BRIDGEPORT, CT—Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) has announced that Claude Desir of Bridgeport is the first place winner of the 2012 Congressional Art Competition for Connecticut’s Fourth District. Claude attends Bassick High School and won with a piece titled “Self Portrait.” His piece will hang in a corridor of the United States Capitol for one year along with the other winning pieces from across the country. Claude and the other winners will attend a ceremony in Washington later this month.

Click here to see Claude’s winning piece, “Self Portrait.”

Click here for more photos from the event.

“Congratulations to Claude and the other winners,” Himes said. “The arts are an essential ingredient of a well-rounded education, and I am delighted to see all of these students engaged in creative pursuits.”

The competition drew over 40 entries from across the Fourth District. The second and third place winners were Ryan Eckert and Saurav Acharya who both attend Greens Farms Academy in Westport. Catherine Clair, Sophie Briand, Kate Mohr, Shannon Squier, Epiphanyblu Diaz, Ryan Crudgington, Genevieve Parkington, and Ricardo Sanchez all received honorable mention recognition.

The competition was judged by an independent panel of artists, including: Suzanne Kachmar, Executive Director of City Lights & Co.; Helen Klisser During, Director of Visual Arts at the Westport Arts Center; Jeff Becker, professional freelance photographer and owner of Jeff Becker Photography; Jackie Lightfield, former chair of the Norwalk Arts Commission and co-founder of Norwalk 2.0; Terri Smith, Creative Director of Franklin Street Works; Tony Velez, award-winning documentary photographer and professor of art at Kean University; and Paul Mindell, Norwalk artist and professor of art at Bergen Community College.

For more information about the Congressional Art Competition, click here.