Art Competition

Call for Artists! 2021 Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students submit their artwork, either through their high school art teachers or individually, which will then be judged by an independent panel of artists who will select the winners in each category.  This is “blind judging” meaning judges have no knowledge of the artists’ identity prior to making their decisions. Please make sure that your submission does not contain any personal information. 

Winners are recognized in both their Congressional district and in Washington, D.C. with a ceremony hosted by the Congressional Institute in June. The winning works are displayed for one year along the hallway between the Cannon House Office Building and the United States Capitol Building for thousands of people to view.  Click on the following link to view Colorado’s past winners:

The Best of Show winner will receive two round-trip tickets from Southwest Airlines to attend the ceremony.  While in Washington, the winner and their guest(s) may also receive a special “Member Pass” tour of the White House as well as a staff-led tour of the U.S. Capitol Building.  Other popular Washington, D.C. venue tours may also be available.  Our Tour Coordinator will work with the winner and their guests on those arrangements. 

Winners in all categories will be presented with a ribbon and a Congressional Certificate of Recognition along with other great prizes

This year’s theme:  "This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land"


It is not mandatory that artwork content reflect this theme in order to enter the contest, but rather provided to those who wish to create a new piece using the theme.  

This annual competition is open to all high school students who reside in Colorado’s 5th Congressional District. 


HOW TO ENTER: (Students can register individually or through their art teachers/instructors)

Schools/Teachers/Students - Please PRE-REGISTER, by emailing our Art Competition Coordinator, Kathleen, at the following information:

Name of Artist:








Artist email: 

**watch your inbox for important contest updates

General timeline: (Exact dates will be posted soon)


**Please make sure the piece is ready to hang, that you have the identification info listed on the back of the artwork and that the Student Release Form is handed to the art competition staff.




This is a free competition open to high school-aged students (grades 9-12) and homeschooled students with high school equivalent who reside within the 5th Congressional District of Colorado.  Click here to confirm your representative and district: 

Each artist/teacher may submit as many entries as they would like but please check with our art competition coordinator on space availability if over 3 per individual or over 30 per teacher/school.

The artwork will be hung from vertical wires. Two sturdy eye hooks must be attached at the top right and left sides of the back of the frame for hanging to prevent the work from leaning forward or hanging unevenly. Wire between the hooks is not needed for hanging. Please remove any wires that are already attached.

However, artwork need not be framed just for the gallery exhibition – but it must be placed on sturdy backing be hangable by the gallery staff.   





Watercolors, oils & acrylics 




Pencil, colored pencil, markers, ink, pastels, and charcoal


Mixed Media


The use of two or more mediums 


Computer Generated



Original concept computer-generated images







Best in keeping

with the theme 

Can include some computer editing as long as the integrity of the piece remains intact




Lithographs, silkscreens, and block prints


"This Land is Your Land, This Land is my Land"




Each entry must be an original concept: The entry may not be a reproduction of an image from a third party’s work in the same or any other medium; the work may not infringe upon the rights of any third party; the work may not violate the U.S. Copyright Laws.

If the artwork is abstract in design, please indicate on the back which side is up with arrows.

All entries must have the following information written clearly on the back of the piece:

Category (Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media, Computer Generated Art, Photography)
Teacher’s name:

*We reserve the right to refuse any entries that are deemed inappropriate.

A Student Release form must be submitted with your artwork: STUDENT RELEASE FORM


Questions?  Contact Kathleen Clayton at 719-520-0055 or email her at


  1. Pre-Register your interest by emailing the Art Competition Coordinator at with the following information:

Artist name:

Artist email:







  1. Complete a Student Release Form for each piece
  2. Art in-take: (TBA) Bring the artwork, along with a Student Release Form for each piece.  Also – double-check to make sure the following information is on the back of the artwork:

Category (Painting, Drawing, Mixed Media, Computer Generated Art, Photography)
Teacher’s name:

  1. Attend the award ceremony (TBA).
  2. Art out-take (TBA).
  3. Best of Show winner only – attend the Congressional Institute’s award ceremony in Washington, D.C. (TBA)