Congressional Art Competition

Congressional Art Contest Winner2017 Congressional Art Competition

Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson invites high school students across the second congressional district to enter the 2017 High School Congressional Art Competition. This annual competition encourages Idaho's aspiring student artists to showcase their talents to the public, while recognizing their achievements alongside hundreds of other students and members of Congress from across the country. Since the Artistic Discovery competition began in 1982, more than 650,000 high school students have participated.

Students that enter the competition will have a chance to win a round trip flight to Washington D.C. to attend a special reception and see their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol Building. One grand-prize winner from Congressman Simpson’s district will be selected during a local reception in April, and will visit Washington D.C. in June.

2017 Competition Theme

This year’s theme is titled, Many Faces, One Idaho, and encourages students to create a work of art about the 21st century challenges facing the state.

As one of the fastest growing states in the country, Idaho’s landscape is changing. Rural counties are giving way to urban cities, sparse populations are growing and diversifying, and economies are adapting to new technology and consumer preferences. With these changes, many residents are asking themselves ‘what does it means to be an Idahoan today?’ Students are asked to create one piece of artwork based on their interpretation of this theme.

Official Rules, Guidelines, and Deadlines

The United States House of Representatives and the Congressional Institute are the sponsors of this national competition. The grand-prize winner from Idaho will be selected by a panel of artist from the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, in consultation with Congressman Simpson. The grand prize winner and one guest will fly on Southwest Airlines to Washington D.C. for the unveiling ceremony in June, 2017. Additional awards and recognition will be presented during a local reception for all students who enter.

Artists interested in participating must deliver or send their artwork to one of Congressman Simpson’s district offices before 4:00 p.m. on March 17th. Once artwork is submitted, the Art Museum of Eastern Idaho will commission a panel of experts to jury all submissions. The grand-prize entry will be professionally framed at no cost and shipped to Washington D.C. in May for installation inside the U.S. Capitol Building. All submitted artwork will be showcased from April 8th - April 29th during the Museum’s Young at Art exhibit. The grand-prize winner will be announced during a reception on April 14th in Idaho Falls. 

Artwork Guidelines

  • Two-dimensional artwork only.
  • Maximum artwork dimensions are 28” high x 28” wide x 4” thick. 
  • The grand prize print will be professionally framed at no cost, but should be at least 4” smaller than the maximum dimensions above to allow for a frame.
  • Entries should be matted for hanging. Black or neutral toned matting is suggested.
  • Artwork must be original in concept and design, and may not violate U.S. copyright laws.
  • Only one entry per student.
  • Each student must include a signed release form with their artwork.
Artwork Categories
  • Paintings
  • Drawings
  • Collage
  • Printmaking
  • Mixed Media
  • Computer Generated Art
  • Photography

Entry Locations

Artwork can be mailed or submitted in person at any one of Congressman Simpson’s Idaho district offices in Boise, Twin Falls, or Idaho Falls.

802 W. Bannock Street
Suite 600
Boise, Idaho 83702
(208) 334-1953
Twin Falls
1341 Fillmore Street
Suite 202
Twin Falls, Idaho 83301
(208) 734-7219
Idaho Falls
410 Memorial Drive
Suite 203
Idaho Falls, Idaho 83402
(208) 523-6701

Key Competition Dates

  • March 17, 2017 – Student artwork due to Congressman Simpson’s district offices.
  • April 14, 2017 – Student reception and winner notification in Idaho Falls, Idaho.
  • April 8-29, 2017 – Student artwork on display at The Art Museum of Eastern Idaho
  • May 15, 2017 – Student artwork returns to schools.
  • May 22, 2017 – Grand prize winner’s artwork sent to Washington D.C.
  • June 2017 – Congressional Art Competition reception and unveiling in Washington D.C.
  • June 2018 – Grand prize winner’s artwork returns from Washington D.C.

Point of Contact

Any additional questions should be directed to Ethan Huffman at (208) 523-6701, or