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Congressional Art Competition

Every spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent across the United States and in each congressional district. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated. 

Each Member of Congress has the privilege of submitting one piece of artwork from their district to be displayed for one year in a tunnel leading to the U.S. Capitol. It is an honor to be able to promote this program so that the many talented high school students in our 20th Congressional District might be recognized for their artistic endeavors.

The winner, runner up, and honorable mentions will be determined by a panel of judges and will be revealed at my annual art competition reception at the Mandeville Gallery - Union College, Nott Memorial, located at 807 Union Street, Schenectady, New York 12308 on Friday, May 5, 2023, from 5:30pm-7:00pm. All other student art submissions will be on display at this reception as well, however, they will be encouraged to take their artwork home following the reception.

Each high school may submit up to three entries from their students. Submissions must be received no later than 5:00 PM on Thursday, April 27, 2023, at my Albany District Office at 19 Dove Street, Suite 302 in Albany or at my Saratoga Springs District Office at 433 Broadway, Suite 201 in Saratoga Springs.

The winner will then have their artwork shipped to Washington, D.C. to be showcased in the U.S. Capitol, and will have the opportunity to attend a ceremony on June 20, 2023, to unveil their artwork alongside winners from across the country. The winner will also be provided complimentary round-trip airplane ticket(s) to Washington, D.C., courtesy of Southwest Airlines. Please note that the winning student must be a resident of the 20th Congressional District. The runner-up will have their artwork displayed in my District Office.

All entries are subject to the following restrictions, which have been recently updated:

  • Artwork must be two-dimensional.
  • Each piece must be no larger than 26”x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep) and cannot weigh more than 15lbs, including the frame. The overall winning piece will be subject to more stringent frame and mounting requirements before being sent to Washington, D.C. for display. Due to wide participation, framed works larger than the specified dimensions will be turned away by the House Office Building Commission.
  • Artwork accepted mediums 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)
    • Collage: 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
    • Photography
  • 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. For more information on copyright laws, please visit the Scholastic website: https://www.artandwriting.org/awards/how-to-enter/copyright-plagiarism
  • Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing).
  • Artwork will hang in the Capitol for the entire year of the exhibition and cannot be returned to the student earlier. Students should, therefore, submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.
  • Artwork must be submitted to my Albany District office, located at 19 Dove Street, Suite 302, Albany, NY 12210, or my Saratoga Springs District Office, located at 433 Broadway, Suite 201, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, no later than Thursday, April 27th at 5:00pm.
  • A TYPED label with the following information must be securely attached to the back of the artwork:
    • Student name
    • Grade
    • School name
    • Student home address, phone number and email
    • Parent/Guardian name and contact information (telephone number and email address)
    • Art teacher name and contact information (telephone number and email address)
    • Title of entry, medium, dimensions and brief description of the piece

·   The overall winner will be required to complete and sign a Student Information and Release Form, which will be provided by my office following the reception.

  • Please use the “Find Your Representative” tool on the House.gov homepage to confirm that each participating student is a resident of New York’s 20th Congressional District.

Any questions should be directed to Manik Elahi at 518-465-0700 or at manik.elahi@mail.house.gov


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