Art Competition

All high school students in the First District of Nebraska are eligible to compete in the Congressional District High School Arts Contest. The winner of the contest will have his or her artwork displayed in the U.S. Capitol Building for one year. For more information, please contact the Congressman's Lincoln District Office at:

Congressman Fortenberry's District Office
301 South 13th Street, Suite 100
Lincoln, NE 68508
Phone: (402) 438-1598
Fax: (402) 438-1604

General Guidelines:

The competition is open to high school students only.

For submission deadlines please contact the Lincoln District Office at (402) 438-1598.

In order to allow a work of art to hang in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol, the following restrictions are necessary:

  • Two-dimensional only.
  • Each work of art can be no larger than 30 inches by 30 inches to the outside dimensions of the frame.
  • Artwork can not be more than 4 inches in depth.
  • Artwork must arrive in Washington framed to the appropriate framing guidelines

Artwork categories are as follows:

  • Paintings (oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.)
  • Drawings (pastels, colored pencil, pencil, charcoal, ink, markers, etc.)
  • Collage: must be two dimensional
  • Prints (lithographs, silkscreen, block prints)
  • Mixed media
  • Computer generated art
  • Photography

Each entry must be an original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate any U.S. copyright laws.

Note: Any entry which has been reproduced from an existing photo, painting or any other work produced by another person is a violation of the competition rules and WILL NOT be accepted.

Suitability Guidelines:

The final decision regarding suitability for the exhibition in the Capitol will be made by a panel of qualified persons chaired by the Architect of the Capitol. While it is not the intent to censor any artwork, we do wish to avoid the situation of hanging artwork that is potentially controversial and inappropriate for display in the Capitol. Artwork must adhere to the policy of the House Office Building Commission, which prohibits exhibits depicting subjects of contemporary political controversy or of a sensationalistic or gruesome nature. It is necessary that all artwork be reviewed by the panel chaired by the Architect of the Capitol and candidates should be aware that any portions not in consonance with the Commission’s policy will be omitted from the exhibit.

Framing Guidelines:

As directed by the House Oversight and Standards of Official Conduct Committees, each district winner is responsible for framing his or her winning entry.

  • Framed work should be no larger than 30 inches high, 30 inches wide, and 4 inches deep including the outside dimensions of the frame. Please double check size before sending the entry to Washington.
  • Frames should be as simple and as sturdy as possible. Metal frames are recommended.
  • Matting can enhance or detract from a work of art and should be carefully prepared.
  • All work, except for oil paintings, should be protected by Plexiglas or glass.
  • Plexiglas is better to use than glass over the artwork in order to avoid breakage. If glass is used, cover the entire surface completely with masking tape prior to shipping.
  • Use sturdy hangers. Two hooks should be attached at the top and at the right and the left sides of the back of the work in order to prevent the work from leaning forward or hanging unevenly.
  • No “snap on” frames with glass are to be used.
  • Since frames will be suspended by wire from overhead molding, please do not put wire between the hooks.
  • Do not attach labels, ribbon, 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.
  • A copy of the Student Information Release Form must be attached to the back of the artwork along with an adhesive label. Label must include the following information: state, member's name, title of piece, student's name, student's address and phone number, and medium.