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2017 Congressional Art Competition

Since 1982, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have hosted the annual Congressional Art Competition, a contest that enables high-school students from across the nation to demonstrate their artistic talents before a global audience.

Students have two options to enter. The first is the National Congressional Art Competition, in which the winning piece will be chosen by a panel of judges from the Louisville arts community. The winning piece will hang in the halls of the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students must be willing to part with pieces entered in this competition for the duration of the year, should they win.

Students may also enter the Community Choice Competition, in which Louisvillians will choose the winner online, via Yarmuth.house.gov. The winning artist will have the option of displaying his or her work in Congressman Yarmuth's District Office for as long as one year.

The 2017 Congressional Art Competition

  • Artwork must be received by 5:00 p.m. on April 14.
  • Voting online will take place at Yarmuth.House.Gov from April 20-26.
  • The winners of each competition will be announced on May 1.

Students must submit a photograph of the artwork via email, along with a completed 2017 Student Information and Release Form (download here), to YarmuthArt@mail.house.gov. Please submit the photograph as a hi-res JPEG and the form as a PDF.

NOTE: At the top of the release form, students should check the box next to which competition they intend to enter. They may enter one or both. Students may enter a total of two pieces.

Additional Details

A panel of judges from the Louisville arts community will choose the winner of the National Congressional Art Competition. The winning artwork will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year. Students in this competition must be willing to part with their work for the entire year, should they win.

Louisvillians will choose the winner of the Community Choice Competition by voting online at Yarmuth.house.gov. The winning artist may choose to display his or her piece in Congressman Yarmuth’s District Office in Louisville for as long as one year.

Please direct any questions to Shelley Spratt via email at shelley.spratt@mail.house.gov, Judy Look via email at judy.look@mail.house.gov, or both via telephone at 582-5129.

Congressional Art Competition Guidelines

The competition is open to high school students.

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.

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).

Winning 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.

Each entrant must also submit a Student Information and Release Form. 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 acceptable description.

2017 Congressional Art Competition Release Form (03/27/1705:32 PMET )