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

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 5th Congressional District in Massachusetts is:

"Resilience—how do you envision resilience within yourself and/or your community, what inspires resilience, etc.?"

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.

To apply, please submit the following to Ilina.Shah@mail.house.gov no later than 11:59PM EDT on Sunday April 25th, 2021: 

  1. A scan or picture of your artwork
  2. A completed Student Release Form
  3. Please use the subject line: “[Full Name] Congressional Art Competition Submission”

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 

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. 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. 

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

We look forward to seeing your work!

More information about the annual Congressional Art Competion can be found in the links below. You may also contact Ilina Shah at Ilina.Shah@mail.house.gov with any questions.