WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) welcomed Fourth District Congressional Art Competition winner Gabriel Schindler, 18, of Westport to Washington this week for the opening reception of the 2011 Arts Competition on Wednesday. Schindler, a student at Staples High School, met with the Congressman and toured the Capitol Building and the White House during his visit.

Click here for a picture of Gabriel and the Congressman with his painting. Click here for a picture of Gabriel and the Congressman at the Capitol.

“Congratulations to Gabriel for winning first place this year,” said Himes. “The arts provide an unparalleled opportunity to develop creativity and expressive skills, and I urge all of these young artists to continue to pursue their artistic interests.”

Himes had announced Schindler as the winner of this year’s competition last month at a ceremony at Rockwell Art and Framing in Westport. Schindler’s oil pastel work, titled “sunshIne,” is currently hanging in the U.S. Capitol along with the winning entries from all of the congressional districts across the country