Art Competition

UPDATED: April 8, 2020

COVID-19 Updates

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the dates for our Congressional Art competition have been pushed back, and we have requested students to submit their artwork digitally instead of physically. (Artwork still must meet the physical requirements described below to be displayed in the Capitol if it is chosen as a winning piece.) Please email your artwork submissions to Julia Fegan at <julia.fegan (at)>, and include in the email your name, grade, street address, name of school, phone number, the title of your piece, the medium used, and a short artist's statement. 

We originally planned to host a local reception before choosing our winners, so that our applicants could see each other’s artwork displayed, and have a meet & greet with the Congresswoman. We still hope to host this event, but it may become a “virtual event” video chat, or it may have to be cancelled. 



Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Artistic Discovery Contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our Congressional District.

The Artistic Discovery Contest 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's Congressional Art Competition page.


Important Dates

Below is a summary of important dates for the MI-11 Congressional Art Competition in 2020:

  • Monday, May 18th

    • Artwork due to be emailed to Julia Fegan for consideration. <julia.fegan (at)> (see online submission guidelines below!)

  • Date TBD

    • Local reception for all applicants: view each others artwork, meet & greet with Congresswoman Haley Stevens (Details to be announced)

  • Thursday, June 4th

    • MI-11 Winner will be announced!

  • Thursday, June 18th

    • Winner’s artwork due to be delivered to Congressional Institute’s D.C. Office

  • Wednesday, July 22nd

    • National Winner’s Reception in D.C. (Details to be announced)



Prizes for the winner of the Congressional Art Competition are listed below:

  • The artwork for the winning student from each Congressional District will be displayed in the United States Capitol for one year.

  • Southwest Airlines will offer each first-place Congressional Art Competition winner two round-trip tickets to attend the reception in June. Ticket holders must fly into Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Reagan National Airport (DCA), or Dulles International Airport (IAD). Validity dates TBD on the date of the National Reception.

  • The Savannah College of Art and Design will offer a scholarship of $3,000 to each Congressional Art Competition winner who enrolls at the institution. Accepted students may be eligible for additional scholarships based on their academic credentials, documented awards and recognition, extracurricular activities, volunteer or professional experience, and talents.


Rules, Checklist, and Release Form

The rules, checklist, and release form for the competition can be found at

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

  • Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive in Washington, DC, framed. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions. No framed piece should 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.

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

  • Artwork will hang in the Cannon Tunnel for the duration of the exhibition. Students should only submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.


Online Submission Guidelines

This year, we are having our students submit their artwork digitally. Please email your piece to Julia Fegan at <julia.fegan (at)>, and include the information below.

  • Your full name

  • The filled out student release form

    • This includes contact information, school information, details about your artwork, etc. You may fill the form in using the computer, but for the signature, please print the form, sign it with a pen, and scan it. If you don't have access to a printer, email Julia Fegan at <julia.fegan (at)> and we will work out a solution.

  • A short artist's statement - tell us why you made the piece & what it means to you.

  • The digital file of your artwork

    • Below are some tips and guidelines for taking good photos of your artwork. (Unless it is already a photograph, or computer-generated piece, of course!)

      • Please note: digital file size is limited to under 5MB!

      • Make sure your artwork is fully dry and flat before taking a photo

      • Use the best camera you have available, or try a few options to see what captures the image best

      • Use a tripod to help eliminate blurring

      • You can get the best light for paintings and drawings in “open shade”

        • On a sunny day, in the morning or afternoon, find a shady area with no dapples of light

        • Avoid direct light, which can cause glare

      • Choose a neutral background to hang or place your artwork on for the photo

        • Bright colors can reflect on your piece and distort the color

        • Busy backgrounds can be distracting

      • When taking the photo, use the camera viewfinder to make sure the edges of your piece are parallel to the edges of the photo frame

        • Failing to do this distorts the image and makes it harder to evaluate

        • Hanging a piece on a wall makes this easier than trying to take a picture of it on the floor

      • Take the picture as close as you can to your artwork without cropping any of the edges off!

        • If you crop the edges of your artwork off, the judges won’t be able to evaluate your composition well. We want to be able to see your use of the “canvas”

      • Please refrain from editing photos of your artwork.

        • Our judges would like to see your true artwork, not what edits you are able to make in Photoshop. 

        • Do not be afraid, everyone knows physical artwork is hard to capture well with a photo!


Any Other Questions?

If you would like more information on the annual Congressional District Art Competition or have any other questions, please email Julia Fegan at <julia.fegan (at)>, and include your name, grade, street address, name of school, and phone number.