Overview & Theme

The Congressional Art Competition is a decades-long tradition meant to encourage and recognize the rich talent of young artists throughout the country. Every spring, Congressman Sessions invites students from the 17th District to join this annual competition and showcase their artistic skills. 

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all students grades 9–12 who reside or attend school in the 17th District. We will have four semi-final art competitions and the Semi-Finalist of each region will go on to the finals judged by an independent panel of judges. The winner from Texas' 17th District will have their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol; student-winners will also be sent a copy of a full-color book that exhibits each first-place artwork. The exhibit in Washington, D.C., will include the winning artwork from all participating districts from around the country. The winning artwork is also featured on Congressional Art Competition page.

This year’s theme for Texas’ 17th Congressional District will be “Patriotism in America” as an opportunity for students to showcase why they are proud to be an American. All submissions must fit within the artist's interpretation of the theme.

Rules & Requirements

Artwork entered in the contest may be a maximum 26 inches by 26 inches, minimum of 12 inches by 12 inches, may be up to 4 inches in-depth, and can 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.

Forms of art may include:

  • 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


  • Students must submit all required forms in order for the entry to be complete and verified.
  • The artwork must be two-dimensional and each piece can be no larger than 26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep and no smaller than 12 inches by 12 inches.
  • Students are only permitted to submit two art pieces.
  • Complete guidelines and rules for teachers and students and the Student Release form can be found below, download the form to complete it. Please send the Entry Form by email to Tori.Magers@mail.house.gov, or send to my Waco Office at 400 Austin Ave., Suite 302, Waco, TX 76701-2139 no later than April 10th.
  • If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must arrive in Washington D.C. framed. The student is responsible for the framing of their piece and delivery to the Congressman's District office. Even when framed, it must still measure no larger than the maximum dimensions above. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.
  • All entries must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate any US 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.


Fillout the following forms and send them to our Waco District Office to submit artwork for the Congressional Art Competition:

  • Lufkin & Huntsville Offices– March 25, at 5:00 pm
  • Waco & Nacogdoches Offices– March 26, at 5:00 pm

For more details on art entry and drop-off, please view the guidelines below:

For any additional questions or information, please visit the Congressional Art Competition website, or contact our Waco office at 254-633-4500.