Amusing Monday: An appreciation for kids’ artwork

I’m gaining an appreciation for the artwork of young people, as revealed in various contests. Many of the winners and runners up in these contests seem already to be fairly accomplished in drawing, painting, sculpting, photography and other art forms.


I hope the contests bring deserved recognition and inspire the young artists to continue their art in some way. I believe the world becomes better when artists have a chance to express themselves. And we all can enjoy and benefit from the thoughtful and/or emotional reactions that art can deliver.

I’d like to present some of the artwork here and let you know which contests are open to entry.

Earlier this year in Water Ways (March 18), I featured the winning pictures from annual Marine Debris Art Contest, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The contest attracted 600 students from 21 states. One of the winning pictures (shown here) was submitted by Araminta “Minty” Little, who was a seventh grader at Fairview Junior High School in Central Kitsap.

Thirteen winners were chosen to create a 2014 calendar. You can see all the winners of last year’s contest on a rotating poster on NOAA’s Marine Debris Blog or else download the calendar (PDF 12.2 mb).

Entries are being taken for the next Marine Debris Art Contest until Dec. 16. Download rules with the entry form the Marine Debris Blog.

Check out the artwork in the following contests. I’ve provided links to entry information for each contest. Many more contests can be found online, but parents should pay attention to the rules, rewards and other requirements, such as fees. Feel free to suggest other good contests for young artists.

Scholastic Art & Writing Contest

The Scholastic contests, now in their 90th year, are probably the most prestigious of the kids’ art contests, bringing national recognition to aspiring artists and writers, grades 7-12

Past winners and their works

The next contest deadline is Jan. 6. A $5 entry fee is required unless a waiver is approved. Begin on the Guidelines & Deadlines page.

Coastal America

Coastal America involves government agencies and public and private aquariums working together to restore and preserve the nation’s coasts.

National winners

The deadline for the next contest, open to everyone kindergarten and up, is Dec. 16. Check out the rules and information.

Jason Learning

Jason is a nonprofit organization that connects students to science and exploration through classroom and outside projects.

2011-2012 Wrecks of the World Art Contest

2013-2014 “Sustainable Seas” Art Contest for students through high school. Entries will be accepted until February 28, 2014

Seattle Aquarium

Each year, the Seattle Aquarium sponsors an art contest for students in grades 1 through 5, called “Your Ocean Our Home Art Contest.” I don’t see an announcement of next year’s contest.

2013 winners

Beneath the Sea

Beneath the Sea is a scuba and dive travel show, which includes an annual poster contest

Past winners

The 2014 theme is “Pollution Hurts – Octopus At Risk!” The deadline Dec. 22.

Frogs Are Green

Frogs Are Green is an organization dedicated to bringing greater awareness about frogs and the pollution threats they face in the environment.

Winners of the 2012 Frogs Are Green Kids’ Art Contest

Winners of the 2012 Frogs Are Green Kids’s Photo Contest

The next contest, for ages 3-12, has a deadline of Dec. 15. Here are the rules.

Kitsap County Public Works

Each year, Public Works sponsors a Kitsap Recycles Day Poster Contest for kids to demonstrate the benefits of recycling

2013 winners

The deadline for the next contest, for grades kindergarten through eighth grade, is Jan 15.

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