On Friday, May 2, at his high school alma mater in Corpus Christi, Texas, Congressman Blake Farenthold (TX-27) announced Samuel Lathrop, a senior at Incarnate Word Academy, as the 27th Congressional District’s winner in the 2014 Congressional Art Competition for his graphite pencil drawing, "Self Portrait." Sam’s artwork was selected out of 35 submissions for the 27th District and will be displayed in the United States Capitol building complex for the next year, along with artwork from all over the country.

During the presentation of the winning artwork today in the IWA Library, the artist told Congressman Farenthold and those gathered that he developed the piece as a submission for a past competition. “I decided to draw a self-portrait because I’ve never done one before,” Sam explained. “I am very pleased to have won the Congressional Art Competition for District 27,” he later said.

“We have a lot of outstanding young artists in this part of Texas, and I'm pleased to see so much talent displayed in this show,” the Congressman said afterward. “I walk by these pieces of art from all over the country when I go to the House Chamber to vote or speak on the House floor.”

The Congressional Art Competition is held annually each spring to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each Congressional district. Since the competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

“Congratulations to Sam on winning this year’s 27th District Congressional Art Competition, and congratulations to all of the participants on their hard work and outstanding art,” Congressman Farenthold concluded.

Next year, Sam plans to attend Texas State University and intends to pursue a major in Recording Technologies and a minor in Business. He adds the 2014 Congressional Art Award to a list of several other distinguished art honors, including a Visual Art Scholastic Event (VASE) State Superior Rating in Drawing and State Medal. Sam is also the recipient of the Gold Seal Award, the highest honor in the VASE program, and is the first student at Incarnate Word Academy to receive the Gold Seal Award in school history.