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Your art could hang in the U.S. Capitol!

Matt Jens, 2018 Congressional Art Competition winner

About the 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 competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submit entries to their representative’s office, and panels of district artists select the winning entries. Winners are recognized both in their district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winning works are displayed for one year at the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon Tunnel.

This year’s theme for the Massachusetts 5th Congressional District is “2020: New Decade, New Hopes”. Students should submit artwork that reflects their contemplation of this theme.

The competition is open to high school students only. Exceptions may be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus.

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 

To apply, a digital copy of the artwork with all required forms and a completed checklist should be submitted Friday, May 22nd, 2020, by 5pm to

The student’s original artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, including the frame). If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, you must frame it in a wooden or metal frame and send to D.C. independently. The winner will be contacted by our office and instructed on how to send in their artwork for display in the Capitol building. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds. Further details are available at

For full rules, please refer to

Link to 2020 Rules and Regulations for Students and Teachers:

Required Forms:

Link to 2020 Student Release Form:

-      In lieu of your art teacher’s signature, your art teacher can send an email to to verify the originality of your artwork.

2020 Art Submission Checklist