Art Competition

Every spring, the United States House of Representatives sponsors the Congressional Art Competition, An Artistic Discovery for high school students across our nation. The annual competition provides an opportunity for students across the country to exhibit their artwork and receive national recognition. The competition also symbolizes the important role that the arts play in American society.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all local high schools in the 20th Congressional District. Exceptions will be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus. 

Artwork entered in the contest must be original in execution, may be up to 26 inches by 26 inches, 4 inches in depth and cannot weigh more than 15 pounds. 

The artwork may be:

• 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


2021 Congressional Art Competition


This year, the Office of Rep. Panetta has asked art teachers to select five (5) entries per school, and submit high resolution photos via email. An updated timeline, along with art competition guidelines, can be seen below. The 1st place winner’s artwork will be shipped to Washington, D.C., where it will remain on display in the Cannon House Office Building’s Capitol Tunnel for one year, alongside the 1st place artwork from congressional districts from across the country. The deadline for art submissions is April 30, 2021.

A preselected judge will view the art digitally and will name the top three places as well as five honorable mentions. 

Teachers and students (5 entries per school) who would like to participate in the competition should email their high-resolution photo to and include the following:

  • Students Name
  • Students Address
  • Students Email
  • Student phone number
  • Parent name
  • Parent phone number
  • School Name
  • Grade
  • Art Teacher Name
  • Title of Entry
  • Medium
  • Dimensions
  • Description of Entry
  • Teacher statement certifying the artwork’s originality
    • If student will be emailing their entry, you must attach an email from teacher certifying artwork originality.


Congressional Art Competition timeline:

April 30, 2021: Submission deadline for digital entries

May 6, 2021: Winners selected

TBD: DC Reception for all 1st place winners (subject to change)


The first place winning entry from each congressional district is displayed in the corridor tunnel of the U.S. Capitol Building for one year, where it is seen by thousands of people. The first place winner and a family member will also be invited to attend a special ceremony with other young artists from around the country in Washington, D.C. at the end of June. 

The Artistic Discovery competition encourages and recognizes the artistic talents of young Americans. Students are allowed to submit various styles and types of art, ranging from paintings and drawings to photography and mixed media pieces. The winners will be determined using criteria based on originality, skill of execution, excellence in use of materials and conceptual strength of the project. A local reception to announce the winner will be held later this spring. 

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artist talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nation-wide competition.

For further questions and full details, please contact Bertha Munoz in my Salinas office at (831) 424-2229 or


Previous Winners