Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Guidelines

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep including the frame, and cannot 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.

Submission
Art will be submitted physically to the Oklahoma City district office. Email art.horn@mail.house.gov for more information.

Art submissions must be accompanied by a release form that can be found here. Release forms need to be signed by the student, a parent or guardian, and an art teacher. If the student is not enrolled in an art class or cannot reach their art teacher, the form can be signed by any teacher or school administrator at their school.

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.” 

Art should be submitted with a frame, but the frame will not be taken into consideration for judging.

We understand framing can be costly; scholarships for frames are available. The cost for framing should not be a hinderance to apply for this competition. Email art.horn@mail.house.gov for information on framing scholarships.