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Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition, also known as the Artistic Discovery 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.

Winners are recognized both in the district and at an annual awards ceremony in Washington, DC. The winner also has the honor of displaying their winning piece for one year at the U.S. Capitol for representatives, staff, and visitors from all over the country to see.

Please view information regarding guidelines for submissions and rules of the contest. For further detailed information & guidelines please visit the Official Website:  Congressional Art Competition – Congressional Institute.

The competition is open to all high school students (public and private) who attend school or reside in Florida’s 17th Congressional District which includes Sarasota, Charlotte, and North Lee County.  

Each year House Members may honor one high school student from their districts by selecting a piece of artwork for inclusion in an exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. Millions of visitors to the U.S. Capitol view this exhibit each year.

1st place Artwork will hang in the Cannon Tunnel in DC for the duration of the exhibition. 
2nd place will be hung in our Sarasota District office.
3rd place will be exhibited in our Punta Gorda office.

Schools must RSVP by email their intent to participate by March 22, 2024 to Point of Contact: Leah Eash, Staff Assistant, Leah.Eash@mail.house.gov  

Each student can enter no more than 2 pieces to their school for selection.  Students should only submit artwork they will not need for other purposes. Artwork must be the creation of a single student.  Students may not collaborate on an entry. Each school may submit their top 3 art pieces for judging.

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 
  • Photographs 

All entries must be original.  The entry may not reproduce an image from a third party in the same or any medium, nor infringe the creative rights of any third party.  The work may not violate U.S. Copyright law.

Artwork must be two-dimensional. Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep

Each entry must have 3 Completed Release Forms, one to be secured to the back of the artwork, one to be handed into the Congressional office and the third for your records.  The form requires a description of the artwork, which should be detailed, clearly identifying the major elements of the work.  The student, art teacher, and a parent or guardian must sign where appropriate.  Arrows to indicate which side is up.  Also, provide a label with title, description of piece, name, grade, and school for the exhibit.

Deadline – All Artwork must be dropped off to one of the District Offices by April 24, 2024 4:30pm. Please email Leah.Eash@mail.house.gov for a “drop off appointment” at one of our offices.

Sarasota Office: 7590 Fruitville Rd, Suite 102, Sarasota, FL 34240
Punta Gorda Office: 226 Taylor St., #230, Punta Gorda, FL  33950

Students must take their artwork home the week after judging.

Artwork must adhere to the policy of the House Office Building Commission (the Commission). In accordance with this policy, exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy, or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed. 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. 


U.S. Rep. Greg Steube Announces Winner of 2023 Congressional Art Competition

‘Grasping at Revolt’ by Mia Liang, first place, 2023 FL-17 Congressional Art Competition