Each spring, a nation-wide high school arts competition is sponsored by the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives. The Artistic Discovery Contest is an opportunity to recognize and encourage the artistic talent in the nation, as well as in our congressional district.

The Artistic Discovery Contest is open to all high school students in the District. The over-all winner of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will also include artwork from other contest winners nation-wide.

Art works entered in the contest may be up to 26” x 26” x 4”, (that is 2 inches smaller than last year). The artwork may be:

  • Paintings - including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings - including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers
  • Collage
  • Prints - including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints
  • Mixed Media
  • Computer Generated Art
  • Photography

Each entry must be original in concept, design and execution, and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws. Only one entry is allowed to be submitted per person. Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or drawing). Winning artwork will hang in the Capital 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 must not contain any  image that is inappropriately perceived by the general public; this includes nudity, sexual content, grotesque violence or gore. Evaluation of the pieces’ appropriateness for public display is at the complete discretion on Congressman Blum’s office. Any piece that is deemed to violate these parameters of appropriateness will be immediately disqualified.

To Participate:

  1. Please visit https://tinyurl.com/BlumArt2017 and enroll online with Mr. Blum’s office. This form works best with Google Chrome

  2. Complete and submit the  “2017 Congressional Art Competition Student Information and Release” (will be emailed to you. The National Art Competition has not release the forms yet.)

  3. The actual pieces of Art must be submitted to one of the district offices by April, 24th 2016.

Pieces may either be mailed directly to the office or dropped of in person.  If dropped off in person, it is STRONGLY recommended that an appointment is made to ensure that a member of the staff will be at the office to meet you.

Office locations are:

Dubuque Office:
1050 Main St.
Dubuque, IA 52001
Ph: (563)-557-7780

Cedar Falls Office:
515 Main St.
Cedar Falls, IA 50613
Ph: (319)-266-6925

Cedar Rapids Office:
310 3rd St. SE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
Ph: (319)-364-2288

Public Gallery Display & Competition Reception:
Qualifying pieces will be exhibited at a location and time to be determined.  A public reception announcing the winner and honoring the participants with Congressman Blum is also being organized.

Judging and Placing:Each piece will be judged in accord with an established criteria by art professors at the University of Northern Iowa.  

  • First Place: The winning piece will be shipped out for display at the U.S. Capitol for a period of 1 year. Winner will receive complimentary round trip airfare to attend a winners reception in Washington D.C. at a date TBD in June.

  • Second Place: This piece will be displayed in Congressman Blum’s Washington office for a period of 1 year.

  • Honorable Mentions: Three honorable mentions will be identified. These pieces will be displayed in Congressman Blum’s three district offices for a period of 1 year.

Any questions may be directed to Jack Mescher at jack.mescher@mail.house.gov or by calling 563-557-7789

Stay Connected

Use the form below to sign up for my newsletter and get the latest news and updates directly to your inbox.