11 Top-tier Art Contests – Remarkable Creativity in 2024

The beauty in art cannot be judged as art is objective; hence, the appreciation of art contests. This article, updated as of May 2024, will take you through various aspects of art contests. We’ll start by stepping into the art contest arena, exploring the history and interesting facts about art contests, and then look into the top 11 art contests in 2024. We’ll also guide you on finding local art contests, introduce you to digital art contests, and highlight free art contests with monetary rewards.

For our younger artists, we’ll discuss art contests for teens, the influence of Scholastic Contests, and the emergence of online art contests. We’ll also touch on the advantages of art scholarship contests, contests for high school creatives, and the joy of participating in free contests. So, let’s get started!

Art Contest: An Overview

Art contests are a fantastic platform for artists to showcase their talent, gain exposure, and even win cash prizes. From local shows to international competitions, these opportunities cater to artists of all backgrounds. For instance, the PleinAir Salon Art Competition offers a grand prize of $15,000 annually, with additional cash awards yearly for monthly competitions.

Art contests aren’t just about winning. They’re about community, learning, and growth. They incentivize artists to keep their portfolios updated, produce constant work, and meet specific goals and deadlines. Participating in these competitions also allows artists to see what other artists are creating, providing a rich source of inspiration and a sense of camaraderie.

a historian delicately handling an ancient artifact, a trophy from one of the first art contests.

Art Contest History and Interesting Facts

Art competitions have a long and fascinating history. They were part of the Olympic Games from 1912 to 1948, with medals awarded for works of art inspired by sport. These competitions were part of the original intention of the Olympic Movement’s founder, Pierre de Frédy, Baron de Coubertin.

Interestingly, the Florence Baptistery held an art competition in the 15th century for a new set of doors, a highly lucrative commission for potentially selected artists. The competition entries from Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi are still celebrated today.

In the early decades of the 20th century, there was an art component to the Olympics, with medals handed out for skills from sculpture to town planning. This means that it wasn’t just athletes who could cinch an Olympic title, but artists too, if they were talented enough.

Stay tuned as we continue to explore more about these contests in the upcoming sections of this article, and if you want to find other contests for creatives, check out this top 2024 poetry contests article

2024 Top 11 Art Contests

With various art competitions ongoing this year, the following are 11 top-selected contests you may want to consider joining.

1. Embracing Our Differences

This outdoor art exhibit features 50 billboard-sized works of art, each accompanied by an inspirational quote. The winning artworks combine a deep understanding of art with inspirational quotes to celebrate diversity and inclusion. With cash prizes totaling $3,000, this is one contest not to miss!

2. Artistonish International Art Contest

Artistonish hosts an annual art competition that’s open to artists worldwide. Categories include drawing, painting, digital art, sculpture, and photography. Over $4,000 in cash prizes are up for grabs, with a grand prize of $1,000 for the overall winner.

3. AcrylicWorks 10

This contest celebrates the versatility and vibrancy of acrylic paint. Winners not only receive cash prizes up to $2,000 but also have their work published in North Light Book’s hardbound showcase, AcrylicWorks 10: Creative Energy.

4. Prisma Art Prize

Prisma Art Prize is a quarterly online art competition for all visual artists worldwide. With no specific theme or medium restrictions, artists can explore their creativity. Cash prizes range from €500 to €1,500.

Bonus Tip: Stay updated with similar contests and how to win them by subscribing to Giveaway Listing’s push notifications.

5. The Rainbow Zebra Crossing Art competition

Highlighting the significance of our transport systems, this unique contest invites artists to reimagine Tokyo’s “Pedestrian Paradise” zebra crossing with their creative designs. The winning submission receives a prize of 300,000 yen (approx. $2,700).

6. International Photography Awards

This prestigious competition celebrates the best in contemporary photography across various categories. With cash prizes, extensive media coverage, and inclusion in the Best of Show exhibition, it’s a fantastic opportunity for photographers to gain exposure.

7. Chelsea International Fine Art Competition

Hosted by Agora Gallery, this contest aims to discover and promote exceptional artists worldwide. Selected artists can exhibit their work in Agora’s esteemed Chelsea, NYC gallery and compete for up to $3,000 cash prizes.

8. All Women Art Competition

Encouraging and empowering women artists, this contest provides a platform to showcase their talent and vision. Winners receive extensive online exposure and cash prizes. The overall winner also gets a solo exhibition opportunity.

9. Boynes Emerging Artist Award

This unique award supports emerging artists with professional development opportunities and cash prizes. Two winners receive $3,000 and a four-week residency at the Boynes Studio in Australia.

10. NASA & CASIS Space Art Contest

Merging art and science, this contest challenges artists to create works inspired by the International Space Station. Winners receive cash prizes and the incredible honor of having their artwork displayed on the ISS.

11. Artrepreneur Art Competition

This competition is open to artists in all mediums and offers a grand prize package worth over $5,000, including cash, a one-year membership to Artrepreneur, and extensive promotional opportunities. Category winners also receive cash prizes and memberships.

Finding Local Art Contests

While international art competitions offer incredible opportunities, don’t overlook the value of local contests. Here are some tips for finding art competitions in your area:

  1. Check with local art organizations, galleries, and museums. They often host annual competitions or know of other regional opportunities.
  2. Search online for “[your city/state] art contests.” This can uncover lesser-known competitions specific to your region.
  3. Join local artist groups and associations. These communities are great resources for learning about upcoming contests and events.
  4. Follow local art-related hashtags on social media. Artists and organizations often promote contests using city or state-specific hashtags.

Remember, local contests may have smaller prize pools but often have less competition, which can be great for building your regional reputation.

a digital artist, immersed in their work, using a stylus and a graphic tablet to create a stunning piece for a digital art contest.

The Digital Art Contests

As the world becomes increasingly digital, so does the art world. Digital art contests provide a platform for artists working in digital mediums to showcase their skills and creativity. Here are some of the top digital art competitions:

Contest NameCategoriesPrize PoolEntry Fee
Artistonish International Art ContestDigital Art, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Photography$4,000+$20-$30
Prisma Art PrizeOpen to all visual arts, including digital€3,500 per year€25
Lumen PrizeStill Image, Moving Image, 3D/Interactive, XR$11,000$47
CG Boost ChallengeEnvironment, Character, Prop/Object Design$13,500Free

The Lumen Prize, in particular, is a global award and tour celebrating the best art created with technology. With a prize pool of $11,000 and categories spanning still and moving images, 3D/interactive, and extended reality (XR), it’s a must-consider for any digital artist.

Free Contests with Monetary Rewards

Art competitions are fantastic platforms for artists to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Many of these contests offer monetary rewards that can financially support artists. For instance, the PleinAir Salon Art Competition offers a grand prize of $15,000 for the annual competition, with additional cash awards throughout the year.

Another platform, Fine Art America, hosts daily art competitions where artists can win cash prizes, gift certificates, and featured placements on their website. Similarly, the Youth Art Contest hosted by the Ned Smith Center for Nature and Art offers a prize package for winners.

Contests for Teens

Numerous art contests are tailored explicitly for teenagers, giving them a chance to shine on a national or even international stage. The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards is a prestigious competition that invites teens in grades 7–12 to submit original works for recognition and scholarship opportunities.

Another notable competition is the YoungArts Competition, which offers more than just a contest; it’s a transformative experience that nurtures the artistic growth of young talents. Winners receive financial support and gain access to master classes, workshops, and networking events with industry professionals.

a young student, focused and determined, creating an intricate sculpture for a scholastic art contest.

The Influence of Scholastic Art Contests

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have a rich history spanning nearly a century and have been a launchpad for countless artists, writers, and creatives. This competition validates their talent and is a stepping stone towards a future in the arts.

EligibilityOpen to teenagers across the country in grades 7–12
RecognitionWinners are celebrated via ceremonies, exhibitions, and publications
ScholarshipsNational Medalists are eligible for scholarships of up to $12,500
HistoryThe awards have been running since 1923, sparking the creative growth of many teens.

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards have encouraged the passions, talents, and perspectives of millions of teens, validating their creative abilities and the belief that their voices matter. This competition has been a launch pad for many luminaries, attributing their confidence to pursue their careers to the Awards.

The Emergence of Online Contests

In recent years, the art world has witnessed a significant shift towards digitalization, and online art contests have emerged as a popular platform for artists to showcase their talents.

These virtual competitions offer an accessible way for artists to gain exposure, connect with fellow creatives, and potentially win prizes or recognition. According to a survey by Fine Art America, over 75% of artists have participated in at least one online art contest.

Online art contests cover various mediums, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and digital art. They often have specific themes or prompts that challenge artists to create unique and compelling pieces. Some popular online contests, such as the ones hosted by Pixpa and My Modern Met, receive thousands of submissions from artists worldwide.

Art Scholarship Contests Advantages

Art scholarship contests allow aspiring artists to fund their education and pursue their passion. These competitions offer financial awards to talented individuals who demonstrate exceptional skills and potential in their chosen medium. Scholarships360 reports that over 120 art scholarships are available in the United States alone, with some offering awards of up to $40,000.

Participating in art scholarship contests not only helps students offset the cost of tuition but also provides them with valuable experience and exposure. Many scholarship contests, such as those listed on Scholarships.com, require applicants to submit a portfolio of their work, which can help them refine their skills and develop a professional-level body of work.

a high school student, lost in thought, sketching a complex design for an upcoming art contest.

Art Competitions for High School Creatives

High school students passionate about art and design have numerous opportunities to participate in competitions that can help them develop their skills, gain recognition, and even earn scholarships.

These contests cover various mediums and themes, allowing students to explore their creativity and find their niche. According to Polygence, over 20 prestigious art and design competitions are targeted explicitly toward high school students.

Contest NameMediumPrizes
Scholastic Art & Writing AwardsVariousGold Medal, $10,000 scholarship
YoungArtsVariousUp to $10,000 cash awards
Congressional Art CompetitionVariousArtwork displayed in U.S. Capitol
Duck Stamp ContestWildlife art$1,000 cash award

Lumiere Education highlights that participating in art contests can help high school students build their portfolios, gain confidence, and stand out in college applications. These competitions also allow students to receive feedback from industry professionals and connect with like-minded peers.

Enjoying Free Art Competitions

Art competitions are a fantastic way for artists to showcase their talents, gain exposure, and win prizes. In 2024, artists can participate in numerous free art contests. Websites like ArtCall.org, Fine Art America, and FanArtReview offer a variety of contests for artists working in different mediums, such as painting, drawing, and sculpture.

ArtCall.org, for instance, features a robust online jury process for accepting or rejecting exhibition submissions. They also provide a dedicated call website with fully customizable pages, built-in artist & submission galleries, and customizable categories & subcategories.

Fine Art America hosts daily art competitions where artists compete for cash prizes, gift certificates, and featured placement throughout their website. These competitions are open to artists, photographers, and graphic designers from all over the world.

FanArtReview offers a variety of contests with different themes, such as “Beauty Art Contest,” “Still Life Art Contest,” and “Pet Art Competition,” among others. These contests are open to all artists and offer cash prizes.

Art Contest: Closing Remarks

Art competitions are not just about winning prizes or gaining exposure. They also reflect the value of art in our society. Art’s value is found in its capacity to evoke empathy, to communicate what words cannot, and to immortalize moments of beauty or despair. Each brushstroke, line, or contour carves a narrative that speaks to our shared humanity and the individual’s pursuit of meaning.

In 2024, there are several notable contests, such as the ‘PleinAir Salon Art Competition,’ ‘The Lumen Prize for Digital Art,’ ‘The Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize,’ and many more. These contests provide artists with a platform to showcase their work and highlight the importance and value of art in our society.

This article covered topics such as the 2024 top 11 art contests; the last content update was in May 2024. Art contests are crucial in promoting art and artists and reflecting art’s value in our society.

Follow our website, GiveawayListing.com, to stay informed about new giveaways, exclusive contests, and guides to maximize your chances of winning!

a curious individual, reading through a brochure about art contests, with various art supplies scattered around them.

Art Contests FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about art contests in 2024.

What are the Most Prestigious Art Contests Globally?

There are numerous prestigious art contests globally that artists can participate in. Some of the most renowned ones include the PleinAir Salon Art Competition, World Illustration Awards, Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize, and the Wildlife Artist of the Year competition.

The ArtPrize competition, hosted by the DeVos Foundation in the United States, offers prizes ranging from $20,000 to $200,000. The Abraaj Capital Art Prize in the United Arab Emirates provides an award of $1 million, split between five artists.

How Can I Participate in International Art Contests?

Participating in international art competitions involves a few steps. First, you must find a contest that suits your artistic style and medium. Websites like Artshow.com and My Modern Met provide lists of various art contests. Once you’ve found a contest, you must prepare your artwork for submission.

This often involves taking high-resolution images of your work and writing an artist statement. There is usually an entry fee associated with these contests. After submitting your job, you’ll need to wait for the judging process to be completed.

What are the Benefits of Participating in Art Contests?

Participating in art competitions can offer several benefits. It can provide exposure, exhibitions, and even self-confidence. Winning an art contest can be a valuable addition to an artist’s resume and portfolio, helping to set them apart from others in the field.

Even for those who don’t win a cash prize, participating in art contests can be a valuable learning experience. It allows artists to have their artwork featured to gain recognition, increasing exposure and potential sales.

Are There Any Free Art Contests for Beginners?

Yes, there are free contests available for beginners. Jerry’s Artarama hosts a series of free-to-enter art contests for fine artists. These contests offer great prizes like Jerry’s eGift Cards. Other platforms like ArtCall.org also list various art contests, some of which are free or scholarship-based.

How Can I Find Local Art Contests?

Finding local art competitions can be as simple as stopping by your local art center or gallery and asking about upcoming competitions. Additionally, you can watch their website or social media pages for announcements on upcoming events. Websites like Artshow.com and My Modern Met also list various art contests, some of which may be local.

How Can Art Contests Help in Building An Artist’s Portfolio?

These contests can significantly help in building an artist’s portfolio. They allow you to update your portfolio as you produce constant work for specific goals and deadlines.

Winning or participating in art competitions can be a valuable addition to an artist’s resume and portfolio, helping to set them apart from others in the field. It also provides an opportunity to evaluate your art objectively. This can help artists identify, establish, and unify their voices and artistic concepts.

What Types of Artwork are Usually Accepted in Art Contests?

Art contests typically accept a wide range of artwork types. This includes but is not limited to, disciplines such as painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation. The media used can vary greatly, with some contests accepting works in pastel, oil paint, clay, mixed media, and fiber art.

Some contests also have specific requirements regarding the year the artwork was created, size, and framing/hanging requirements. For example, some contests may require that the artwork not exceed specific dimensions or that pieces must be framed and equipped with hanging hardware. The key is to read each contest’s particular rules and guidelines carefully.

Are There Specific Art Contests for Digital Artists?

Yes, there are specific contests that cater to digital artists. These contests recognize the unique skills and techniques involved in digital art creation. Some well-known digital art contests include The Lumen Prize for Digital Art and the Animago Award.

These contests provide digital artists with a platform to showcase their work and gain recognition in the art world. Digital art contests are an excellent opportunity for artists working in this medium to gain exposure and recognition for their work.

What are Some Art Contests for High School Students?

There are numerous art contests available for high school students. These contests allow young artists to showcase their talent and gain recognition. Some well-known art competitions for high school students include the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, which recognizes talented students in art and writing.

Awards are given at the regional and national levels; winners may also earn scholarships. These contests can be an excellent way for young artists to gain exposure and experience in the art world.

How are Winners Typically Chosen in Art Contests?

The selection process in these contests can vary greatly depending on the specific contest. However, most contests are either juried, judged, or have both a jury and a judge who makes the final decision. The jury and/or the contest judge will typically select several finalists out of hundreds or thousands of entries.

The winners are usually determined based on the quality of their artwork and how well it aligns with the theme or requirements of the contest. Understanding the specific criteria and expectations of the judges can significantly improve an artist’s chances of winning.

What are the Common Rules and Regulations in Art Contests?

Art contests typically have rules and regulations that participants must follow. These may include eligibility requirements, such as age restrictions or location of the artist, as well as specific rules about the type of artwork that can be submitted. For example, some contests may only accept certain media types or have size requirements for the artwork.

Other standard rules may relate to the submission process, such as how many artworks an artist can submit, how to mail or upload artwork, and deadlines for submission correctly. It’s crucial for artists to carefully read and understand the rules and regulations of each contest before entering.

Are There Art Contests that Offer Cash Prizes?

Yes, many of these contests offer cash prizes to the winners. These prizes can support artists financially and help them further their creative projects.

Some contests offer significant cash prizes, while others may provide smaller cash awards and other forms of recognition, such as publication in leading art magazines or the opportunity to exhibit in prestigious galleries. Participating in art contests can be an excellent way for artists to gain recognition and financial support.

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