Every spring, a national high school student arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the awesome artistic talent of our nation’s young artists.  

Competition Eligibility

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students who live in the 8th Congressional District. If you're not sure if you live in the 8th District, you can look up your congressional district here. You can also call Rep. Raskin's office at 301-354-1000 and provide your street address and zip code to a staff member who will be able to help you.

Competition Rules

The Congressional Art Institute’s Rules and Regulations for the 2021 competition are available here.

Artwork entered in the contest may be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches in depth and not weigh more than 15 pounds (even when framed). If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive framed and must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. 

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.)
  • Prints: lithographs, silk screen, block prints
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Collages (must be two dimensional)
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photographs

Entries must be original in concept, design and execution and may not violate any 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. Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).

Competition Suitability Guidelines

Artwork must adhere to the policy of the House Office Building 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.

To Apply

Entries must be submitted digitally here no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, April 12, 2021. The online submission must include a single entry and a completed Student Information & Release Form. No entry will be considered submitted without a completed Student Information & Release Form (including all signatures from student, parent/guardian and art teacher). We will only accept one entry per student.

Award Notification

Artist judges from across the District will select artwork from the submitted pieces for award. Winning selections will be announced by May 3, 2021. 

 The winning submission from the 8th District will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year alongside artwork from every Congressional District across the Nation.

In accordance with coronavirus public health guidelines and maximum social distancing precautions, all submissions will be featured in a virtual gallery in place of the traditional gallery exhibit at VisArts in Rockville. The 2021 virtual gallery can be viewed here. We look forward to a return of the in-person gallery display in 2022.

If you would like more information on the Congressional Art Competition, please contact Nina Weisbroth at nina.weisbroth@mail.house.gov or 301-354-1000.