For the first time ever, the annual Congressional Art Competition held by Rep. Chris Smith as part of a national competition for his district’s high school students will be virtual.

Artwork by Hamilton resident Brynna Fisher, a senior at Princeton Day School.

In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the artwork, which is normally displayed for a month at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton’s Lakefront Gallery, will be posted on Smith’s congressional website ensuring that the students who have worked for many months can still take part in the national competition.

The 2020 show will use online judging, with winners to be announced in May. Smith’s three-member team of professional judges, whose works are also normally displayed at the show, will also have artwork posted in an online gallery.

Atwork by Robbinsville High School student Gazal Mathur.

This year, students who place in the competition—as best-of-show, and first, second and third runners-up and honorable mentions—will receive ribbons and all participants will be mailed Congressional Certificates, instead of being presented them in person.

The best-in-show winner will be displayed in the Capitol Building in Washington along the busy public corridor/tunnel between the Cannon House Office Building and the Capitol Building for one year with other winners from across the nation. All the artwork entered into Smith’s competition this year will be displayed in his online gallery for one year.

Artwork by Robbinsville resident Carleigh DiPasquale, a student at Villa Victoria Academy.

Every year the Congressional Institute sponsors this national high school art competition to recognize and foster artistic talent in each congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. Participation in the contest is at the discretion of each member office. Currently, the institute plans to accept the top winning artwork from every congressional show in America by June 18 and hold a reception in Washington on July 22.

For information about the 2020 show or to view the 2019 and prior year winners, visit Smith’s Congressional Art Competition web page.