade 12, Freehold Township High School;

• Third Runner-up: “Grey Engine,” oil painting, Max Guo, of Holmdel, Grade 10, High Technology High School, Lincroft;

• Honorable Mention: “Son,” pencil, Cynthia Zhang, Grade 11, Holmdel High School;

• Honorable Mention: “In the Light,” acrylic, Oliver Jamison, Grade 12, Freehold Township High School;

• Honorable Mention: “Dreamer,” mixed media, Jacqueline Shem, Grade 9, Holmdel High School;

• Honorable Mention: “Music Man,” oil on canvas, Grace Puharic, Grade 12, Wall High School;

Each winner will receive a ribbon and a certificate. All entrants will receive a congressional certificate recognizing their work, according to the press release.

Smith has sponsored the art show for more than 20 years.