An Artistic Discovery 2021 Virtual Reception: A Welcome From Mark Strand, President of the Congressional Institute
About the Art Competition
The Congressional Institute is proud to sponsor “An Artistic Discovery,” the U.S. House of Representatives’ official art competition for high school students. Each year House Members may honor one high school student from their districts by selecting a piece of artwork for inclusion in an exhibit at the U.S. Capitol. Millions of visitors to the U.S. Capitol view this exhibit each year.
2021 Virtual Reception
With highly restrictive pandemic-regulations still in effect at the U.S. Capitol, we were unable again to host an in-person reception for the first-place winners of the 2021 Congressional Art Competition. The reception is a highlight of the year — watching the students and their families see their artwork hanging in the Cannon Tunnel is an emotional moment as we see their pride and wonder in their eyes at their achievement.
We’re pleased to present this video that highlights the students’ artwork and also discusses how significant it is that their art is hanging in the U.S. Capitol.
We remain so impressed by the innovations shown by the Members of Congress who are committed to giving high school students in their districts this remarkable opportunity. Thank you to our bipartisan co-chairs Representatives Don Bacon (R-NE) and Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). Congratulations to all of the students who participated. We hope the pandemic restrictions are soon lifted and the public can once again admire these students’ art.
2021 Winners See All Winners
Meet The Artist Profiles
Each artwork in the Congressional Art Competition exhibit is striking in its originality, insight, and skill. These artworks reflect the creativity and personality of their creators. Each artist can tell a unique story about what inspired them to create their winning piece and enter the Congressional Art Competition. Our “Meet the Artist” profiles introduce you to these talented young people.
The Congressional Institute is proud to sponsor the Congressional Art Competition. The annual competition celebrates the artistic achievements of the nation’s high school students. Each Member of Congress may choose to host the program in their individual districts. Many offices ask a panel of local artists, such as artists-in-residence, art teachers, gallery owners, to act as judges. The winning artwork will hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year. The tunnel is the most highly traveled access point between the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Capitol. Every day, Members of Congress, distinguished visitors, and tens of thousands of tourists – from the United States and abroad – walk through the tunnel and admire the artwork.
The competition is now in its 40th year. Each year, a Republican and Democratic Member of the House are selected to serve as Co-Chairs. The 2021 competition is co-chaired by Rep. Don Bacon (R-NE) and Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY). The competition is truly bipartisan, and one of the highlights of the congressional calendar.
At the beginning of the summer, the Office of the Architect of the Capitol begins the process of removing the previous year’s winners and displaying the new pieces to be showcased. That work takes place over the course of about a month. Each picture is carefully hung and labeled with the name of the artist, the title of the work, and the congressional district. The artwork is organized alphabetically by state and then numerically by district. The previous year’s winning pieces are returned to each congressional office, and many choose to continue to display the art in either Washington, DC, or a district office.
The Congressional Institute has sponsored the art competition since 2009. Each congressional office is responsible for getting the winning artwork to Washington, DC, and the Congressional Institute facilitates the process of handing the pieces over to the Architect’s Office for hanging. The Institute also oversees the annual awards ceremony, which features a prominent artist from the district of each congressional co-chair. The winning artist from each district is invited to attend the awards ceremony with one parent or guardian. It is their first opportunity to see their artwork displaying in the Cannon Tunnel.
Congressional Institute President Mark Strand said this about the competition:
“The Congressional Institute is very proud to sponsor the Congressional Art Competition, which celebrates the enormous talent and cultural contributions of American high school students. What I love most are the more than 400 individual stories of these kids who will come to Washington, DC, to celebrate winning the competition in their districts. Tens of thousands of student artists participate every year, and each Member of Congress can only pick one winner, although some Members find creative ways to celebrate the runner-up artist. The amazing thing is that each of the winning pictures get to hang in the United States Capitol Building for a year. This is an incredible honor as millions of tourists will get to see their work – something that might otherwise never happen for students from every walk of American life. Putting these students first is one way to show there are some things that even the most partisan politician can put above politics and celebrate along with their colleagues in both parties.”
High school students must enter the competition for the congressional district in which they live. If you do not know your Member of Congress, go here and use the Find My Representative tool in the upper right corner.
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Illinois’ 16th Congressional District
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Illinois’ 15th Congressional District
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Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District
Wilson Encourages Students to Participate in the Congressional Art
South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District
Announces Art Competition Deadline Extension
Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District
Encouraged to Enter Art Contest
New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District
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California’s 2nd Congressional District
Announces 2020 Congressional Art Competition
Michigan’s 6th Congressional District
- Rep. Rick Allen Announces 2020 Congressional Art
Georgia’s 12th Congressional District
- Staten Island Students: Apply for 2020 Congressional Art
New York’s 11th Congressional District
- Congressman Tom Reed Kicks off 2020 Congressional Art
Competition at Haverling High School
New York’s 23rd Congressional District
- Rep. Don Beyer Announces Winner of VA-08 Congressional Art
Virginia’s 8th Congressional District
Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.
- Blog Posts
2020 Congressional Art Competition Slideshow
The Congressional Institute is pleased to join Members of Congress in honoring the artistic achievements of American high school students who participated in the 2020 Congressional Art Competition. Each year, a Republican and a Democratic Member of Congress are selected as co-chairs. This year’s co-chairs are Rep. Warren Davidson (R-OH-08) and Rep. Gregorio Sablan (D-MP-AL). The 2020 competition features artists from 329 congressional districts. Each Member’s office determines how winners will be selected, and it solely up to the discretion of each Representative whether to submit winning pieces to hang in the Cannon Tunnel for one year. Congratulations to all the winners, and many thanks to Rep. Davidson and Rep. Sablan for serving as co-chairs!
Del. Gregorio Sablan
An Artistic Discovery 2020
Rep. Warren Davidson Greetings
An Artistic Discovery 2020
An Artistic Discovery 2020 Virtual Reception
A Welcome From Mark Strand, President of the Congressional Institute