Congressional Art Competition

Each spring, a nationwide high school arts contest, the Congressional Art Competition, is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Congressional Art Competition is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in Virginia's 5th Congressional District. The theme for our district’s competition is A View of Virginia.

For background information, 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.

Our competition is open to all high school students in grades 9 – 12 who live in the 5th Congressional District. Our district's overall winning art piece will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington, D.C. will also include artwork from other contest winners nationwide. In addition, there will be a reception for all winners in Washington this summer.

The artwork entered in the contest must be original, two-dimensional, adhere to the theme of A View of Virginia, be no larger than 28”H x 28”W x 4”D, and weigh less than 15 pounds, including the frame. Your entry does not need to be framed unless you are chosen as the winner of the contest.

The following media will be accepted:

  • Paintings - oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings - pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers
  • Collage
  • Prints - lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
  • Mixed Media – use of more than two media such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-Generated Art
  • Photography

To participate in our annual Congressional Art Competition, students must follow specific rules and guidelines, adhere to our district’s theme, A View of Virginia, and submit their artwork along with the Student Release Form by Wednesday, April 23, 2014 at 4:30 p.m. The 2014 Congressional Art Competition Rules and Guidelines and 2014 Student Release Form are below for downloading. The entries and the Student Release Form should be delivered to either our Charlottesville or Danville district office before the deadline. The entries will be judged by our Art Advisory Committee, which consists of artists, art professors, photographers, and art enthusiasts who live in the 5th district. The Honorary Co-Chairs of the Art Advisory Committee are The Honorable and Mrs. Charles R. Hawkins.

If you have any questions, please contact Denise Van Valkenburg in our Danville district office at (434) 791-2596 or by email at Thank you for your interest; we look forward to seeing your artwork.

Click here to view submissions from 2013.

Previous Congressional Art Competition winners from Virginia’s 5th District:

2013 - Finley Broaddus of Highland school with her artwork "Vint Hill Church"

2012 - Miranda Lynn Melton of Chatham High School with her artwork “Piedmont Pride”

2011 - Emily Ewing Hays of Charlottesville High School with her artwork “Diversity”