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55th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition

May 6, 2016 – July 24, 2016

Organized by the Arkansas Arts Center

Now in its sixth decade, this annual children's art exhibition showcases artwork by students in kindergarten through 12th grade from across the state. Works in a variety of media are juried by a professional panel and a chief juror selects a "Best of Class" and two "Honorable Mentions" for each grade. Monetary awards are provided to each winner's school. Following the closing of the exhibition, selected works travel to schools and other venues throughout the state as part of the Arkansas Arts Center's State Services program.

The 55th Young Arkansas Artists Awards Ceremony and Family Festival will be held from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on May 7, 2016.

How to Enter

Starting December 1, 2015 teachers can visit this webpage to complete an online entry form, upload image(s) of each work and ad an artist's statement for each entry. The deadline to enter is February 26, 2016. Teachers will receive a confirmation email after submitting their entry form.

NEW THIS YEAR! The Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition is growing to include an artist statement for each work submitted by the entrants. The goal is for students to gain real world experience while making cross-curricular connections to English / Language Arts. Artists statements broaden the impact of the exhibition as accepted works become useful as teaching tools through the galleries, and the YAA travelling exhibition. Artist statements must be submitted with the entry form and images of the artwork — they may NOT be submitted separately.

Writing an Artist’s Statement

Here are some suggestions to help students write an artist’s statement. Each student needs to have a brief paragraph, no more than 125 words, that addresses as many of the following writing prompts as is appropriate. Upload the statement as a Word document, or PDF file, along with the image file(s) of the artwork.

  • Title of the Piece – this alone helps the viewer understand the subject or makes him/her think about the work in a different way
  • Why do you like to make art?
  • What did I do? (Describe the artwork, including the medium, subject matter, and inspiration.)
  • Whom or what inspired my artwork?
  • What happened along the way? (Did anything interesting or unusual happen? Did I solve any problems in the process? Did I change my approach to doing the project?)
  • Did the project turn out how I expected? Why or why not?
  • What did I learn through the art project?
  • What would I do differently next time?
  • Why is this piece important to me?
  • Use the elements and principles of design to describe your work.
  • Do you know anyone else who uses this technique? medium? style? subject?

Guidelines, Notification, and Delivery

Teachers must submit only ONE artwork per grade level. Entries must be made through a public, private, or home school teacher or instructor of an art program.

The exhibition is open to all Arkansas students grades K-12. Art must be original and completed within the current 2015-2016 school year. Original works in all media including drawings, paintings, prints, photographs, collages, crafts and sculpture are eligible.

Dimensions of 2D and 3D work must not be more than 36 inches in any direction and must weigh less than 50 pounds.

Collaborative projects may be submitted as a single entry. Teachers who work with multiple grade levels may submit one collaborative piece to represent the average grade level of the students involved. A collaborative project is defined as an artwork made by a group of students who work together towards the final product. A group of individuals’ works brought together using a display aid does not qualify.

Notifications of selected artwork will be sent March 11, 2016. Directions on how to prepare and ship the artwork will be provided to the teachers of selected students. Selected artwork must arrive at the Arkansas Arts Center by April 1, 2016. Any late works will not be considered for awards.


Works will be selected by a pool of professional artists, collectors, and art educators. They will be selected based on the uploaded images from the online entry form. Teachers will be notified of selected works and given instructions on how to prepare and deliver the artwork. Once all artworks are delivered to the Arkansas Arts Center, an outside juror will select the following awards: one Best in Class for each grade; two Honorable Mentions for each grade; Ray Smenner Best in Show Painting Award and Mid-Southern Watercolorists Best in Show watercolor award.

NEW THIS YEAR! “Teacher’s Choice” Awards! One Teacher’s Choice Award per grade level will be selected by the Arkansas Art Educators Association March 4–6, 2016.


Submission of entry constitutes an agreement to travel. All 2D artworks that measure 18" x 26" or less (without a mat) will be considered for the traveling exhibition. Please note it is not necessary to mat any artworks until it is selected for exhibition. The chosen artworks for travel will enter a loan to the Arkansas Arts Center for up to two years, until September 2018. During this time the artworks will be exhibited around the state for one year and at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in the second year. For more information contact State Services at 1-800-264-2787

Digital Images

Works are selected for the exhibition based on the digital image submissions. Images should be clear and show the entire artwork. Medium resolution images are preferred. Resolution is sufficient when the image is easily viewed on an average size computer monitor. Keep images free of identifying information (artist name, etc.) as this information will require cropping of the image. Entries are not accepted via email.


The Arkansas Arts Center reserves the right to omit any artwork from display due to space or condition concerns. The Arkansas Arts Center reserves the right to reproduce accepted artwork in a brochure, website, and in the media to promote the exhibition. Upon submission of this form you agree to receive emails pertaining to the competition for the duration of the entry process. Submission to this exhibition constitutes an agreement on the part of the entrant to the conditions set forth in this prospectus.

If you have any further questions please contact


The 54th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition was Sponsored by

Barbara and Steve Bova


Sandra and Bob Connor



Dale and Lee Ronnel


The 54th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition Awards were Sponsored by

Arkansas Children's Hospital
Fine Arts Club of Arkansas
Mid-Southern Watercolorists

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