Congressional Art Competition
Thank you for your interest in the Annual 2020 Congressional Art Competition! The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students who reside in California’s 29th Congressional district.
Initiated by Members of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1982, the event is a nationwide annual art competition that allows high school students from all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories to showcase their artistic ability.
The winning piece of art from each Congressional district is displayed in an eleven-month exhibit in the Cannon tunnel that leads into the U.S. Capitol, alongside the winning artwork from other congressional districts across the nation.
All artwork must be submitted to the Office of Congressman Tony Cárdenas located at 9612 Van Nuys Blvd. Suite 201, Panorama City, CA 91402 by May 30, 2020. Students also must fill out a release form. Artwork entered in the contest may be no larger than 26”x26”x4” when framed and may not weigh more than 15 pounds. All entries must be original in concept, design and execution, and must be two dimensional. Please see the attached Congressional Art Competition Flier for more information.
If you have any questions or would like more information about the competition, please contact Lea Gonzalez with my office at (818) 221-3718 or at Lea.Gonzale@mail.house.gov. You may also visit www.house.gov/content/educate/art_competition/.
Draft Rules are below. The official rules will be posted as soon as they are released.
The rules and regulations included here apply nationwide. Each Member of Congress may issue
additional rules for his or her district. Please consult with your Member’s office to verify whether any
additional rules apply.
The competition is open to high school students only. Exceptions may be made for schools that have
7th through 12th grades on one campus. Teachers and/or students should verify their eligibility with
the office of the Member of Congress.
Artwork must be two-dimensional. Each framed artwork can be no larger than 28 inches high, 28
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
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
Artwork will hang in the Capitol for the entire year of the exhibition and cannot be returned to the
students earlier. Students should, therefore, submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.
As outlined in these guidelines, the final decision regarding the suitability of all artwork for the 2017
Congressional Art Competition exhibition in the Capitol will be made by a panel of qualified persons
chaired by the Architect of the Capitol. 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
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. It is necessary that all artwork be reviewed by the panel chaired by
the Architect of the Capitol and any portion not in consonance with the Commission’s policy will be
omitted from the exhibit. If an entrant is unsure about whether a piece of artwork is acceptable, he or
she should contact the staff of his or her Member of Congress; the congressional staff can speak with
personnel who can determine whether the artwork would be accepted.
Student Information and Release Form
Each entrant must submit a Student Information and Release Form. The Student Information and
Release Form is available through the office of your Member of Congress.
The information requested on the first page of the form should be provided as thoroughly as possible.
Students should include their mailing addresses, if they differ from their home addresses. Students
should also include contact information that will be valid for several years.
The form requires a description of the artwork, which should be detailed, clearly identifying the major
elements of the work. For example, “self-portrait” or “a picture of two people” would be unacceptable,
since many artworks would fit those descriptions. The following is an example of a useful description:
“A painting of two people; the person on the left wears a green sweater and khaki pants; the person
on the right wears a black shirt and a striped skirt. A dog sits at their feet.”
The second page of the Student Information and Release Form contains a legal release and a
certification that the artwork is original in design and execution. The student, an art teacher, and a
parent or guardian must sign where appropriate. Entries without signed originality certifications and
artwork releases may not be accepted.
A TYPED copy of the Student Information and Release Form, signed by the teacher, a parent or
guardian, and the student, must be securely attached to the back of the artwork to certify the
originality of the piece. Please retain a copy for your records.
Framing Guidelines (Overall Winner)
Framing regulations apply only to the winning artwork that will be sent to Washington, DC.
Each Member of Congress may include additional entry rules for his or her own District; please
consult your Member’s office to see whether a frame is required for the district competition. Even if
your Member of Congress does not require a frame to enter the artwork in the district competition, if
your artwork is selected for display in the Congressional Art Competition exhibition, it must
be delivered in a frame no larger than 28 inches high, 28 inches wide, and 4 inches deep.
All winning artwork must be enhanced and protected by a sturdy frame. Frames must be made
of wood or metal. No plastic “snap on” or metal frames that can easily come apart are to be used.
All artwork, except paintings in oil or acrylic on canvas, must be protected by Plexiglas or glass.
Plexiglas is preferred. If glass is used, special packing and shipping arrangements are encouraged to
ensure that the work is not damaged if the glass breaks.
All works, including frame, should be no larger than 28 inches high, 28 inches wide, and 4
inches deep, to the outside of the frame, and 15 pounds in weight. Ensure the framer is
informed of the size and weight limit and double check the size before sending the entry to
Washington, DC. Due to wide participation of Member offices, framed works larger than the
specified dimensions will be turned away.
Matting can enhance or detract from a work of art and should be carefully selected.
The artwork will be hung from vertical wires. 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 in order to prevent the
work from leaning forward or hanging unevenly. Wire between the hooks is not needed.
Do not attach labels, ribbons, etc., to the front of the piece or underneath the glass or Plexiglas.
Please indicate which side is up by marking arrows pointing towards the top on the back.
Each work must have a label with this information securely applied to the back:
State and District
Please use the largest label you have available. This information should be typed.