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Congressman Juan Vargas

Representing the 51st District of California

Congressional Art Competition

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

I am proud to have the opportunity to select a new student to represent California’s 51st Congressional District for 2020. The culmination of the competition will be the year-long display of the winning artwork in the Cannon House Office Building tunnel.

This year's competition theme is: Unsung Heroes of California's 51st Congressional District

General Guidelines:

The competition is open to high school students only. Exceptions may be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus. Artwork must be two-dimensional, cannot weigh more than 15 pounds and each piece can be no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep), including the frame. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it will be required to be framed and must still adhere to the size guidelines.

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo (not the student’s own), painting, graphic, advertisement, or any other work produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. 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 students earlier. Students should, therefore, submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.

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

The deadline to submit (mail or drop off) artwork to my office is Friday, April 24th, 2020 at 5:00 PM. Please attach the following to the back of the artwork: 

Student Release Form

Office Locations:

Chula Vista District Office |333 F Street, Suite A | Chula Vista, CA 91910 |Ph: 619.422.5963

El Centro District Office |380 North 8th Street, Suite 14 | El Centro, CA 92243| Ph: 760.312.9900                          

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Karla Langham at 619-422-5963 or


2020 Rules for Students and Teachers 

PDF iconA Guide To Copyright and Plagiarism .pdf