Celebrating the Artistic Achievements of High School Students in the Age of COVID-19

The 2020 Congressional Art Competition will be remembered for the ingenuity and innovation that Members’ offices showed in celebrating the artistic achievements of high school students. Students this year are struggling as they watch academic milestones like proms, end-of-year exams, special field trips, and graduation ceremonies transitioned to virtual platforms or vehicle parades.

The emotions surrounding this year’s competition were summed up by a senior in Mission, TX, who placed first in the competition for Texas’ 28th Congressional District.

“I cried when I first heard this news, never did I think I’d accomplish so much with my art,” said Karina Vela.

Read the full article about Ms. Vela.

In Arkansas’ 3rd Congressional District, high school senior Autumn Blaylock channeled the COVID-19 global pandemic into her artwork titled, Pandemic Prom.”

See Ms. Blaylock’s artwork here.

This year’s graduating class of high school seniors were born a year after the Twin Towers fell. The attacks of Sept. 11 are a historical event for them, rather than something they lived through. They have never known a time when the country hasn’t been at war. They have grown up with tremendous advancements in technology that let congressional offices host virtual competitions in which some let constituents vote for their favorite artwork while others featured online galleries.

In New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District, Rep Chris Smith’s office transitioned to a virtual show.

“For these young student artists whose school year has been turned upside down by coronavirus, I am happy we found a way forward and I am grateful to the parents, judges and teachers for making needed adjustments,” Smith said in an article from Tap Into Middletown.

Jill Alexander, an art teacher whose students have entered the competition for the past six years, said they begin working toward the competition in September.

“I am delighted that this year’s show wasn’t canceled, but continued as an online competition,” she told the publication. … “High school students across the country will miss the opportunity to participate in many events this year, including proms, sporting events and even graduation. We are really pleased the art competition survives.”

Click here to view a gallery for the New Jersey-4 art competition.

Rep. Tom Graves, Georgia’s 14th Congressional District, posted a video discussing the art competition from the Cannon Tunnel where the first-place winners’ artwork hangs so the tens of thousands of tourists, visitors, staff, media, dignitaries and Members of Congress can appreciate each artist’s work. Watch the video.

Here’s more articles about 2020 Congressional Art Competition.

Congressional Art Competition Goes On Despite COVID-19

California’s 23rd Congressional District

 

Local Art Goes to Washington

Georgia’s 14th Congressional District

 

Sherrill Opens 2nd Congressional Art Competition

New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District

 

Three Holmdel Students Place In Congressional Art Competition

New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District

 

Little Falls High School Student Winner of Congressional Art Competition

New York’s 22nd Congressional District

 

First District Congressional Art Competition Deadline Announced

Michigan’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Kinzinger Announces 2020 Congressional Art Contest

Illinois’ 16th Congressional District

 

Shimkus’ Art Contest Winner Influenced By Coronavirus

Illinois’ 15th Congressional District

 

Cole Announces New Guidance for Participation in Art Contest

Oklahoma’s 4th Congressional District

 

Congressman Wilson Encourages Students to Participate in the Congressional Art Competition

South Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Clark Announces Art Competition Deadline Extension

Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District

 

Students Encouraged to Enter Art Contest

New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Congressional Art Competition Announced

California’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Upton Announces 2020 Congressional Art Competition

Michigan’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Rick Allen Announces 2020 Congressional Art Competition

Georgia’s 12th Congressional District

 

Staten Island Students: Apply for 2020 Congressional Art Competition

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 Competition

Virginia’s 8th Congressional District

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Announcements of Virtual Competitions

Rep. Mike Rogers

Alabama’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Tom O’Halleran

Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Ruben Gallego

Arizona’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Bruce Westerman

Arkansas’ 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. John Garamendi

California’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Doris Matsui

California’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ami Bera

California’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Eric Swalwell

California’s 15th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ro Khanna

California’s 17th Congressional District

 

Rep. Anna Eshoo

California’s 18th Congressional District

 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren

California’s 19th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jimmy Panetta

California’s 20th Congressional District

 

Rep. Kevin McCarthy

California’s 23rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Mike Garcia

California’s 25th Congressional District

 

Rep. Julia Brownley

California’s 26th Congressional District

 

Rep. Pete Aguilar

California’s 31st Congressional District

 

Rep. Grace Napolitano

California’s 32nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Norma Torres

California’s 35th Congressional District

 

Rep. Karen Bass

California’s 37th Congressional District

 

Rep. Linda Sánchez

California’s 38th Congressional District

 

Rep. Gilbert Cisneros

California’s 39th Congressional District

 

Rep. Nanette Barragán

California’s 44th Congressional District

 

Rep. Katie Porter

California’s 45th Congressional District

 

Rep. Lou Correa

California’s 46th Congressional District

 

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

California’s 47th Congressional District

 

Rep. Harley Rouda

California’s 48th Congressional District

 

Rep. Mike Levin

California’s 49th Congressional District

 

Rep. Juan Vargas

California’s 51st Congressional District

 

Rep. Scott Peters

California’s 52nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Diana DeGette

Colorado’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Ken Buck

Colorado’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jason Crow

Colorado’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ed Perlmutter

Colorado’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ted Yoho

Florida’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Stephanie Murphy

Florida’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Francis Rooney

Florida’s 19th Congressional District

 

Rep. Donna Shalala

Florida’s 27th Congressional District

 

Rep. Sanford D. Bishop

Georgia’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Lucy McBath

Georgia’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Austin Scott

Georgia’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jody Hice

Georgia’s 10th Congressional District

 

Rep. Tom Graves

Georgia’s 14th Congressional District

 

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

Hawaii’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Russ Fulcher

Idaho’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Bobby Rush

Illinois’ 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Daniel Lipinski

Illinois’ 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi

Illinois’ 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Bradley Schneider

Illinois’ 10th Congressional District

 

Rep. Lauren Underwood

Illinois’ 14th Congressional District

 

Rep. John Shimkus

Illinois’ 15th Congressional District

 

Rep. Darin LaHood

Illinois’ 18th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jim Banks

Indiana’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Susan Brooks

Indiana’s 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. André Carson

Indiana’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Trey Hollingsworth

Indiana’s 9th Congressional District

 

Rep. Brett Guthrie

Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Andy Barr

Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Sharice Davids

Kansas’ 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Ron Estes

Kansas’ 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Anthony Brown

Maryland’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. David Trone

Maryland’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Lori Trahan

Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Joseph Kennedy

Massachusetts’ 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Katherine Clark

Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ayanna Pressley

Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jack Bergman

Michigan’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. John Moolenaar

Michigan’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Daniel Kildee

Michigan’s 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. Fred Upton

Michigan’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Tim Walberg

Michigan’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Elissa Slotkin

Michigan’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Haley Stevens

Michigan’s 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. Angie Craig

Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Dean Phillips

Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Betty McCollum

Minnesota’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ilhan Omar

Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. Collin Peterson

Minnesota’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Ann Wagner

Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Sam Graves

Missouri’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Steven Palazzo

Mississippi’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Greg Gianforte

Montana’s Congressional District

 

Rep. Christopher Smith

New Jersey’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Frank Pallone

New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Tom Malinowski

New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Bill Pascrell

New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District

 

Rep. Mikie Sherrill

New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. Debra Haaland

New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small

New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Ben Lujan

New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman

New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District

 

Rep. Kathleen Rice

Ney York’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Max Rose

New York’s 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. Sean Maloney

New York’s 12th Congressional District

 

Rep. Adriano Espaillat

New York’s 13th Congressional District

 

Rep. Sean Maloney

New York’s 18th Congressional District

 

Rep. Antonio Delgado

New York’s 19th Congressional District

 

Rep. Paul Tonko

New York’s 20th Congressional District

 

Rep. Anthony Brindisi

New York’s 22nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Joseph Morelle

New York’s 25th Congressional District

 

Rep G. Butterfield

North Carolina’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. David Rouzer

North Carolina’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Richard Hudson

North Carolina’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Alma Adams

North Carolina’s 12th Congressional District

 

Rep. Brad Wenstrup

Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Joyce Beatty

Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Marcia Fudge

Ohio’s 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. David Joyce

Ohio’s 14th Congressional District

 

Rep. Steve Stivers

Ohio’s 15th Congressional District

 

Anthony Gonzalez

Ohio’s 16th Congressional District

 

Rep. Kevin Hern

Oklahoma’s 1st Congressional District

 

Rep. Frank Lucas

Oklahoma’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Greg Walden

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Oregon’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Brendan Boyle

Pennsylvania’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Mary Scanlon

Pennsylvania’s 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. Susan Wild

Pennsylvania’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Scott Perry

Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District

 

Rep. Connor Lamb

Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jeff Duncan

South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. William R. Timmons

South Carolina’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Dusty Johnson

South Dakota’s Congressional District

 

Rep. Tim Burchett

Tennessee’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Mark Green

Tennessee’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. David Kustoff

Tennessee’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Steve Cohen

Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District

 

Rep. Lance Gooden

Texas’ 5th Congressional District

 

Rep. K. Conaway

Texas’ 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. Kay Granger

Texas’ 12th Congressional District

 

Rep. Mac Thornberry

Texas’ 13th Congressional District

 

Rep. Veronica Escobar

Texas’ 16th Congressional District

 

Rep. Joaquin Castro

Texas’ 20th Congressional District

 

Rep. Chip Roy

Texas’ 21st Congressional District

 

Rep. Pete Olson

Texas’ 22nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Roger Williams

Texas’ 25th Congressional District

 

Rep. Henry Cuellar

Texas’ 28th Congressional District

 

Rep. Collin Allred

Texas’ 32nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Bobby Scott

Virginia’s 3rd Congressional District

 

Rep. Ben Cline

Virginia’s 6th Congressional District

 

Rep. Abigail Spanberger

Virginia’s 7th Congressional District

 

Rep. Donald Beyer

Virginia’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Jennifer Wexton

Virginia’s 10th Congressional District

 

Rep. Gerard Connolly

Virginia’s 11th Congressional District

 

Rep. Rick Larsen

Washington’s 2nd Congressional District

 

Rep. Dan Newhouse

Washington’s 4th Congressional District

 

Rep. Kim Schrier

Washington’s 8th Congressional District

 

Rep. Adam Smith

Washington’s 9th Congressional District

 

Rep. Denny Heck

Washington’s 10th Congressional District

 

Rep. Bryan Steil

Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District

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About

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 38th year. Each year, a Republican and Democratic Member of the House are selected to serve as Co-Chairs. The 2019 competition was co-chaired by Rep. French Hill (R-AR) and Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ). 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 he 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.