Congressional Art Competition

Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school art competition. The competition is open to all high school students in the First District. The overall winner from the First Congressional District will have the honor of having their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol.

The theme for the 2020 Congressional Art Competition is Patriotism in the Heartland: Celebrating our freedoms and the heroes, places, and events the embody the American Spirit. 

The Congressional Institute will release the rules & release form for the competition in early 2019. The updated forms for the 2019 competition will be uploaded on this page as soon as they are made available to our office.

In light of school closures because of COVID-19, the deadline for the 2020 Congressional Art Competition has been extended to Monday, April 27, 2020. 

New this year, due to COVID-19, our office is accepting all entries virtually this year for judging. 

All entries are to be submitted to by email:  

Each entry must include a photograph of the entry, and the attached student release form signed and completed. 

The Congressional Institute recognizes that many students may not be able to have their teacher sign the student release form due to school closures.  They are allowing students to indicate their support in an alternative way, when submitting the form, the students may attach an email from their art teacher certifying the artwork’s originality.

All entries will be judged by a panel of judges and the overall winner will be announced the week of May 11th.

For more information please contact the Tulsa District Office at 918-935-3222 and ask to speak with the Art Competition Coordinator.

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive in Washington, DC, framed. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.

Accepted mediums for the two-dimensional artwork are as follows:

       • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
       • Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
       • Collages: must be two dimensional
       • Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
       • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
       • Computer-generated art
       • Photographs

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement) that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. For more information on copyright laws, we recommend you visit the Scholastic website: to-Copyright-and-Plagiarism.pdf.

Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).

Suitability Guidelines

Artwork must adhere to the policy of the House Office Building Commission (the Commission). In accordance with this policy, exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed. Each Member of Congress will be required to submit a Letter of Support confirming that the Member has determined that the winning artwork adheres to the Commission’s policy. However, if another Member of Congress requests review of any artwork for compliance with the Commission’s policy, the final decision regarding the artwork’s suitability for display will be made by the Commission. While it is not the intent to censor any artwork, we do wish to avoid artwork that is potentially inappropriate for display in this highly travelled area leading to the Capitol.

Student Information and Release Form

Each entrant must submit a Student Information and Release Form. The Student Information and Release Form is available through the office of your Member of Congress.

The information requested on the first page of the form should be provided as thoroughly as possible. Students should include their mailing addresses, if they differ from their home addresses. Students should also include contact information that will be valid for several years.

The form requires a description of the artwork, which should be detailed, clearly identifying the major elements of the work. For example, “self-portrait” or “a picture of two people” would be unacceptable, since many artworks would fit those descriptions. The following is an example of a useful description: “A painting of two people; the person on the left wears a green sweater and khaki pants; the person on the right wears a black shirt and a striped skirt. A dog sits at their feet.”

The second page of the Student Information and Release Form contains a legal release and a certification that the artwork is original in design and execution. The student, an art teacher, and a parent or guardian must sign where appropriate. Entries without signed originality certifications and artwork releases may not be accepted.

A copy of the Student Information and Release Form, signed by the teacher, a parent or guardian, and the student, must be securely attached to the back of the artwork to certify the originality of the piece. Please retain a copy for your records.

2020 Rules for Students and Teachers
2020 Art Submission Checklist