Each spring, Members of the U.S. House of Representatives sponsor a nationwide high school 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 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition!


On behalf of the 17th Illinois Congressional District, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos invites all high school students to participate in the 34th Annual Congressional Art Competition! One winning piece of artwork from each House district will be selected to be displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington for the next year! Runner-ups will have their artwork displayed in Bustos’ Illinois offices and in her Washington, D.C. office!


Accepted art media are as follows:

  • Paintings – including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings – including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers
  • 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


Artwork must conform to the following restrictions:

  • Artwork entered in the contest may be no larger than 26 inches by 26 inches by 4 inches deep, including the frame.
  • 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 product 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).
  • Art entries do not need to be framed (only the winner’s piece) and cannot weigh more than 15 pounds.


To enter the Congressional Art Competition, (1) please submit the form on this webpage, and (2) email a picture of the original artwork to Artwork.Bustos@mail.house.gov by Thursday, April 13, 2017. Incomplete submissions will not be considered.