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 the Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. The theme for our district’s contest is Virginia’s Farm Life and the deadline is Wednesday, April 20, 2016.

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 contest is open to all high school students in grades 9 – 12 who live in the 5th Congressional District. The overall winner of our district's contest 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; no larger than 28”H x 28”W x 4”D, and weigh less than 15 pounds (including the frame); and adhere to our theme Virginia’s Farm Life, The entry does not need to be framed unless you are chosen as the overall winner of our contest.

The following media will be accepted for the contest:

° 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 of Virginia’s Farm Life; and submit their artwork along with the typed and signed Student Release Form by the deadline date of Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. The art entry and the Student Release Form should be delivered to either our Charlottesville or Danville district office before the deadline date. The 2016 Art Competition Rules and Guidelines and 2016 Student Release Form are below for downloading.

Our art contest will be judged by our Art Advisory Committee, which is comprised 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 and we look forward to receiving your artwork.

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

Calico Summer, 1st Place

2015: Sheridan Santinga of Madison County High School with her artwork "Calico Summer"

2014: Kelly Bao of Monticello High School with her artwork “Seasonal Impression of Monticello”

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”