Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty

Representing the 5th District of Connecticut


Esty Announces 2017 Congressional Art Competition Winners for Connecticut’s Fifth District

May 16, 2017
Press Release
Student Winners from Woodbury, Falls Village, Waterbury, Bethlehem

Esty with Molly Humphreys, Shannon Rupar, and Charit Charitabuta, the 2017 Congressional Art Competition Winners 


NEW BRITAIN, CT –Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (CT-5) announced the winners of the 2017 Congressional Art Competition for Connecticut’s Fifth District at a reception on Saturday at the historic Mattatuck Museum in Waterbury.

Shannon Rupar, a Woodbury resident and sophomore at Nonnewaug High School, took the top prize for her watercolor painting, “Farmer’s Market.”  Rupar’s piece will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. for the next year. Rupar will also have the opportunity to fly to Washington, D.C., for the national reception in June honoring winners from districts across the country.


Esty with Congressional Art Competition winner Shannon Rupar (Woodbury) with her entry “Farmer’s Market”

Benjamin Eckstein, a junior at Housatonic Valley Regional High School in Falls Village, won second prize for his photograph, “Small World.” His work will hang in Esty’s Washington, D.C. office.


Congressional Art Competition second place winner Benjamin Eckstein’s (Falls Village) entry “Small World.” He was unable to attend Saturday’s event

Charit Charitabuta of Waterbury, and a sophomore at Wilby High School, won third prize for his reduction cut print, “Mahapaksa (The Great Bird).” His painting will hang in Esty’s New Britain office.

Esty with Congressional Art Competition third place winner Charit Charitabuta’s (Waterbury) with his entry:  “Mahapaksa (The Great Bird)” and Ann Marie Merrill, Wilby High School Art Teacher

Molly Humphreys, a senior at Nonnewaug High School in Woodbury, received Honorable Mention for her piece, “Stage-Lights in a New Light,” a charcoal piece on paper.  Her piece will remain on display at the Mattatuck Museum. Molly was the 2016 Fifth Congressional District Art Competition winner.

Esty with Congressional Art Competition Honorable Mention Molly Humphreys (Bethlehem) with her entry “Stage-Lights in a New Light”

“I would like to extend my deepest congratulations to Shannon, Benjamin, Charit, and Molly,” Esty said. “The artwork on display here is a testament to their ingenuity, hard work, and commitment to refining their craft. Each unique piece provides a special insight into how our students view the world around them. All 115 participants should be incredibly proud of their work, and I hope to see many of our younger students return to the competition next year.”

A total of 115 pieces of artwork were submitted this year, with students’ submissions coming from 13 different schools. Winners were chosen by a panel of local judges including: Christain Cesari, a French artist now living in Connecticut who recently had an exhibition of his work at the Museum; Bob Burns, the Mattatuck Museum Director and; Heather Whitehouse, the Mattatuck Museum’s Director of Education. 

Since its inception in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students nationwide have participated in the annual Congressional Art Competition. This is the fifth consecutive year in which Esty has organized the competition in Connecticut’s Fifth District.