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Art Competition

Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts 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 Vermont.

Vermont has a special connection to the Congressional Arts Competition.  The competition was created in 1981 by Senator Jim Jeffords when he served in the House of Representatives. It is the largest annual gathering of art teachers and students in Vermont, and more than 650,000 high school students across the country have participated.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all high school students in Vermont. The winning artwork of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on's Congressional Art Competition page.


In further recognition of our talented Vermont student artists, the second and third place overall winners will have the option to exhibit their art in Congressman Welch’s Burlington, Vermont office following the show.

Rules and Guidelines

Artwork entered in the contest may be up to 24 inches by 24 inches, up to 4 inches in depth, and weigh no more than 15 pounds. All entries must be original in concept, design and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws.
Please read through the following documents to learn more about suitability guidelines for artwork, dropping off the art, and important deadlines. 

Frequently Asked Questions

I noticed that your guidelines for artwork size are different from those of the national competition. Which should I comply with? 
Please comply with our guidelines. Art submitted to us may be up to 24” x 24”. This allows us to frame the winning piece of art and still comply with national guidelines, which allow artwork to be up to 26” x 26”. 

May a student submit two pieces of art? 
No. Your five submissions must be from five unique students. 

May non-Vermont residents submit art? 
Yes, but they are not eligible for the first place prize. 

May students submit art that they have copied from another image, even if the medium is different? 
We would prefer you submit art that is original. If you do submit art that is copied from another source, it will not be eligible for ANY prizes. 

The Congressional Institute’s guidelines say teachers must submit a “Student Release Form” for every student, but I don’t see it on your webpage.  
We do not require a release form from each student—only the “School Registration Form.” The release is only required from the first prize winner.  

Please contact Congressman Welch's Burlington office at 802-652-2450 for additional information.


"Peru," below, by Jocelyn Pike of Lyndon Institute received first place in the 2017 Congressional Art Competition and will be displayed in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel for a year. Click here for more photos from 2017's competition.