Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) welcomed participants in the 2015 Congressional Art Contest to the Merck Campus in Kenilworth for a public display of their submissions. The display featured 71 original pieces of art, all created by high school students from New Jersey’s Seventh Congressional District. A panel of judges selected Remnants of An American Dream, an oil painting by Helen Zhang of Belle Mead, as the winner. Helen will head to Washington in June to see her artwork displayed in the United States Capitol Building.

Lance toured the showcase and congratulated the student participants. “The Congressional Art Contest showcase gives all of you the opportunity to have your abilities and hard work put on display,” Lance said. “You all should be proud of your passion and creativity. Your talent amazes me. This contest affirms that an arts education has a significant role in crafting young people into better readers, writers, thinkers and leaders. Congratulations on these outstanding submissions.”

The Congressional Art Contest began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since that time more than 650,000 high school students have been involved in the competition. The winning art work will hang in a corridor in the United States Capitol Building for one year along with art from similar art contests held in congressional districts across the country.

Charlotte Kwon, a student at Watching Hills Regional High School, was awarded 2nd place for her piece titled The Happiest 5K on the Planet. Lucille Miao, a student at the Pingry High School, was awarded 3rd place for Reflections.