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Congressman Jamie Raskin

Representing the 8th District of Maryland

Art Competition

Each spring, a national high school 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 artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our Congressional District.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in our District. The winning artwork of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on House.gov's Congressional Art Competition page.

PLEASE NOTE: The launch of this year’s Congressional Art Competition was delayed, and we only recently received the guidelines. Given the importance of this event, we found a way to make this happen within this very short time frame. Please review the rules, guidelines, and application instructions below. Entries must be submitted digitally no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017.

Competition Rules 

The 2017 Rules and Regulations are available here

The following is a summary of the Congressional Art Competition rules:

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. Please note that these are the new 2017 dimensions requirements.

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. 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.   

To Apply

Entries must be submitted digitally no later than 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017. 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 inclusion in the exhibition. Artists selected for the exhibition will be notified prior to Friday, April 28, 2017.  Selected entries will be displayed at our exhibit, located at VisArts (155 Gibbs Street, Rockville, MD 20850), from May 3, 2017 through May 7, 2017.  Our office will host a reception on Sunday, May 7, 2017 at 3:00 p.m.

The Congressional Art Competition illustrates the importance of arts education in high schools. Our reception will showcase the excellent student entries and it is where we will announce the competition winners. The grand prize-winning entry will be displayed for one year in the United States Capitol alongside artwork from every congressional district across the country.  In addition, the runners-up will have their work displayed in my congressional offices.

Artwork selected for exhibition must be dropped off in advance at the following locations:

  • Saturday, April 29, 2017
    From 11:00AM-1:30PM at:
    • Carroll County Arts Center
      91 W Main St, Westminster, MD 21157
  • Sunday, April 30, 2017
    From 12:00 Noon until 2:00PM at:
    • VisArts
      155 Gibbs St, Rockville, MD 20850
  • Monday, May 1, 2017
    From 4:00PM until 6:00PM at:
    • VisArts
      155 Gibbs St, Rockville, MD 20850

Requirements for Work Selected for Exhibition

  • Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).
  • Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches in depth and must not weigh more than 15 pounds when framed.
  • Artwork must be enhanced and protected by a sturdy frame and wired for hanging.
  • Frames must be made of wood or metal.
    • No plastic “snap on” frames or metal frames that can easily come apart are to be used.
  • Two sturdy eye hooks or the equivalent must be attached at the top right and left sides of the back of the frame for hanging to prevent the work from leaning forward or hanging unevenly. Place wire between the hooks for hanging at the district exhibition.
  • Please indicate which side is up by marking arrows pointing towards the top on the back.
  • Using the largest label you have available, type this information and securely apply to the back of the piece: 
    • Student Name:
    • Address:
    • Phone Number:
    • Email Address: 
    • Title:  
    • Medium: 
    • Member’s Name: Congressman Jamie Raskin
    • State and District: MD-08
  • All artwork, except paintings in oil or acrylic on canvas, must be protected by Plexiglas or glass.  Plexiglas is preferred.