2020 & 2021 Congressional Art Shows
Each year I invite all high school students from all around the Fourth District of New Jersey to compete
in the annual Fourth District Congressional Art Competition (CAC), part of a nation-wide art venue
sponsored by the Congressional Institute. Encouraged by art teachers and families, these ninth through
twelfth graders must submit their original art in the hopes of being chosen for an honor that includes
having their work displayed in the United States Capitol Complex alongside other winning entries from
across the nation for approximately one year. Thanks to our talented students and their teachers, the
2020 show was a great success. The links to winners and their artwork are below.
I encourage all aspiring high school-aged artists in my district, attending public school, private school
or being home-schooled, to submit their entries for the competition. Students may submit in coordination
with their school/art teacher or on their own.
Rep. Smith's 2020 winner's art now hung at U.S. Capitol
Best in Show Winner: https://www.congressionalinstitute.org/2020-winners/#SchoolofComplements
All winners across country: https://www.congressionalinstitute.org/2020-winners/
Smith Announces winners May 26, 2020
Click here to read announcement
Click here to see Judges' top picks
Smith Opens 2020 'Virtual' Art Gallery April 24, 2020
Click here to view Judges' own artwork
Click here to enter 2020 Gallery
Changes due to the coronavirus outbreak: Going Virtual again in 2021
Click here to read announcement about the 2020 show regarding the coronavirus update.
The venue of the 2021 competition will be a virtual gallery, with a possible physical exhibition at
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital-Hamilton (RWJ-Hamilton). Deadline for entry will be announced
in late February 2021 on this webpage. If held, a juried exhibition would be in the spring.
Unfortunately, my annual reception at RWJ-Hamilton to distribute Congressional Certificates to all
participants and announce winners was canceled due to COVID-19. Certificates will be delivered by mail, and
winners will be informed via phone. As of October 26, 2020, the Congressional Institute has hung the original
2020 best-in-show work. Its 2020 national reception has not been rescheduled at this time.
All 2020 works were judged by professional artists Debbie Jencsik of Ocean County, N.J.; Jim Inzero,
also of Ocean County, N.J., and; Rich Thompson of Mercer County, N.J. All three judges will return in
2021. Click here for a summary about the judges. Once again, in 2020 I invited the judges to exhibit
some of their own talented artwork, which will be included in the online gallery.
I would like to thank all of the outstanding and creative students and art teachers who participated the
2020 show and in past contests. And I would also like to thank Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Hamilton in Mercer County (RWJ-Hamilton) for its hospitality in again offering to host the show in 2020 and
2021, and Georgian Court University for hosting in past years. In particular I am appreciative of the strong
support and assistance of RWJ-Hamilton President Richard Freeman and the RWJ staff, and Lakefront
Gallery Director Phillip "Dutch" Bagley and his colleagues.
Contest Rules and Forms
Please read all documents:
2020 Congressional Institute Rules of Entry
2020 NJ-04 District Rules of Entry
Student release form
Listing form by high school for teachers
Guide to plagiarism
Am I in the 4th District? (Click here to see list of towns in NJ-04)
About the 2020 Judges
Call Jennifer Courtney or Nancy Gomez at (609)-585-7878 to register or for more information.
DEADLINE TO REGISTER for 2020 is MARCH 27, 2020
2020 & Previous Year Winners
Scroll down below to view last year and previous years winning artwork.
2020 Art Competition Winners
Best in Show- (PICTURED AT LEFT)“School of Complements,”
watercolor by Nicole Damiano, Grade 11, Wall High School
First Place Runner-up- “Nico,” on scratchboard, by Alanah Gaines,
Wall High School Place
Second Place Runner-up- “Mementos," oil on canvas by Kylie Frew,
Grade 12, Freehold Township High School
Third Place Runner- "Gray Engine," oil painting by Max Guo, of
Holmdel, Grade 10, High Tech High
Honorable Mention- "Son," in pencil, by Cynthia Zhang, Grade 11,
Holmdel High School
Honorable Mention- "In the Light," in acrylic by Oliver Jamison,
Grade 12, Freehold Township High School
Honorable Mention- "Dreamer," mixed media by Jacqueline Shen,
Grade 9, Holmdel High School
Honorable Mention- "Music Man," oil on canvas, by Grace Puharic,
Grade 12, Wall High School
|Best-in-show for 2020 is Nicole Damiano's "School of Complements."
Click here to read an announcement of the 2019 winners and slide show from the 2019 show reception.
Click here to read the opening of the 2019 show
Best in Show- “Family Tree,” by Anna Effenberger, of Colts Neck, a 12th-grader at Ranney School. (charcoal on paper)
First Place Runner-up- “Biggest Catch,” by Meghan Cole, a 12th-grader at Wall High School. (oil on Masonite)
Second Place Runner-up- “Tea Time,” by Sarah Hendrickson, a 12th-grader at Wall High School. (white charcoal)
Third Place Runner-up- “The Watcher,” by Grace Puharic, an 11th-grader at Wall High School. (watercolor)
Honorable Mention- “Migration of the Nestingbacks,” by Catherine Epps, a 12th-grader at Steinert High School in Hamilton. (chalk)
Honorable Mention- “Bright Night,” by Stefani Stauffacher, a 9th-grader at Robbinsville High School. (Tempera paint)
Honorable Mention- “Furry Friend,” by Alexandria Lee, a 12th-grader at Wall High School, (scratch board)
Honorable Mention- “Tableau Self Portraits” by Alyssa Hagen, an 11th-grader at Allentown High School. (digital photography)
The 2019 Reception at RWJ-Hamilton Water Front Gallery:
| Above: From the left are RWJ-Hamilton Lakefront Gallery Curator Sheila Geisler; Second Place Runner-up Sarah Hendrickson, a 12th-grader at Wall High School; Best-in-Show winner Anna Effenberger, of Colts Neck, a 12th-grader at Ranney School; 1st Place runner-up Meghan Cole, a 12th-grader at Wall High School; Honorable Mention Alexandria Lee, a 12th-grader at Wall High School; RWJ-Hamilton Vice President Diane Grillo; Honorable Mention winner Catherine Epps, a 12th-grader at Steinert High School in Hamilton; Honorable Mention winner Alyssa Hagen, an 11th-grader at Allentown High School; Third Place Runner-up, Grace Puharic, an 11th-grader at Wall High School, and; Honorable Mention winner, Stefani Stauffacher, a 9th-grader at Robbinsville High School.
|Visitors to RWJ University Hospital-Hamilton enjoy the art work of students each year.