Art Competition

The Congressional Art Competition was started in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 650,000 high school students have been involved with the nationwide competition. The competition is open to all high school students (grades 9 - 12) currently enrolled in the 7th District. The winner of our district competition will have their artwork displayed for one year in the U.S. Capitol and will receive two round-trip flights to Washington D.C. to attend a congratulatory reception.

2024 Winners

The theme for the 2024 Congressional Art Competition was "Alabama Story Makers: The Historic People and Places of the Cotton State."

Click each submission to view:

  • 1st Place - "Pratt City Cemetery" by Madison Barrentine, 12th grader at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 2nd Place - “Oliver Cotton Gin” by Kennedy Rose Kimbrough, 12th grader at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham, Alabama
  • 3rd Place - “Rosa” by Onda McNight, 9th grader at the Capitol School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Honorable Mention - “First White House of the Confederacy” by Emma Hutto, 9th grader at Jackson Academy in Jackson, Alabama
  • Honorable Mention - “Untitled” by Jazzlynn Carnethon at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Honorable Mention - “Rise of Cotton” by Rayne Moore, 12th grader at Hillcrest High School in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Honorable Mention - “George Washington Carver” by Kevin Beamon, 9th grader at Johnson Abernathy Graetz High School in Montgomery, Alabama


General Guidelines
  • The competition is open to high school students only. 
  • Artwork must be 2-dimensional.
  • Each piece can be no larger than 26” x 26” x 4” (26 inches high, 26 inches wide, and 4 inches deep), including the frame. If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it will be required to be framed and must adhere to the size guidelines.
  • Artwork cannot weigh more than 15 lbs.
  • A full list of rules can be found here.

Accepted Mediums

  • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings: pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, markers
  • Collage
  • Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
  • Computer-Generated Art
  • Photography
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two media listed above

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 (other than 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).

All participants of the district competition are invited to attend the 2024 Congressional Art Competition Reception where we will announce the overall winner (additional information to follow).

Upon selection, the chosen winner’s artwork will hang in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year. The winner and a guardian will also receive roundtrip airfare to D.C. for a national reception and a potential scholarship opportunity.

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. The panel will make the final decision regarding the suitability of all artwork for the Congressional Art Competition exhibition in the Capitol.

Students with additional questions about the art competition should contact Delphine Lee in Congresswoman Sewell’s Montgomery Office at (334) 262-1919.

Click here to download the 2024 Congressional Art Competition submission packet.