Runyan Congratulates Winners of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition

May 3, 2013

Washington, D.C. – On April 30th and May 2nd, Congressman Jon Runyan met with the winners of the 2013 Congressional Art Competition. The Best in Show winner will have the opportunity to have their entry hung in the tunnel leading to the United States Capitol Building for one year. The 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place winners and the Honorable Mention will have the opportunity to hang their works in one of Congressman Runyan’s district offices in Mt. Laurel and Toms River. 

This year’s Best in Show is Carli Grace of Toms River. Carli, whose work is titled, “A Walk in My Shoes”, attends Toms River North High School. The 1st Place finisher is Christopher Lesniak, who also attends Toms River North High School. The 2nd and 3rd Place winners are Amber Gibb of Pemberton Township High School and Taylor Urian from Delran High School, respectively. Erica Heaney, who attends Lenape High School, was this year’s Honorable Mention.

“This year’s Art Competition entries were truly amazing,” said Congressman Runyan. “I was very impressed with the talent from all of the students. I can only imagine how difficult the decision was for the judge. I am looking forward to hosting Carli in Washington D.C. and showing off her work to my colleagues and the millions of people who walk the halls of the Capitol Building.”

Karen Chigounis, this year’s juror, is the Director of ARTS Education and the Associate Curator at Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown. Chigounis was an art teacher for 10 years before becoming Curator of Exhibitions and Programs for the Camden County Cultural & Heritage Commission at Hopkins House Gallery.

“The opportunity to view the work entered in this year’s Congressional Art Competition was enriching and encouraging,” stated Chigounis.  “The quality of the work was strong and in several cases, outstanding. Selecting prizes in each category was not an easy task. I would have acknowledged more student artists if the rules allowed. We should recognize the outstanding teaching skills of the art teachers in the region who have cultivated and encouraged these young artists.”

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, each spring, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition.

To see pictures from my meetings with the students, please click here.