Waterbury, CT – Congresswoman Jahana Hayes is excited to announce the first place winner of the 2021 Congressional Arts Competition, Anna Goodwin, a junior at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, Connecticut, who was selected for her piece, “Allegro” a drawing in colored pencil. A total of four artworks were selected to be displayed in the Capitol Tunnel, the Connecticut and Washington, D.C. offices, and the Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury for one year.

“This year, we received 88 submissions from 15 high schools in the district. The artwork was outstanding, thought-provoking, and truly highlighted the talent of our students. The submissions also presented a difficult decision for the judges tasked with selecting our winners. Congratulations to all the students who entered the 2021 Congressional Arts Competition and thank you to our judges,” said Congresswoman Hayes.

Each student shared what their artwork means to them.

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1st Place: Anna Goodwin
Artwork: “Allegro” drawn in colored pencil

Displayed: Capitol Tunnel

“Allegro means life or lively, commonly used in sheet music, to instruct musicians on the intended tone of the music. I grew up playing piano, cello, and singing so music has always been an important part of my life. My drawing is still life using objects that are important to me and tell my story. Each holds a unique meaning and is a part of who I am as a whole,” said Goodwin, a junior at Nonnewaug High School, Region 14 (Woodbury/Bethlehem), Connecticut.

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2nd Place: William Cario

Artwork: “Night” captured as a photograph

Displayed: Washington, D.C. Office

“The inspiration for my photograph was to create a window into the setting of the barn in contrast to the dark night outside of it. While I had found this task difficult to achieve, I think what ended up making the photo was the cat entering the barn at the perfect time. The cat creates a subject that crosses that line from the dark outside to the warm welcoming inside of the barn and I believe it completes the purpose of the photo, which is to recreate the appeal of entering the barn at nighttime,” said Cario, a senior at Shepaug Valley High School, Region 12 (Washington, Bridgewater, Roxbury, Sherman) Connecticut.

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3rd Place: Naomi Llanos

Artwork: “Nasty Habits”- drawn in acrylic on canvas

Displayed: Mattatuck Museum

“The inspiration for my piece is drawn from my own personal experience with anxiety. I struggle with generalized anxiety disorder and find it difficult to mask the physical symptoms of this disorder. I wanted to bring light to the very real struggle that many teenagers my age deal with by portraying an individual reacting to their own anxiety and how that looks and feels,” said Llanos, a senior Danbury High School in Danbury, Connecticut.

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Honorable Mention: Mekhi Chambers

Artwork: “Fitting In” drawn in pen and ink

Displayed: Waterbury Office

"Fitting In is an expression that many others are used to. The relatability in being a minority enclosed in a majority surrounding. This idea has been engrained into our lives for hundreds of years but still has an effect in current generations,” said Chambers, a senior at Nonnewaug High School, Region 14 (Woodbury/Bethlehem), Connecticut.

“I commend all the students who took a chance on themselves to enter the competition,” said Hayes.


Congresswoman Jahana Hayes sits on the Committees on Education & Labor and Agriculture and proudly represents Connecticut’s 5th District. She was a public school teacher in Connecticut for more than 15 years and was recognized in 2016 as the National Teacher of the Year.

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