High School Students Invited To Create Art For Congressional Art Competition

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Every year, Members of Congress are allowed to display one piece of artwork by a high school student from their district in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

Congressman Adam Smith, who represents Washington’s 9th Congressional District (which includes Burien), is holding an annual judged art competition to select which local art receives this honor, with a deadline of April 9th.

The selected student will win prizes and be invited to attend the national reception for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, May 24, 2010 in Washington, DC.  two round-trip airline tickets are donated for travel to DC.  The winning entry will be displayed in the U.S. Capitol for one year.

Prizes also include a scholarship to the Savannah Collage of Art and Design.

If you have any questions or want to receive electronic updates about Rep. Adam Smith’s Congressional Art Contest please contact Ms. Debra Entenman   (253) 593-6600 or email: [email protected]

For contest guidelines, please download the forms from Adam’s website here.

2010 Congressional Arts Competition:

The Congressional Arts Competition allows each Member of Congress to display one piece of artwork, created by a high school student in their district, in the Capitol for one year.

Entries for the 9th Congressional District Art Contest are due by 5:00 PM on Friday April 9, 2010. All submissions should be sent to:

Congressman Adam Smith
2209 Pacific Avenue, Suite B
Tacoma, Washington 98402

Additionally, during the month of April, most entries will be on display at Tacoma Art Museum (1701 Pacific Avenue).  However, please be advised that due to space limitations it may not be possible to display all entries.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the Art Exhibition and Reception on Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 1:00 pm at The Tacoma Art Museum.

The winning student will win prizes and be invited to attend the national reception for a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, June 17, 2010 in Washington, DC.  Three round-trip airline tickets are donated for travel to DC.  The winning entry will be displayed in the Cannon tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for one year.

2010 Congressional Art Competition Guidelines:

The competition is open to high school students only. Exceptions will be made for schools that have 7th through 12th grades on one campus. Each Member’s office can choose whether or not to include 7th and 8th grades in the art competition if there are schools in its district that fit these criteria. Additionally, official resources are to be used only to the extent authorized by the Committee on House Administration and the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

In order to allow artwork to hang in the Cannon Tunnel in the U.S. Capitol, the following restrictions are enforced:

  • Artwork must be two dimensional;
  • Each piece can be no larger than 28”x28”x 4” (28 inches high, 28 inches wide, and 4 inches deep) including the frame. Artwork cannot weigh more than 15 lbs;
  • 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 must arrive in Washington by May 24, 2010 for inclusion in the exhibition.
  • 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.

    Last year's Congressional art contest winner Arunan Mukphrom with Congressman Adam Smith at his office in Washington DC. The winning artist and their family were invited to Washington, D.C. to see their artwork hung in the Capitol.

Artwork accepted mediums are as follows:

  • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings: pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, markers
  • 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

Paper Work:

A typed and securely affixed large label must be applied to the back of each piece. Also provide a typed copy of the Student Release form, signed by both the teacher and the student, must be attached to the back of the artwork to certify the originality of the piece.

The winning artist’s student release form along with the Member Approval form should be sent to DC via fax to 202.225.3012, attn: 2010 Art Competition, as soon as you have chosen a winning artwork .

Release forms and Member Approval forms must be received by May 28th. This will allow us to determine if more information is required from the student before actually receiving the artwork.

The final decision regarding the suitability of all artwork for the 2010 Congressional Art Competition exhibition in the Capitol will be made by a panel of qualified persons chaired by the Architect of the Capitol.

Artwork must adhere to the policy of the House Office Building Commission.

In accordance with this policy, exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or a sensationalistic or gruesome nature are not allowed.

It is necessary that all artwork be reviewed by the panel chaired by the Architect of the Capitol and any portion not in consonance with the Commission’s policy will be omitted from the exhibit.

Framing Guidelines:

High School students in Washington's District 9 are eligible.

Framing guidelines apply only to the ONE winning artist/artwork that will be sent to Washington, DC.

All artwork must be framed. Frames should be kept as simple and sturdy as possible.

Metal frames are recommended. No “snap on” frames with glass are to be used.

All artwork must be protected by Plexiglas or glass. Plexiglas is preferred. If glass is used, special packing and shipping arrangements are encouraged to ensure that the work is not damaged if the glass breaks.

All works, including frame, should be no larger than 28 inches high, 28 inches wide, and 4 inches deep, to the outside of the frame, and 15 lbs. in weight. Please double check the size before sending the entry to Washington, DC. Due to wide participation of Member offices, framed work larger than the specified dimensions will be turned away.

Matting can enhance or detract from a work of art and should be carefully prepared.

Use sturdy picture hangers on the back of the frame. Two sturdy eye hooks should be attached at the top right and left sides of the back of the work for hanging in order to prevent the work from leaning forward or hanging unevenly. Do not put wire between the hooks for hanging; these will be added when the artwork is hung in the Capitol.

Do not attach labels, ribbons, etc. to the front of the piece or underneath the glass or Plexiglas.

If the artwork is abstract in design, please indicate on the backside which side is “up” with arrows.

As directed by the House Oversight and Standards of Official Conduct Committees, each district winner is responsible for framing his or her own entry. Any hardship case should be assisted at the district level; works can no longer be framed by the Architect of the Capitol.

A typed copy of the Student Information & Release Form must be securely attached to the back of the artwork.

More information on this art competition is available at Adam Smith’s website.

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