NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS – Each spring, the Congressional Institute sponsors a nationwide high school visual art competition to recognize and encourage artistic talent in the nation and in each congressional district. The competition provides an opportunity for members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents.

The Congressional Art Competition is a decades-long tradition meant to encourage and recognize the rich talent of young artists throughout the country, according to U.S. Congressman  Pete Sessions. Every spring, Congressman Sessions invites students from the 17th District to join this annual competition and showcase their artistic skills. This year’s theme for the 17th Congressional district is “Patriotism in America” as an opportunity for students to showcase why they are proud to be an American.

A reception to recognize participants and announce top winners in the Deep East Texas District will be at 6 p.m. Friday, April 5, at The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House in downtown Nacogdoches. Sessions will be present to congratulate the winners in first, second, third and fourth places.

The Congressional Art Competition is open to all ninth- through 12th-grade students who reside or attend school in the 17th District. 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 Cole Art Center is located at 329 E. Main St. Visit this website for more information about the competition.