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Art Competition

2020 Art Competition Update

In 1981, the late Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont, when he served in the House of Representatives, created the annual Congressional Arts Competition to recognize and encourage young developing artists from across the country. Since its inception, more than 650,000 students have participated, including hundreds of young Vermont artists.

Here’s how it works: 

Every spring, participating Members of Congress sponsor high school arts competition in their districts. Winning artists from each district are honored by displaying their winning work in the United States Capitol for one year. The second and third place overall winners have the option to exhibit their winning artwork in Congressman Welch’s Burlington office. The winning artwork is also featured on the Congressional Art Competition website.

The 2020 competition is open to all high school students in Vermont. Registration is open until Friday, March 27, 2020. Interested students should contact their high school art teacher for details on how to register. 

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.

"Brother," below, by Aubrey Benoit of Barre's Spaulding High School received first place in the 2019 Congressional Art Competition and will be displayed in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel for a year.