In starting the art contest in 2010, we have learned a lot about issues that we did not think would arise. Each student is asked to send in an original work of art. But what does that exactly mean? We have many teachers who have their students enter collages with images that come from other sources. In these cases, the compilation of the images into an original form is the student’s creation. However, as the original images are not the students, we cannot have a contest winner or include in the book, an image that is copyrighted elsewhere.
We have also encountered students who will take a work such as “Starry Night” by Van Gogh and put their own interpretation onto the image. If the image is now in public domain, then this is allowed if the student gives the original artist credit. However, when an image is an exact copy then this is a greater challenge. When a student sees a painting and then tries to make an exact copy, the work of putting the paint to the canvas is done by the student, but the work or imagination in creating the work is not.
We cannot be aware of every image. Our official policy is that we love to see the work conceptualized by the student. A work in the public domain can act as a starting point, but we hope the student will take it from there and add their own style to the piece.
To learn more about our national art contests, please visit www.CelebratingArt.com.
We have often been asked what makes a winning piece of art. In passing this question off to our judges, one of our middle school art judges replied with the following.
“All submissions have an equal opportunity for fair judging. Our purpose is to encourage budding artists by publishing a variety of stimulating art pieces. Being published gives the artist the recognition and encouragement toward a lifetime of creativity.”
The judging criteria for art pieces submitted into the CelebratingArt contests include, but are not restricted to, the following:
— Age appropriate skills mastered in:
elements of design – line, texture, color, shape/form, value and space
principles of design – repetition, balance, emphasis, contrast and unity
understanding and use of medium chosen
— What kind of statement does a piece make? Was it thought provoking? Did it tell a story? Is there an emotional impact?
— We look for levels of creativity, originality, self-expression, craftsmanship, and skill.
One other important factor is the photo submitted. Here are some keys to remember when submitting your work. Overall, only the top 25% of art entered is accepted to be published.
1. Take the date and time off the camera
2. Make sure it is in focus
3. Make sure it is a high resolution photo
4. Make sure it is a graphic file type such as a jpg or tif
5. Don’t use lined paper
6. Take the photo straight on and not at an angle
7. Take off the flash
8. Clean out any background
9. Crop the photo
10. Make sure it is properly rotated.