Art Competition

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

The competition is open to all high school students. The overall winner of each participating district will have the opportunity to have their work displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, beginning in June. In addition, winners will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June. ​The winning artwork is also featured on House.gov's Congressional Art Competition page.

The Maine Arts Commission partners with the Maine College of Art (MECA) and the National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards to select the artwork. Artwork that MECA has invited to exhibit for the annual Maine Regional Scholastic Art Awards are automatically submitted to be juried for the Congressional Art Competition.

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

Artwork entered in the contest may be up to 28 inches by 28 inches, may be up to 4 inches in depth, and not weigh more than 15 pounds. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive framed and must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions.

  • Paintings - including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings - including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages - must be two dimensional
  • Prints - including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints
  • Mixed Media - use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photography

All 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).

The rules, checklist, and release form for the competition are scheduled to be posted in early February on House.gov.

For information about the Congressional Art Competition please contact Julie Horn of the Maine Arts Commission, at Julie.horn@maine.gov or 207-287-2790.