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Art Competition

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 1st District. The winning artwork of our district's competition will be displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol. The exhibit in Washington will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on's Congressional Art Competition page.

The following is a summary of the Congressional Art Competition rules:

Artwork entered in the contest may be up to 28 inches by 28 inches, may be up to 4 inches in depth, and not weigh more than 15 pounds. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive framed and must still measure no larger than the above maximum dimensions.

  • Paintings - including oil, acrylics, and watercolor
  • Drawings - including pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, and markers (It is recommended that charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages - must be two dimensional
  • Prints - including lithographs, silkscreen, and block prints
  • Mixed Media - use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photography

All entries 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 or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement) that was created by someone other than the student 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).

The rules, checklist, and release form for the 2016 competition are scheduled to be posted in early February on

2016 Art Competition Details


Any questions may be directed to Jack Mescher at or by calling 563-557-7789.

To Participate:

  1. Please visit  and register online with Mr. Blum’s office. (This form works best with Google Chrome)
    • All students must identify an art teacher/faculty advisor in order to participate.
  2. Complete and submit the “2016 Congressional Art Competition Student Information and Release,” available at
    • This form must be physically submitted and signed with the actual piece of art to one of Mr. Blum’s district offices by April 20, 2016.
  3. The actual pieces of Art must be submitted to one of the district offices by April 20, 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 and numbers are located at the bottom of this page:

Public Gallery Display & Competition Reception:

Qualifying pieces will be exhibited at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls from April 26th to May 7th 2016.  A reception with Congressman Blum and competition judges, announcing the 1st place winner and honorable mentions, will take place on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 6:00PM. All participants are invited to attend with their teachers, families and friends at the University of Northern Iowa Gallery of Art located in the Kamerick Art Building South in on the UNI Campus.  

Judging and Placing:

Each piece will be judged in accord with an established criteria by art professors at the University of Northern Iowa.  Winning pieces will be framed at no cost by a competition sponsor.

  • First Place: The winning piece will be shipped out for display at the U.S. Capitol for a period of one 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 one year.
  • Honorable Mentions: Three honorable mentions will be identified. These pieces will be displayed in Congressman Blum’s three district offices.

2016 CAC Participate Packet