'Hannibal' fan art wins New Jersey district's contest to hang in Capitol

Fans of the TV show “Hannibal” took to Twitter Thursday to celebrate one of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition's winning entries, which depicts the main characters from the former NBC thriller. 

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.), announced that the winning piece of art from his district was from Kathleen Palmer, a student at Shawnee High School in the town of Medford, located about 18 miles east of Philadelphia. 

The art piece includes depictions of Will Graham and Hannibal Lecter, fictional characters from the popular Thomas Harris novels and television drama, which ran for three seasons from 2013 to 2015.

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The series, created by Bryan Fuller and starring Mads Mikkelsen and Hugh Dancy, tells the story of Lecter, a once successful Baltimore psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer who helps law enforcement find other criminals. 

The visually operatic and graphically violent show, which is available on Netflix and other streaming services, has maintained a loyal following of fans since its cancellation. 

Winners of the art competition, which has been held annually since 1982, get to have their work displayed for a full year at the Capitol. 

Fans reacted to the news with gifs from the television show, jokingly saying that Lecter himself would approve of the choice. 

Fuller also signaled his appreciation for the artwork:

According to competition rules and guidelines posted on Kim’s website, high school students can enter artwork in a range of media, including paintings, drawings, prints and photographs, and entries must be “original in concept, design and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws.”

Each entry must also include a letter of support from the student's congressional representative before it can be reviewed by a panel of artists from across the district. 

Winners from the 2020 competition included “The New American Hero,” by Hyeri Chung, which depicts Marvel superhero Captain America with health care workers marked with bruises from wearing masks while working to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.