Do you have a budding artist? Check out this list of art contests they can enter (sorted by due date)! A contest is a great way to encourage children to keep practicing their art at home. They may already have a piece of art they’re proud of that qualifies for one of these contests, or they may decide to create a piece specifically for one of these contests. With prizes up to $1,000, some of these contests can be very exciting! Be sure to read the full rules for a contest before you enter.

(Last Update: April 18, 2019)

Looking for Help with Drawing?

Check out our art lesson plans! 

Looking for a Photo to Reference?

Drawing from a photo is great, but sometimes you and your students don’t have a photo of your own that’s quite what you’re looking for. Using someone else’s photo without permission is copyright infringement!

This is why I have a stash of photos available on Flickr (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ridgelightranch/) with an “Attribution Creative Commons” License. This means you’re welcome (and encouraged) to use my photos to create new works of art for fun or for sale, as long as you let people know where the original photo came from. I’d love to see all the beautiful things you make from my photos, so let me know! ūüôā Learn more about copyright and my terms of use here!

Check the rules of the art contest you’re entering and make sure they allow students to use someone else’s photo as a reference. Many contests for Jr High students and older require students to take their own photographs or draw from life.


2019 Art Contests


Stories to Grow By


Science without Borders


JQA International Environmental


Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art


Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration


Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs


Smarty Pants Magazine for Kids


International Kids’ Owl Art Contest

Scholastic Art and Writing

NRA Kids art contest

  • Ages: 1st-12th Grade
  • Due Date: Oct 31, 2019
  • Subject:¬† North American game bird or animal that may be legally hunted or trapped
  • Prize: up to $1,000
  • Link: https://artcontest.nra.org

2020 Art Contests

David Shepherd

Perpetual Art Contests


Look and Learn Art Competition

  • Ages: 0-18
  • Subject:¬†Varies month by month (Dec. 7: Kids’ Fashion 2020, Jan. 8: Mad Dictator, Feb. 7: Whirlpool, Mar. 7: Box of Chocolates, Apr. 9: Rough and Smooth, May 7: Transportation of the Future
  • Prize: about $50
  • Link:¬†http://art.lookandlearn.com/competition.php

Worldwide Kids Drawing


Celebrating Art


I hope your students will decide to enter some of these contests. I’d love to hear about it if you do. If you know of any other art contests, please let me know and I’ll add them to this list! You can comment here or email me at Julie@ridgelightranch.com.

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