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Drawing and Painting Competitions


Many studies have found that artistic and creative explorations, such as drawing and painting, spark brain development, develop language and motor skills, improve emotional intelligence, and boost social wellbeing. More importantly, when students are encouraged to express themselves creatively, they develop healthy self-esteem and individual identity. In our opinion, art education should not be a luxury, but an essential building block of student development.

In this article, we provide a comprehensive list of art competitions for students of all ages. Through art competitions, students will flex their artistic muscles, sharpen their creative senses, and have the opportunity to observe, assess, and learn from other budding artists. Of course, winning a prize or acclaim will boost a stronger sense of confidence and greater enthusiasm in this field, which may encourage the student to consider a professional career in art and design. Participating in art competitions is also an excellent way to build portfolios. For students interested in pursuing an art or design major, art portfolio is the single most important factor in admissions. For other students, art portfolios can also complement their application as a showcase of extracurricular pursuits, giving them an edge to stand out.

  • Category: 17 art categories, from drawing and illustration, digital art, mixed media, to painting

  • Subject/topic: Free to choose

  • Prize: $1,000 to $10,000

  • Deadline: Varies

  • Eligibility: Grades 7-12 (ages 13 and up)

  • Category: Painting and drawing

  • Subject/topic: Given by Google and changes each year

  • Prize: $5,000 to $30,000

  • Deadline: March

  • Eligibility: Grades K-12

  • Category: Visual and performing arts, film, multimedia

  • Subject/topic: Ocean and environment focused

  • Prize: $1,500

  • Deadline: June

  • Eligibility: Ages 11-18

  • Category: 10 categories, including design arts and visual arts

  • Subject/topic: Dream car

  • Prize: $250 to $750

  • Deadline: Usually between fall and January

  • Eligibility: Ages: 4-15

  • Category: Painting and drawing

  • Subject/topic: Rockets and spacecraft, living and working in space, exploring the solar system, and astronauts

  • Deadline: October

  • Eligibility: Ages 4-12

  • Category: Painting and drawing

  • Subject/topic: Given by NASA and changes each year

  • Deadline: December

  • Eligibility: Grades K-12

  • Category: Any visual art, from drawing and illustration, digital art, mixed media, to painting

  • Subject/topic: Free to choose

  • Deadline: Each fall

  • Eligibility: Grades 6-12

  • Category: Painting, drawing, and digital creations

  • Subject/topic: Given by National PTA and changes every year

  • Deadline: October

  • Eligibility: Grades PreK-12

  • Category: 10 categories, including design arts and visual arts

  • Subject/topic: Free to choose

  • Deadline: Opens each June

  • Eligibility: Grades 10-12 or ages 15-18

  • Category: Painting and drawing

  • Subject/topic: Given by the magazine and changes each year

  • Prize: $100 to $500

  • Deadline: February

  • Eligibility: Ages 2-12

  • Category: Painting and drawing

  • Subject/topic: Given by ShinHan and changes each year

  • Prize: $100 to $1,000

  • Deadline: May

  • Eligibility: Ages 4-18

  • Category: Painting, drawing, digital creation, and 3D structure

  • Subject/topic: Given by ActivityHero and changes each year

  • Prize: $150 to $400

  • Deadline: July and August

  • Eligibility: Ages 4-17

  • Category: Painting, drawing, collage, digital art

  • Subject/topic: Free to choose

  • Prize: $25

  • Deadline: April, August, and December

  • Eligibility: Grades K-12


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