Congressional Art Competition

Important dates:

The deadline for entries is April 7th at 5:00 pm. Please submit all entries and student release forms to our office located at 2448 E. 81st St., Suite 5150, Tulsa, OK 74137 by 5:00 pm on April 7th.

The theme for 2017 is "Route 66: Exploring the Mother Road"

The District Reception will be held on April 17th. The reception will be open to all entrants of the contest, including teachers and families.

The Washington D.C. reception is TBD but the information will be given as it is received.


Teacher/Student Guidelines
Art Competition Checklist
Student Release Form (Needed for each entry)

Official Guidelines:

The competition is open to high school students only. Exceptions may be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus.

Artwork must be two-dimensional.

Each piece 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, it will be required to be framed and must still adhere to the size guidelines.

Artwork cannot weigh more than 15 pounds.

Artwork accepted mediums 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.)
  • Collage: 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
  • Photography

Each entry 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 (not the student’s own), painting, graphic, advertisement, or any other work produced by another person 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 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. 

Suitability Guidelines:

As outlined in these guidelines, the final decision regarding the suitability of all artwork for the 2013 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 Capitol.

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.

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 list their mailing addresses, if different from their residential addresses. 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, due to the large number of works that would fit that description. “A painting of two people; the one on the left wears a green sweater and khaki pants; the one on the right wears a black shirt and a striped skirt. A dog sits at their feet” is an example of an acceptable description.

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 Release Form, signed by both 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.

Each work must have a label with this information securely applied to the back:

  • Student Name Address Phone Number
  • Member’s Name State and District
  • Title and Medium

Framing Guidelines (Overall Winner):

Framing guidelines apply only to the ONE winning artist/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 Representative’s office to see whether a frame is required for entry. Even if your Member of Congress does not require a frame to enter the artwork in the competition, if your artwork is selected for display in Washington, it must have a frame.

All winning artwork must be framed. Frames should be wood or metal and should be kept as simple and sturdy as possible. No “snap on” frames are to be used.

All artwork except works 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. Please double check the size before sending the entry to Washington, DC. Due to wide participation of Member offices, framed work larger than the specified dimensions will be turned away.

Matting can enhance or detract from a work of art and should be carefully prepared.

Two sturdy eye hooks or an 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. Do not put wire between the hooks for hanging.

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.

For more information please contact our District office: Ashley Wells- 918-935-3222