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55th Young Arkansas Artists

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 huge 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. Each year, selections from the exhibition travel to schools and other venues throughout the state as part of the Arkansas Arts Center's State Services program.

Thank you for taking the time to enter the 55th Young Arkansas Artists Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center. Your participation ensures the continued success of the exhibition. The deadline for entries was February 26, 2016.

NEW THIS YEAR! The Young Arkansas Artists exhibition is growing to include Artist Statements 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 are to be submitted when the image files of the artwork are uploaded during online entry.

Writing an Artist’s Statement

Here are some suggestions to help students write artist statements. 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, (.doc or .pdf) when you upload the image file 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.) · My artwork was inspired by whom or what? · 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? etc.) · 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 lbs.

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 for the exhibition by a pool of professional artists, collectors, and art educators. They will select works 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: 1 Best in class for each grade, 2 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 on March 14-18, 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 501-396-0350.

Digital Images

Artworks 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 (501)372-4000 or


Sponsored by

Barbara and Steve Bova


Judge Robert and Mary Lynn Dudley


Ces and Drew Kelso


Cindy and Greg Feltus


Dale and Lee Ronnel


Awards Sponsored by

Arkansas Children's Hospital


Fine Arts Club of Arkansas


Mid-Southern Watercolorists

This program was made possible in part by a grant from the Department of Arkansas Heritage, funded by your 1/8 cent conservation tax, Amendment 75

Hours: Tues - Sat 10 AM - 5 PM | Sun 11 AM - 5 PM      Address: 9th & Commerce / MacArthur Park, P.O. Box 2137, Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-2137      Phone: 501.372.4000

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