April 3, 2019 Congressional Art Competition sponsored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who holds the annual show for high school students in the Fourth Congressional District, opened Tues., April 2.

   “Our student artists did a marvelous job. They make the art competition a success year after year and I am sure visitors to the 2019 show will once again be impressed by the talents of our students,” Smith said. “We have more than 70 entries from across Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties in the Fourth Congressional District. Once again the ‘Best-in-Show’ winner will head to the U.S. Capitol Building and be displayed for one year with other winners across the country.”

      The show is being held at the art gallery at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton (RWJUH-Hamilton). Art work will be on display through May 3, when winners will be announced at a ceremony.

   “Robert Wood Johnson University-Hospital has again agreed to host this event at its Lakefront Tower Gallery,” Smith said. “Hospital employees, patients and visitors have given great feedback in past years. In fact, we have extended the show from a three or four day show in the past to several weeks. Visitors can enjoy the 2019 show though May 3.”

  Diane Grillo, Vice President, Health Promotion at RWJUH-Hamilton, said “Art speaks loudly, powerfully, often beautifully, without words. When it comes from young people in our community it can be even more compelling.”

   The show will also display several pieces of artwork by each judge, and the gallery curator at RWJUH-Hamilton, Sheila Geisler, will handle any inquiries about purchasing art in its gallery, including students and judges, that are noted as available for purchase.

   The RWJ-Hamilton Lakefront Gallery is located on the first floor of the hospital along the mezzanine, directly above the gift shop and café area.  Best access to the gallery can be through the main entrance of the hospital (near the U.S. flag pole), located at One Hamilton Health Place in Hamilton. The artwork will be on display during normal visiting hours from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Friday, May 3, 2019.

   The 2019 judges are Debbie Jencsik of Ocean County, N.J.; Jim Inzero, also of Ocean County, N.J., and; Rich Thompson formerly of Mercer County, N.J. Click here for a summary of the judges’ biographies.

   Smith gratefully noted the invaluable assistance of Lakefront Gallery curator Sheila Geisler and her fellow members of the Princeton Photography Club which manages shows, and the staff at RWJUH-Hamilton.

   The Lakefront Gallery started as a non-traditional partnership with the Princeton Photography Club to showcase community artists.  “Sheila Geisler, the Princeton Photography Club curator of our gallery, has an amazing talent. She looks at the space in the hospital walls as her canvas – with unlimited possibilities,” said Grillo. When Geisler connected with the Congressman’s office a whole new group of artists were introduced to RWJUH-Hamilton. “The truth is art can be appreciated for being beautiful and thought-provoking anywhere, even a hospital,” said Grillo.

   Every year the Congressional Institute sponsors this national high school visual 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. Students submit entries to their Member of Congress’s office, and a panel of district judges select the winners. The Best in Show winners are recognized at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., and are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol.

  For more information about the 2019 NJ-04 show or to view recent year winners, click here.