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Congressional Art Competition 2019 for Students

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Congressional Art Competition 2019 for Students




Mike Doyle’s Congressional Art Competition
General Information

The rules and regulations contained here apply to the 2019 competition generally. Each Member of Congress may establish additional rules for his or her district competition.

The competition is open to high school students. Members may choose whether to include 7th and 8th grade students in the art competition if schools located in their districts house 7th through 12th grades on one campus.

Each Member of Congress may designate one first-place winner for display in the Cannon Tunnel.

Official resources are to be used only to the extent authorized by the Committee on House

Administration and the Committee on Ethics. For guidance, please contact the Committee on House Administration at 202-226-0647 and/or the Committee on Ethics at 202-225-7103.

To allow artwork to hang in the Cannon Tunnel to the U.S. Capitol, the following rules are enforced:

  • All artwork must be framed according to the appropriate framing guidelines, listed below.
  • Artwork must conform to these restrictions:
  • Artwork must be two-dimensional
  • Artwork can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, including the frame.
  • No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.
  • 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.)
  • Prints: lithographs, silk screen, block prints
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Collages (must be two dimensional)
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photographs

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate 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).

Artwork is due to your Washington, DC office by May 24. Do not ship the artwork directly to your Washington office. It will be held up in the mail screening process and might be damaged or delayed. o We will collect the artwork on a date TBA (Late May). More information on submitting the artwork will be provided later.

Artwork will hang in the Cannon Tunnel for the duration of the exhibit. Students should only submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.

Suitability Guidelines

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. Each Member of Congress will be required to submit a Letter of Support, described below, confirming that the Member has determined that the winning artwork adheres to the Commission’s policy. However, if another Member of Congress requests review of any artwork for compliance with the Commission’s policy, the final decision regarding the artwork’s suitability for display will be made by the Commission.

Letter of Support (Overall Winner Only)

Each Member of Congress will be required to submit a Letter of Support for their winning artwork. This letter is to ensure that the Member has seen the artwork before it is submitted, has taken full responsibility for its content and has certified that the artwork, in the Member’s opinion, adheres to the Suitability Guidelines of the House Office Building Commission. 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. For that reason, we ask that Members carefully review the artwork for adherence to the Commission policy.

The letter should be attached to the back of the artwork when it is submitted in Washington, DC. A copy of the letter must be emailed to art@conginst.org by May 8.

The letter must bear the original signature of the Member.

A sample Letter of Support is included below. The letter must contain verbatim the second paragraph (“I have viewed…”).

Congressional Institute, Inc.

1700 Diagonal Road #730

Alexandria, VA 22314

Dear Congressional Institute:

On behalf of the [NUMBER] District of [STATE], I am pleased to submit [ARTWORK TITLE] by [STUDENT’S NAME] for inclusion in the 2019 Congressional Art Competition exhibit. I have selected this artwork because [EXPLANATION OF ARTWORK].

I have viewed the above-named student’s artwork and approve of its content. I have reviewed the artwork and find it to be in accordance with the policy of the House Office Building Commission, which prohibits subjects that depict contemporary political controversy, or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature. I understand that in the event of a dispute, the final decision regarding whether artwork adheres to this policy will be made by the House Office Building Commission.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact [STAFF NAME(S)] at [EMAIL ADDRESS] or [PHONE NUMBER].




Member of Congress

Framing Guidelines (Overall Winner Only)

Framing guidelines apply only to the one winning artwork that will be sent to Washington, DC.

All winning artwork must be enhanced and protected by a sturdy frame. Frames must be made of wood or metal. No plastic “snap on” frames or metal frames that can easily come apart are to be used.

All artwork, except paintings 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 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, to the outside of the frame, and 15 pounds in weight. Ensure that the framer knows the size and weight limit, and double-check the size before sending the entry to Washington, DC. Matting can enhance or detract from a work of art and should be carefully selected.

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.

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.

Each district winner is responsible for framing his or her own entry. No work will be framed by the Architect of the Capitol.

Submission Guidelines (Overall Winner Only)

As soon as you have chosen a winning artwork and/or by May 8, you should submit the winner’s

name and contact and art information to the Congressional Institute. Submitting the winner’s information early will allow us to determine if more information is required from the student before you send the artwork to Washington and will allow us to mail an official invitation to the Congressional Art Competition reception in a timely fashion.

The winner’s information must be submitted online. A Web form is available at https://conginst.wufoo.com/forms/2019-congressional-art-competition/ Each office will receive an access code via email.

Please do not submit the winner’s information multiple times. If we are missing your winner’s information, we will contact you after May 8.

A TYPED copy of the second page of the Student Information and Release Form, signed by the teacher, the student, and a parent or guardian if the student is under 18, must be securely attached to the back of the artwork to certify the originality of the piece. Please retain a copy for your office.



Important Dates

May 8 Overall District Winner’s Information Due

Overall winner must be selected by May 8 and the information from the Student Information and Release Form and a copy of the Letter of Support must be submitted to the Congressional Institute. The Member must sign the Letter of Support.

May 24 Framed Art Due in DC Office

More information on art submission will be provided later. Please note the framing guidelines below. These guidelines apply only to your overall winner.


Art Intake

More information on art submission will be provided later.


Congressional Art Competition Reception

More information will be sent to the District and DC staff who have registered for Congressional Art Competition updates.