Celebrate the Arts! 
Youth Art Competition

Giertz Gallery and Community Education are delighted to offer District 505 students ages 7-18 the opportunity to participate in a virtual Art Contest and Exhibit during a time when in-person engagement is affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Works selected for the online exhibition will be featured on our social media platforms. Entry is free with awards being given in three age categories.

  • Online Awards Celebration: Tuesday, March 9, 2021, 6 p.m. 

View awards celebration here.

View Youth Art Competition Catalog here.

Students have a chance to win full summer 2021 scholarships for either College for Kids Camp or a Summer Discovery Camp. Each of the three age categories will have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place, with honorable mentions.

Selected works will be featured on Parkland's social media pages, and winners will be announced by Tuesday, March 9 at a Virtual Awards Ceremony. 

Entries will be judged by Paula McCarty and Laura O'Donnell. Paula McCarty is the art exhibitions curator and designer for the Springer Cultural Center in Champaign, and teaches classes through Community Education. Laura O'Donnell teaches Art History at Eastern Illinois University.  


 Contest Rules:

  1. A student residing in Parkland College's 505 District may submit up to two entries. The competition accepts entries in a diverse range of media, including drawing, painting, collage, photography, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture. Works may be two-dimensional or three-dimensional. Please check here to confirm your residency in the 505 District.
  2. All artwork must be original and created by the student between January 1, 2020 – February 28, 2021.
  3. Images of the artwork must be entered online as a jpeg. This is an online exhibition only; please do not mail your submission as it will not be entered in the contest, nor will it be returned.
  4. Entries that originate from copyrighted sources such as Disney, Marvel, DC Comics, Pixar, etc., or celebrity images, will be disqualified. Historical figures are acceptable.
  5. Artwork must not contain any inappropriate content. Parkland College reserves the right to exclude an entry if it is not acceptable as determined by Parkland College.
  6. The entry deadline is Wednesday, March 3, 2021, at 11:59 pm. 
  7. Entries will be judged—Judges are Paula McCarty and Laura O'Donnell. McCarty is the art exhibitions curator and designer for the Springer Cultural Center in Champaign. O’Donnell teaches Art History at Eastern Illinois University.
  8. Winners will be announced Tuesday, March 9, 2021. Register here for the online awards ceremony.


Awards and Prizes:

Each of the three age categories will have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner as well as multiple Honorable Mentions. There will be no single image chosen as the "Best in Show" overall. No entrant will receive more than one prize. First Place winners will receive:
Ages 7-10 – Full scholarship for a College for Kids Camp for summer 2021
Ages 11-13 – Full scholarship for a College for Kids Camp for summer 2021
Ages 14-18 – Full scholarship for a Summer Discovery Camp for summer 2021 

All decisions by the judges are final. The scholarships awarded cannot be transferred to another person and must be used by 8/31/2021. 

Publicity: Please check here to grant permission to use submitted work for promotion. If this is not checked, then artwork will not be considered for exhibition.

Not all entries will necessarily be online; Parkland College will exercise sole discretion in determining which artworks to exhibit.

We look forward to receiving your submission and honoring your artistic talents! Questions? Email giertzgallery@parkland.edu. 

Please sign up for our emails and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to keep up with our events.

Admission is free. Donations welcome!

Donate here.

Programs at the gallery are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Parkland College is a section 504/ADA-compliant institution; for accommodation, call 217/353-2337 or email accessibility@parkland.edu. For more information on the exhibit, please call the gallery office at 217/351-2485.