Art & Essay Contest

The Art & Essay Contest is one of Atlantic Institute’s educational events. Consistent with the Atlantic Institutes’ mission of promoting pluralism and bringing people from different backgrounds together, Art & Essay Contest (A&E) aims to

  • Bring middle and high school students from different states together
  • Promote awareness on issues of common concern among the youth
  • Facilitate their personal and academic growth through a healthy competitive environment, and
  • Inspire them to make a positive change in their communities. Since, annual Art & Essay Contest attracts submissions from around several public, private, and charter schools.

Scholastic Art & Writing Awards - Alliance for Young Artists & Writers

Art categories, a note on size limitation for all art categories.

Regional programs may limit the size of work that they accept. Check out your regions guidelines  for details.

Oversized works that earn National Medals are not guaranteed opportunities for display in the National Exhibition.

Collaborative works are not allowed in any art categories. To credit contributors on Expanded Projects and Film & Animation, follow the instructions for those categories. 

Architecture & Industrial Design

Category description.

This category also includes industrial design plans for models of structures, environments, systems, or products.

Examples (including but not limited to)

Building designs, landscape designs, interior designs, urban plans, or product designs. Can include 2D work such as hand-drawn sketches, computer-aided designs, blueprints, and floor plans, OR 3D work such as handmade or 3D-printed scale models, conceptual models, sketch models, or prototypes. 

Special Instructions

Plans may be hand-drawn or computer-generated. Models must be sturdy and able to endure shipping and exhibition. 

Entry Requirements 

Each entry requires four images of your piece. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. For 2D works, show your plans in detail. You may choose to include concept drawings, sketches, material palettes, sections, elevations, site plans and renderings in your image selection. For 3D works, include one image that shows the work from the front at a slight angle against a white or neutral colored background. For the remaining images include one detail shot, an image with a ruler for scale, and an image from the back of the work. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work.

View award-winning art

Additional Instructions

If you enter 2D work (a design as opposed to a model), select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields. 

3D Work (Height x Width x Diameter and Weight)

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Ceramics & Glass

Handcrafted objects made from ceramics or glass.

Anything made exclusively out of ceramics and/or glass belongs in this category. This includes busts, figures, abstract forms, vases, teapots, bowls, plates, cups, tiles, tableware, or other vessels. Ceramic pieces may include earthenware, stoneware, porcelain, etc. Glass pieces may include stained glass, cast glass, fused glass, blown glass, etc. 

  • Unfired ceramics and oil-based clay works should not be entered.
  • Ceramic or glass pieces intended to be worn for personal adornment should be entered in the Jewelry category.

Each entry requires four images of your piece. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. Include one image that shows the work from the front at a slight angle against a white or neutral colored background. For the remaining images include one detail shot, an image with a ruler for scale, and an image from the back of the work. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work.

A pictorial narrative in deliberate sequence—with or without text—that tells a story or develops an idea using single or multiple panels. Concepts for characters should be entered in Drawing & Illustration. 

Comic strips, comic books, storyboards, webcomics, or selections from graphic novels.

Do not base characters and plots on already published comic books or published series. 

You can upload up to eight images for each Comic Art entry. If your image includes text, enter the text of each panel in the field provided on the upload page. This will ensure jurors can read your work during judging. 

If your entry consists of more than one page, please indicate how many pages are in your entry in the space provided.

2D Work (Height x Width)

Art created for commercial or applied purposes. This includes graphic design work that has a defined use such as advertising or communications.

Magazine layouts, book covers, greeting cards, fonts, letterhead, business cards, calendars, or signage.

Special Instructions 

Work that is based off preexisting brands is discouraged. If your work references preexisting brands, your design must represent a new, original idea or contribute added value to the source material according to our Copyright & Plagiarism guidelines . 

You are strongly encouraged to upload four images for each Design entry.

If you are submitting a 2D work, select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields.

Digital Art

Artwork created digitally and intended to exist in a digital space or images that are heavily collaged or manipulated to produce a new image using digital tools. This includes illustrations created digitally. 

Digital collages, CGI, VR, digital painting, and fractal art.

  • Do not enter AI-generated art. 
  • Identify the software used to create the artwork in the “List Materials” section of your application (ex: Adobe Suite programs, Sketchbook, Procreate, Corel PaintShop, Clip Studio Paint, etc.). 
  • Digital artwork may contain text, but entries that contain text for commercial purposes should be entered in the Design category. 
  • Digital photographs that are “touched up” or lightly manipulated using computer software should be entered in the Photography category. 
  • Consider entering the Expanded Projects category if your work has a strong interactive element. 
  • If you are using collaged images, refer to the Copyright & Plagiarism guide .

You can upload one image for each Digital Art entry.

Drawing & Illustration

Art that is composed of marks made with dry materials on a 2D surface. Drawings include all renderings made by a manual or mechanical instrument on a surface and may include formal, realistic, and/or abstract imagery. Illustrations made with dry materials should be entered in this category. Illustrations made with paint should be entered in Painting and illustrations made digitally should be entered in Digital Art. Ink drawings colored with paint like watercolors should be entered in Drawing & Illustration. 

Pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, crayon, scratchboard, marker, ink drawings colored with paint, etc. 

  • Drawings copied from published photographs, the internet, or existing works should not be entered and will be disqualified. Refer to the Copyright & Plagiarism guide for more detailed information. 
  • Sequential illustrations should be entered in Comic Art. 
  • Illustrations made digitally should be entered in Digital Art. 
  • Illustrations made with paint should be entered in Painting. 
  • Illustrations that directly depict political or social commentary should be entered in the Editorial Cartoon category. 
  • Animated .gif files will not be accepted for this category. An uploaded .gif file will be adjudicated as a static .gif file. 
  • Do not upload .zip files for the category. Zip files will not be judged. 

You can upload one image for each Drawing or Illustration entry.

Editorial Cartoon sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation

A drawing or illustration or series of artworks that offers commentary or criticism on current events or political topics. 

About Herb Block

This category is sponsored by The Herb Block Foundation in honor of Mr. Block’s remarkable contribution to the genre of political cartoons. Visit  herbblockfoundation.org  to learn more and see examples of his work.

Single panel drawings with captions, sequential comic art, illustrations, digitally created drawings, or animated films with a political theme or message.

  • If your image includes text, enter the text of each panel in the field provided on the upload page. This will ensure jurors can read your work during judging. 
  • Multi-panel cartoons or other narrative illustrations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be entered in Comic Art.  
  • Illustrations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be entered in Drawing & Illustration or Digital Art depending on the tools used.  
  • Animations that do not contain commentary or criticism of a political event or current event should be entered in Film & Animation.

Expanded Projects

Interdisciplinary work that is primarily driven by concept or invites participation by a viewer or community. Expanded Projects may include the documentation of live art, installation, research-based practices, or interactive visual art. Expanded Projects do not include dance, music, theater, or spoken word poetry. 

Original work in this category will explore new genres, ideas, or experimental methods that could not be represented in other categories. The evaluation of skill may include both the way the work is documented and the conceptual background of the work in addition to the work’s construction. 

Expanded Projects that don’t fit the category description or that belong in another category will not be awarded. 

Documentation of live art, experimental video art, installation, site-specific or research-driven processes, conceptual art, social discourse, or community projects.

Do not enter dance, music, theater, or spoken word poetry to the Scholastic Awards.

Entry Requirements

You must upload 1-8 files that clearly present the work. (.pdf, .jpg, .png, .mp3, or .mp4)

The file size limit for each upload is 350 MB. If you are having trouble uploading a video file, please visit  Frequently Asked Questions .

Along with the work, you must submit a written statement that summarizes the work and contextualizes the provided files. This statement must not include your name or biographical information because it will be viewed by the judges.

  • Acknowledge contributors in the work sources section of your entry. 

Articles of clothing or fashion accessories other than jewelry (which should be entered in the Jewelry category). 

Fully realized articles and outfits, sketches, tech packs, jackets, dresses, shirts, gowns, scarves, hats, bags, belts, shoes, etc. as well as experimental designs, wearable art, and work made from found materials. 

Garments not intended to be worn on the body should be submitted to the Sculpture category.

Each entry requires four images of your design. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work .

If you enter a 2D work (a design as opposed to a model), select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields. 

Film & Animation

A sequence of moving images viewed with a monitor, television, or projector.

Documentary films, narrative films, commercials, experimental videos, as well as hand-drawn, computer-generated, or stop-motion animations, etc.

  • In your application, identify equipment and software used in the “List Materials” section. 
  • Since works are judged without knowledge of the student’s gender, age, or hometown, do not include any credits in your film. 

Copyrighted Music

The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers strongly encourages the use of original or public domain music. You cannot use copyrighted music in your work without the permission of the original artist.   

Teens who obtain copyrights to music must obtain documentation from the artist and reference it in the work sources section of your entry.  

If you use non-original music in your work, you must cite your source. 

Even if you have permission to use a piece of music or the music is in the public domain, the film or animation that you enter to the Scholastic Awards must represent a new, original work.  

If your work transforms some sort of source material, then it may be considered original. We define transformative work as a new work that adds value, substantially changes, comments on, or gives a new expression or meaning to the source. 

View our Copyright & Plagiarism guidelines for more information. 

  • Your film must be in one of the following formats: .mp4 or .mov 
  • You must enter the film synopsis in the provided textbox. 
  • If your entry is over 5 minutes long, we strongly encourage you to enter a 5-minute-or-under version. Judges will use the 5-minute version in their initial assessment of your work. 

For Film & Animation entries longer than 5 minutes, upload the following: 

  • A five-minute-or-under version of your film (the file size limit for this upload is 350 MB) 
  • The full-length version of your film. If your full film is under five minutes long, this second upload does not apply to you–do NOT upload a higher resolution of the same film. 
  • The file size limit for this upload is 800 MB.

Time-based Work (Minutes:Seconds)

Art objects worn for personal adornment.

Bracelets, rings, brooches, earrings, cufflinks, necklaces, etc.

Materials may include metal, semi-precious stones, plastic, beading, glass, found objects, etc.

Each entry requires four images of your jewelry. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. Include one image that shows the work from the front at a slight angle against a white or neutral colored background. For the remaining images include one detail shot, an image with a ruler for scale, and an image from the back of the work. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work.

Mixed Media

Wall-based artwork made from more than one medium, with a 3D or readymade element. This includes works made with physical and digital materials. 

Collage, assemblage, cut paper, handmade paper, batik, fiber-based art, etc. 

  • Combinations of painting and drawing applied only to one surface should be entered into either the Painting or Drawing categories. 
  • Mixed media pieces meant to be viewed in the round should be entered in the Sculpture category. 

Each entry requires four images of your Mixed Media piece. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. Include one image that shows the work from the front at a slight angle against a white or neutral colored background. For the remaining images include one detail shot, an image with a ruler for scale, and an image from the back of the work. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work.

If your mixed media entry does not have a 3D element, select “0” for the “Depth” and “Weight” fields. 

Art created by applying wet materials to a 2D surface. This includes illustrations made with any type of paint. If you use more than two non-paint materials or if you create a collage, your work should be entered in Mixed Media. 

Oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, tempera, ink, encaustic, fresco, spray paint, etc. applied on canvas, canvas board, paper, or any flat surface. 

  • Paintings copied from published photographs, the internet, or existing works should not be entered and will be disqualified. For more detailed information, check out the Copyright & Plagiarism guide . 

You can upload one image for each Painting entry.

Photography

Images captured by either an analog or digital camera.

Black and white photographs, color photographs, digital or analog photographs, photograms, other experimental photography, etc.

  • Do not enter AI-generated art.
  • Identify type of photographic techniques used in the “List Materials” section of online registration.
  • Editing software (Adobe Suite programs, Procreate, Corel PaintShop, Clip Studio Paint, etc.) is acceptable to use for minor touch-ups and image correction in a manner that replicates traditional darkroom techniques (cropping, dodging, burning, adjusting brightness, contrast, color balance, etc.). Heavily edited works should be entered in Digital Art. 
  • Works that are digitally collaged, cloned, layered, merged, distorted, or heavily manipulated with computer software must be entered in the Digital Art category. 
  • Each work entered in Photography should be a distinct image that presents a unique artistic vision.

Entering multiple similar images from the same series of photographs is highly discouraged. Part of the entry process to the Awards is determining which image best fulfills the Scholastic Awards criteria: originality, skill, and the emergence of a personal vision. 

You can upload one image for each Photography entry. Participants may enter up to 16 individual photo entries. 

Printmaking

Work made by transferring ink from one prepared surface (plate, screen, etc.) onto paper or another flat surface.

Woodcut/linocut, monotype, intaglio, lithography, etching, silkscreen printing, collagraph, etc.

Identify the printmaking technique used in the “List Materials” section of online registration.

Entry Requirement 

For each Printmaking entry, you can upload one image. 

Three-dimensional art objects created by carving, casting, or other shaping techniques that  can  have interactive qualities.

Modeled, carved, cast, constructed, or assembled objects, including artist books. Materials may include but are not limited to clay, cardboard, metal, acrylic, wood, glass, stone, marble, textiles, plastics, and found objects. 

  • Large-scale installation art should be entered into the Expanded Projects category.
  • Anything made  exclusively  out of ceramics and/or glass belongs in the Ceramics & Glass category.

Each entry requires four images of your Sculpture. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. Include one image that shows the work from the front at a slight angle against a white or neutral colored background. For the remaining images include one detail shot, an image with a ruler for scale, and an image from the back of the work. Visit our blog for tips on documenting your work.

Art Portfolio

(For Graduating Seniors Only)

A series of 6 distinct works that communicate a single cohesive idea or visual investigation. Works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories.

Graduating seniors may submit up to two Art Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

  • Each work within the Art Portfolio is subject to the same upload rules as its equivalent in individual categories. For example, a Sculpture work as part of a portfolio requires four images, while a Photography work requires one image. 
  • Work included in a portfolio may also be entered in an individual category (i.e., Drawing & Illustration, Mixed Media, etc.). Seniors may re-enter artworks that were entered to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their Art Portfolio. 
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the entries. 
  • You must provide an Artist Statement and Personal Statement —these are two separate statements. Do not copy and paste the same statement for both! 

Artist Statement:  Write about your art! This required statement should provide insight into your creative process: How did you curate the works in your portfolio? 

Consider questions like: 

  • What do you want viewers to understand about your collection of works? 
  • What are the key ideas, issues, struggles, or goals within the portfolio? 
  • Did you make deliberate decisions about materials, processes, etc.? 

Your artist statement should be at least 100 words must not exceed 500 words. The statement will be visible to jurors. Do not use self-identifying information in the statement. 

Personal Statement:  Write about you! Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it. 

  • What is a significant challenge, setback, or failure that you experienced? How did you respond to it? How did it affect you, and what did you learn from the experience? 
  • Have you ever had a long-cherished or accepted belief challenged? How did you respond? How did the challenge affect your beliefs? 

Your personal statement should be at least 100 words and must not exceed 500 words. This statement will be viewed by the scholarship committee if your work receives a Gold Key and goes on to be considered for a national portfolio scholarship award .

Writing Categories

Instructions for all writing categories.

  • Entries must be primarily in English. 
  • No identifying information, including the writer’s name, should appear anywhere on the manuscript, including areas such as a header or title page. 
  • For real people in non-fiction works, use fictional names. You do not need to change the name of public or historical figures. 
  • No illustrations, photographs, graphics, or hyperlinks are permitted in the body of the work. 
  • Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count. We do not require a specific citation format. It may help to view examples of past award-winning works in the Online Gallery . 
  • Collaborative works are not allowed in any categories. 

Critical Essay

Writing intended to inform or convince a reader about a specific idea or topic, such as art or media reviews, persuasive essays, opinion essays, etc. 

Sources must be cited. Footnotes/works cited are not considered part of the word count. We do not require a specific citation format. Use the citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) that best supports your work. 

View award-winning writing

500–3,000 words

Dramatic Script

Work that uses dialogue, action, and stage direction to tell a story, including scripts for television, film, or stage.

Excerpts can be entered but should be clearly labeled as excerpts. 

500–3,000 words. If the script exceeds 3,000 words, you may provide a 250-word summary and attach a PDF of the full script.

Flash Fiction

Highly focused stories characterized by brevity. Each piece should include a beginning, middle, and end. This should not be an excerpt of a longer work. Longer works may be better suited for the Short Story or Novel Writing categories. 

Please note word length for Flash Fiction compared to Short Story. Stories in which humor is a key element or speculative fiction like science fiction, fantasy, horror, or alternate histories should be entered in those respective categories. 

Maximum 1,000 words

Writing that uses comedic forms such as jokes, satire, farce, irony, parody, absurdity, comedic anecdote, etc. 

All work in which humor is the key element should be entered in this category. 

Writing that informs and educates about newsworthy topics or current events, characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events.

Writing intended for publication in newspapers, magazines, or online media and characterized by a presentation of facts or description of events. 

Works cited are not considered part of the word count. We do not require a specific citation format. Use the citation style (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) that best supports your work. 

Novel Writing

An excerpt from a long-form prose narrative. Provide an excerpt no longer than 3,000 words. Novel entries must also include a brief 250-word summary of the entire novel. Follow the detailed instructions below: 

  • Novel entries should be excerpted from completed manuscripts. The excerpt should be a complete chapter or section from a chapter. Use a sample that showcases your writing and story setup. 
  • Novel entries must include a summary (250 words or less) of the entire novel. The summary is meant to provide readers with an understanding of the full scope, themes, arc, and plot of your novel. The summary does not count toward the maximum word limit. Think about what would appear on the back cover of your book, but with spoilers! 
  • The writer’s name and school must NOT appear on any materials in the entry. 
  • Adaptations of or sequels to existing published works are not accepted. 

An excerpt up to 3,000 words and a 250-word summary of the entire novel. 

Personal Essay & Memoir

A non-fiction work based on opinion, experience, and/or emotion that explores a topic or event of importance to the author. 

Essays in which humor is the key element should be entered in the Humor category.

Writing in verse. May include but is not limited to prose poetry, free verse, formal poetry, song lyrics, and spoken word. 

Each entry consists of 1 poem. If you have more than one poem they should be entered separately as individual poetry pieces. If you have a longer form poem with sections, that should be entered as one piece. 

3–100 lines

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Writing in speculative fiction genres like science fiction, fantasy, horror, or alternate history. This writing uses supernatural, magical, futuristic, scientific, or technological themes as key elements of the narrative. These may include short stories or prose focused on world building, mythology, etc. 

All works in which science fiction/fantasy is the key element should be entered in this category. Do not base characters or plots on already published works (books, movies, comics, etc.). Works that are novel length should be entered in Novel Writing. 

Short Story

A fictional narrative that is written in prose.

Short Stories in which humor is a key element or speculative fiction like science fiction, fantasy, horror, or alternate histories should be entered in those respective categories. 

1,000–3,000 words

Writing Portfolio

A series of 6 distinct works that demonstrate versatility as a writer, diversity in writing techniques and styles, and a developed, cohesive voice. The works can come from one category or any combination of multiple categories. 

Graduating seniors may submit up to two Writing Portfolios, but may not submit the same work in both portfolios.

  • The word count for each piece submitted in a writing portfolio should adhere to the length limits listed in each individual category. The maximum length for a writing portfolio is 24,000 words (not including the writer’s statement).
  • Work included in a portfolio may also be entered in an individual category (i.e., Short Story, Critical Essay, etc.). 
  • Seniors may re-enter writing that was entered to the Scholastic Awards in a previous year as part of their writing portfolio. 
  • Do not include any identifying information, such as your name, in the title of your portfolio or the works included in the entry. 
  • You must provide a Writer Statement and a Personal Statement —these are two separate statements. Do not copy and paste the same statement for both! 

Writer Statement:  Write about your writing! This required statement should provide insight into how you curated your writing portfolio.

Consider questions like:

  • What do you want readers to understand about your collection of works? 
  • Did you make deliberate decisions about voice, literary devices, etc.? 

Your Writer Statement should be at least 100 words must not exceed 500 words. The statement will be visible to jurors. Do not use self-identifying information in the statement. 

Personal Statement:  Write about you! Tell a story from your life, describing an experience that either demonstrates your character or helped to shape it.  

Art & Essay Contest | Peace Islands Institute

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2022 Art & Essay Contest

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Dear Educators and Students,

Peace Islands Institute (PII) welcomes submissions for its 12 th Annual Art & Essay (A&E) Contest. This year’s theme is “Humanity and Technology!” Consistent with PII’s mission of promoting pluralism and bringing people from different backgrounds together, A&E Contest aims to (1) bring middle and high school students from around the state of New Jersey together, (2) promote awareness on issues of common concern among New Jersey youth, (3) facilitate their personal and academic growth through a healthy competitive environment, and (4) inspire them to make positive change in their communities. Since its inception in 2010, A&E Contest attracts submissions from around 200 New Jersey schools. The contest consists of two categories, art and essay, and is made up of two participant categories, middle school (grades 6 through 8) and high school (grades 9 through 12). Each participant can compete in one or both of art and essay categories. Please follow our Instagram account at @artandessay to stay up to date with the contest announcements.

PII’s mission is to facilitate a forum of mutual respect and collaboration, both welcoming and accepting varied viewpoints and voices with the intent to (1) develop original and alternative perspectives on vital issues that New Jersey is facing, (2) generate solutions to these issues, and (3) support successful practices. PII promotes education, friendship and harmony, and acting as an island of peace for all New Jerseyans of different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. Art and Essay Contest serves PII’s mission by instilling some of the peace-building values among the youth of our state and giving them a platform to express their vision of a strong and prosperous community based on the values of unity, education, welfare, and progress.

2022 Sponsors: TBA

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2022 PII Art & Essay Contest Theme:

This year’s theme is Humanity and Technology! We are seeking submissions examining how rapid technological advancements of the century impact humanity. Students could approach this subject through new opportunities or ethical concerns that have emerged resulting from new technology. Here are some ideas to ponder (not necessarily a comprehensive list):

How do new technologies, such as

  • social media,
  • smart mobile devices,
  • artificial intelligence/machine learning,
  • virtual reality/augmented reality,
  • or other new technology affect education, intellectual and emotional development of youth, arts, healthcare practices, consumption habits, social and familial relationships, etc.?

How do screen addiction affect us?

Has accessing credible information gotten easier or harder?

What makes an online content viral? [/av_textblock]

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Who Can Participate & Important Dates:

Students in grades 6-12 from the State of New Jersey can enter the contest. Each student may submit only one work in each category. 1. The participants have to send their works by May 31, 2022 at 5pm. 2. Winners will be announced on August 15, 2022 via our Instagram account and website . 3. The awards ceremony time and venue will also be announced via same platforms. [/av_textblock]

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Grades 9 through 12:

1. First Place – $500

2. Second Place – $400

3. Third Place – $300

4. 5 mentions – $100 each. [/av_textblock] [/av_one_fourth]

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Grades 6 through 8:

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Submit your 2021 contest Essay / Artwork here

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Contest Categories:
  •  Essay Contest a. The participants must submit their essays online on www.artandessay.org b. Essays must be original, unpublished, and written by one student. c. Each student may submit only one (1) essay. d. We ask teachers to sponsor students and guide them. Submissions must include teacher email addresses so that PII can confirm with teachers that they reviewed the submissions before PII receives them. e. Each essay should be no more than 1000 words. f. Each essay should be written in Microsoft Word, double-spaced, Times New Roman font, size 12, and should not have any image in the document. g. Essays may be one of the following types: (1) Informative Essay, (2) Narrative Story, or (3) True Story. h. Top three places and five mentions for each category of participants will have their names published on our website and will receive their prizes at the award ceremony Each submission will be judged on the basis of following criteria: (1) grammar, (2) uniqueness, (3) writing style and flow, and (4) understanding of the theme and its implementation in the piece. i. Each submission must include ⦁ Student name, ⦁ Grade, ⦁ School name, ⦁ Sponsoring Teacher’s Name, Phone number, and Email j. Participants automatically consent to their work being used and copied by Peace Islands Institute for promotional and/or informational purposes.
  • Visual Art Contest a. Art submissions must be received at the PII offices b. Artworks ranked in the top 15 will be displayed during the award ceremony. c. Participants may submit entries utilizing any medium in a 2-D format. Drawing, watercolour, oil paint, acrylic paint, collages, mixed media accepted. (No sculpture or photograph!). d. Submissions may be one of the following sizes: 16”X16, 16”X12 or 17”X11” e. A jury of art professionals will judge the submitted works on the basis of the following: (1) uniqueness, (2) creative/expressive use of materials, (3) artistry of execution, and (4) integration of medium and message (overall impact of the visual idea) f. Each submission must have on the back: ⦁ Student name ⦁ Grade ⦁ School name ⦁ Sponsoring Teacher’s Name, Phone number, and Email g. Participants automatically consent to their artwork being used and copied by Peace Islands Institute for promotional and/or informational purposes. h. No artwork will be returned to students.

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STATEWIDE MAILING ADDRESS: PO Box 26535 Greenville, SC 29616

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Mon-Fri 9 am - Noon Event Hours Vary, See Website.

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Atlantic Institute is a non-profit organization whose goal is to promote dialogue among people and towards issues that pertain to their lives..

Greenville Office | Ph: (864) 991-8089 Email: [email protected]

Charleston Office | Ph: (843) 790-3708 Email: [email protected]

Columbia Office | Ph: (803) 386-4377 Emai: [email protected]

  • Art & Essay Contest

Creativity Contest

22-2023 Theme: Embracing Diversity: How Can We Learn to Respect & Appreciate Different Cultures?

poster2022

Please click here to view and download our brochure in PDF format

CLICK HERE FOR ART SUBMISSIONS

CLICK HERE FOR ESSAY SUBMISSIONS

CLICK HERE FOR SHORT FILM SUBMISSIONS

21-2022 Theme: Social Connections: Maintaining humanity in the age of social media

202122contest

Middle School Essay Anna Grace Kellam Arien Chowdhury Bethany Grindle Elle Fennell Henry Hunter Jeffery Kotz Jesse Robbs Kelsey Land Kennedi Bell Samuel Hinckley Kitchen

High School Essay Caroline Grace Gilliam Catherine Milburn Dillon Rosario Jackson Clapp Lauren McNamara Linda Garziera Mac Malambri Megan Lane Reagan Nelson Susan Weng

Middle School Art Alayna McClain Caroline McInville Ella Lewis Ellexis Lee Hanalyn Weitekamper Hayden Byers Hayden Hasbrook Isabella Prosser Jaden Archie juliana faith valenzuela

High School Art Gabriella S Mejia Precilla Jada Cornish Shakura Edwards

Most "Liked" Art Precilla Jada Cornish

2021-2022 Middle School Essay Winners:

2021-2022 high school essay winners:, 2021-2022 middle school art winners:, 2021-2022 high school art winners:, 2021-2022 high school most "liked" art:.

2020-2021 Theme: "Fact or Fiction: Discerning Truth in Today's Society"

The Atlantic Institute hosted their Annual Art and Essay Awards Ceremony on Saturday, May 22, 2021 on zoom. Over 60 awards were given ranging from gift cards to Chicago Trips.

The first place winners got to share either their motivation behind their artwork or read their essays out loud to the entire audience. The first through third place winners in each category all won a trip to Chicago next year, as well as their teachers. The Most "Liked" Art Award was given to the student who received the most likes on Facebook where all the Artwork pictures were posted for a couple of weeks and put out to the public to vote on. All the winning artwork and Essays are available to look at below.

The Atlantic Institute would once again like to congratulate all of the Art and Essay Winners! All of you did outstanding work. It was a joy to see everyone come together to celebrate your creative talents.

2020-2021 Art and Essay Contest Winners

Middle School Art Winners:

Highschool art winners:, most "liked" winner:, high school essay winners, middle school essay winners.

  

2019-2020 Theme: "Embracing Differences & Encouraging Uniqueness."

The Atlantic Institute hosted their Tenth Annual Art and Essay Awards Ceremony on Saturday, June 6, 2020 on zoom. Over 60 awards were given ranging from gift cards to Chicago Trips.

2019-2020 Art and Essay Contest Winners

High School Art Winners:

Most “liked” award:, middle school essay winners:, high school essay winners:, 2018-19 art and essay contest awards ceremony.

The Atlantic Institute would like to thank the students, teachers, judges, and sponsors that participated in the 2018 Art and Essay Contest. The level of talent on display by the young artists and writers that submitted exceed our expectations. Thank you all, and congratulations to our winners!

Middle School Art Winners: Alyssa Lewis Antonio Fernandez-Parker Eliza Parrott Jamia Linen Breanna Gunton Marley Clark Maisie Cheek Zoe Lamb Juliana Lundgren Kayleigh (Abbey) Galloway

Middle School Essay Winners: Evangeline Bingham Noa Wallen Parker Burgio Christine Hudson Hannah Leach Riley Tuckmantel James Cudd Jessica Belous Collin O'Donnell Lauren Murdoch

High School Art Winners: Alexis Reinhardt Morgan O'Neal Nicole Ammerall Jeni Kim Lauren Sorrells Qingyi Tan Emilei Addington Marjorie Arnold Kyra Boykin Amber Enriquez

High School Essay Winners: Anna Jones Shahd Abdeladl Reiley Wilson M'Chaelah Brown Abigail Adams Shriya Kapoor Thomas Kane Nayha Hussain Rhiannon Thompson Hadaiya White

Most “Liked” Award: Hannah Melotte

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2017-18 Art and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony

Theme: "Looking Past Stereotypes - Accepting Others in Today's World." Atlantic Institute congratulates all students, parents, and teachers who participated to this wonderful event. More than two hundred people attended the Award Ceremony for 2017 Art & Essay Contest. The rewards were gift cards from $25 to $150 and a Trip to Peru for 1st place students and 1st place teachers.

2016-17 Art and Essay Contest

Theme: “compassion in action: caring matters.”.

Atlantic Institute congratulates all students, parents, and teachers who participated to this wonderful event. More than two hundred people attended the Award Ceremony for 2017 Art & Essay Contest. The rewards were gift cards from $25 to $200 and a Trip to Turkey for 1st through 3rd place students and 1st place teachers.

2016 Art and Essay Contest

Theme: ten days, teen weeks, ten months, ten hours: what can you accomplish.

Atlantic Institute congratulates all students, parents, and teachers who participated to this wonderful event. More than two hundreds of people have attended the Award Ceremony for 2016 Art & Essay Contest. The rewards were gift cards from $25 to $200 and a Trip to Turkey for students and teachers. We one more time thank them and hope to see in our next Art and Essay Contest!!!

2015 Art and Essay Contest

Theme: kindness without borders: open eyes, open hearts in our global village, columbia art and essay contest award ceremony photos:, 2014 art and essay contest, theme: connecting cultures in the digital age: how does social media change the future of our world.

Atlantic Institute (formerly South Carolina Dialogue Foundation) hosted their Fourth Annual Art and Essay Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 1st at the USC Law Auditorium. Over 200 Parents, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Siblings and other Family Members came out to support their child and their accomplishments. Over 40 awards were given ranging from gift cards to iPads to Turkey Trips.

The first place winners got to share either their motivation behind their artwork or read their essays out loud to the entire audience. The top three student winners in each category all won a trip to Turkey this summer, as well as the first place teachers. The audience was also able to hear from past Turkey trip participants and watch a short video on Turkey. A reception followed immediately where all of the Essays and Artwork were showcased for everyone to see. A short meeting afterward was held for all the Turkey Trip participants so they will know what to expect on their trip.

South Carolina Dialogue Foundation would once again like to Congratulate all of the Art and Essay Winners! All of you did outstanding work. It was a joy to see everyone come together to celebrate your creative talents.

Atlantic Institute (formerly South Carolina Dialogue Foundation) would like to thank the City of Greer for displaying the winning Art and Essay pieces for the next two weeks.

To visit these pieces you can go to 301 E Poinsett St, Greer, SC

If you are interested in hosting these pieces at your facility please contact [email protected]

2013 Art and Essay Contest

Theme: the human footprint on the environment: impacts & solutions.

 Participants gathered at the USC Law Auditorium for the 3rd Annual Art and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony. Parents, Teachers and School Administrators gathered to recognize the students and their accomplishments.

2012 Art and Essay Contest

Theme: 1 billion hungry in the world: what's your role.

 This summer's Art & Essay Contest Winners' Trip to Turkey was a great success! Students, their sponsoring teachers and supporting people traveled around the country for 9 days from June 15-24. The group had the opportunity to see many historical sites as well as get to know the culture very closely. In addition to visiting important sites like Hagia Sophia, Ephesus, Blue Mosque, House of Virgin Mary, underground city and carved chapels in Cappadocia, the group enjoyed dinners with local families. The group also visited a dialogue foundation and a private high school and had official visits in Ankara, the capital.

2012 Art and Essay Contest Winners' Trip to Turkey Photos

2011 art and essay contest, theme: empathy: walking in another's shoes.

Please enjoy the pictures from our First Art and Essay Contest held in 2011.

National Headquarters

art and essay contest

Art & Essay Contest

Giving military children a voice.

The annual Armed Services YMCA Art & Essay Contest gives military children a voice. It also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices military children, service members, and their families make for our country

2023 Contest Winners

The Art Contest is specifically for children grades 1-6. Winners were selected based on age range and received a Kindle Fire tablet. The theme for 2023 was  “The Winds of Change.”

Art Category

  • Ages 7-8: Evelyn Eskam, United States Marine Corps
  • Ages 9-10: Luke Roberson, United States Navy
  • Ages 11-12: Zoie Roberson, United States Navy

Children grades 1-12 are encouraged to participate in the Essay Contest. Winners were selected based on age ranges, and received a Kindle Fire tablet. The theme for 2023 was  “The Winds of Change.”

Essay Category

  • Ages 6-7: Maddy Peterson, United States Marine Corps
  • Ages 8-9: Mason Wolf, United States Air Force
  • Ages 10-12: Evelyn Diddams, United States Marines Corps
  • Ages 13-14: Sydney Morgan, United States Marines Corps
  • Ages 15-16: Alyss Valerio, United States Marines Corps
  • Ages 17-18: Steve Muro Jr, United States Air Force

2023 Creative Submissions

2023 Winners' Submissions

Download the booklet of this year's Art & Essay Winners' submissions

2023 All Participants' Submissions

Download the complete booklet of all this year's Art & Essay submissions

Program Overview

The 2023 annual contest submission period opens February 17, and runs through April 7. Winners will be announced at the end of April in honor of the Month of the Military Child. Entries may be submitted from military children living in the U.S. and abroad.

2023 Theme: “Winds of Change”

Like the dandelion, military kids go where the wind blows them and grow where they land. This year we ask military children:  How do you fly on the “Winds of Change?” 

Art Contest

The art contest promotes art among military children in grades 1–6 of active duty or retired (with 20+ years of service) members of the Armed Services, National Guard, or Reserves.

Essay Contest

The contest encourages military children to use creative writing to express themselves. The essay contest is open to military children in grades 1–12 of active duty or retired (with 20+ years of service) members of the Armed Services, National Guard, or Reserves.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Art and Essay contest is open to children of currently serving military (active duty, National Guard, or reserves) and retired service members (with 20+ years of service).

Artwork submissions are limited to children in grades 1 through 6.

Essay submissions are open to children in grades 1 through 12.

The ASYMCA uses an online submission process. Eligible participants can click the link to “Submit an Entry.” The entry form is in two parts: the first part collects the child’s information and includes a button to upload their submission; the second part collects information about their military sponsor.

During the submission period, you will find the link to the submission form at the bottom of this webpage.

Since all artwork will be submitted through an online portal, you will need to photograph or scan the art. This means there are no limitations on the size or type of art. Children can use any artistic medium of their choice, or even mix mediums to create unique works. Art can be flat, or dimensional. Your child is limited only by their imagination!

Essays should be no more than 500 words, related to the theme provided, and submitted in either .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt formats. Outside of these parameters, children have creative license in how they express themselves using the written word. Poetry, narratives, short stories, or traditional essays are all wonderful ways to tell a story.

For artwork, you can upload a pdf, png, or jpeg file.

For essays, you can upload .doc, .docx, .rtf, or .txt files.

The ASYMCA will collect your information for the purposes of this contest, which will include judging, awards, and digital publication of all submissions.

The ASYMCA will not sell or share your personal contact information to 3rd parties for the purpose of solicitation, but we will share  limited  information for the purposes of shipping prizes and for creating awareness (website, social media, printed collateral, etc). The limited information we share in regard to awareness usually includes the child’s name, age, service branch, and their submitted creative work.

For an example of how submitted info and works are shared, please see the 2023 Winners section above, which includes links to the most recent digital publication.

The Armed Services YMCA will award a Kindle Fire tablet to one child from each category and age range:

  • Art, Age 6-7
  • Art, Age 8-9
  • Art, Age 10-12
  • Essay, Age 6-7
  • Essay, Age 8-9
  • Essay, Age 10-12
  • Essay, Age 13-14
  • Essay, Age 15-16
  • Essay, Age 17-18

We’re happy to answer any questions you might have! You can  email us here  if you need more information, or clarification on the information provided.

art and essay contest

Submit your creative work

The 2023 submission period took place between February 17 and April 7. Submissions for this year's art and Essay Contest are currently closed, but we look forward to seeing your creative works next year!

IMAGES

  1. Winners Selected in CYO Art and Essay Contest

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  2. Art and Essay Contest for 6-12th Grade Students

    art and essay contest

  3. 10th Annual Art & Essay Contest

    art and essay contest

  4. Art and Essay Contest for 6-12th Grade Students

    art and essay contest

  5. USD Just Read! Student Essay/Art Contest

    art and essay contest

  6. MLK Art and Essay Contest winners announced

    art and essay contest

VIDEO

  1. Answering Art Questions 01 #artlesson #arttips

  2. ART CONTEST VOTING BATTLES! *LIVE*

  3. Art contest @OfficialMarblebussy (idk)

  4. ART CONTEST! Use #PHROGGIESARTCONTEST!

  5. Art contest winner announcement! || (6 Winners in total!) || #lunariesfanartcontest

  6. DRAWING your art contest designs in MY STYLE!! (PART 2)

COMMENTS

  1. Home

    My Region. Awards Discover how entering the Scholastic Awards opens the door for recognition, scholarships, and more. Programs Exhibitions and workshop for teens, professional development for educators. Support Empower creative teens and elevate youth voices with your support. Scholastic Awards News. Award-Winning Works. Learn About Scholarships.

  2. Art & Essay Contest

    The Art & Essay Contest is one of Peace Islands Institute's (PII) longest running programs that began in 2010. Consistent with Peace Islands Institute’s mission of promoting pluralism and bringing people from different backgrounds together, the Art & Essay Contest (A&E) aims for;

  3. Art & Essay Contest

    The Art & Essay Contest is one of Atlantic Institute’s educational events. Consistent with the Atlantic Institutes’ mission of promoting pluralism and bringing people from different backgrounds together, Art & Essay Contest (A&E) aims to Bring middle and high school students from different states together

  4. Categories

    Each entry requires four images of your piece. Showcase the scale and details of your work and include pictures from different angles. For 2D works, show your plans in detail. You may choose to include concept drawings, sketches, material palettes, sections, elevations, site plans and renderings in your image selection.

  5. 2022 Art & Essay Contest

    Art and Essay Contest serves PII’s mission by instilling some of the peace-building values among the youth of our state and giving them a platform to express their vision of a strong and prosperous community based on the values of unity, education, welfare, and progress. 2022 Sponsors: TBA [/av_textblock]

  6. Art & Essay Contest

    2013 Art and Essay Contest Theme: The Human Footprint on the Environment: Impacts & Solutions. Participants gathered at the USC Law Auditorium for the 3rd Annual Art and Essay Contest Awards Ceremony. Parents, Teachers and School Administrators gathered to recognize the students and their accomplishments. 2012 Art and Essay Contest

  7. Art & Essay Contest

    Art Contest The art contest promotes art among military children in grades 1–6 of active duty or retired (with 20+ years of service) members of the Armed Services, National Guard, or Reserves. Essay Contest The contest encourages military children to use creative writing to express themselves.