Student Art Contest
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts is pleased to present its 2024 Student Art Contest and Juried Exhibition. The purpose of the contest is to recognize the artistic achievements of our area students and to increase community involvement in the museum. All public, private, and home school students in grades 1-12 residing in the following school districts are encouraged to participate: Aldine ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Klein ISD, Magnolia ISD, Spring ISD, and Tomball ISD.
Due to ongoing concerns regarding COVID-19, this year’s contest will digitally submitted. Please, submit an image of your work with your Google Form Entry. Click the links below to learn more.
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts is located on Cypresswood Drive near the intersection with Stuebner-Airline.
6815 Cypresswood Drive
Spring, TX 77379
About the Contest
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts’ Student Art Contest is held each spring and is one of the most anticipated annual events at the Pearl. Administered by the museum’s Volunteer Guild, the contest recognizes the artistic achievements of students in Northwest Houston and fosters their continued access to art education opportunities.
The contest receives an average of 250 entries each year, out of which 27 student artists are recognized. Students are honored at the contest Awards Ceremony and their artwork featured in an exhibition at the Pearl.
All public, private, and home school students in grades 1-12 from the following school districts are encouraged to participate: Aldine ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Klein ISD, Magnolia ISD, Spring ISD, and Tomball ISD. Contestants from private schools and home school students residing in the above districts are also invited to participate.
- January 19, 2024 — Artwork entry forms made available on museum website
- March 8, 2024 — Deadline to submit online artwork entry forms
- March 13, 2024 — Contest adjudication
- March 14, 2024 — School administrators notified about contest results
- March 29, 2024 — Artwork delivered to museum with signature forms
- April 4, 2024 — Exhibition opens
- April 26, 2024 (tentative) — Award ceremony and prize pick up
- April 30, 2024 — Exhibition ends
- May 13, 2024 — School administrators pick up artwork
Rules and Regulations
1. Purpose Statement
The purpose of the annual Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts Student Art Contest and Juried Exhibition is to recognize the artistic achievements of our area students and to increase community involvement in the museum. The Student Art Contest is open to students in grades 1-12 in public (districts listed below), private, and home schools.
All winning entrants will receive awards appropriate to their grade level. Winning art may be used in print materials and displayed at the discretion of the museum. However, winning art will be returned to the student following the culmination of contest events.
The contest does not have a specific theme for submitted artwork. All entries, however, should adhere to subject matter appropriate for a family-friendly display. Artwork that includes profanity, obscene language or symbols, depiction of drug abuse, criminal violence, or nudity will be disqualified. The museum and its contest representatives have sole discretion in determining the appropriateness & eligibility of entries.
Public school contestants must be enrolled in grades 1-12 in one of the following participating school districts: Aldine ISD, Conroe ISD, Cy-Fair ISD, Klein ISD, Magnolia ISD, Spring ISD, or Tomball ISD. Public school students must enter through their school districts. Private School & Home School students must reside in one of the above districts, and enter through the school in which they are enrolled. Students who attend classes virtually are eligible to participate, but are still required to abide by the rules and regulations.
All entries must be created under the supervision of an art teacher at the student’s school. If students attend a public school system, the art teacher must coordinate with the district visual arts administrator before submitting an entry form. Students working in a home environment may not receive instruction or guidance from anyone other than the supervising art teacher (e.g., a parent/guardian, private tutor, or other teacher). Artwork created under the supervision of private tutors outside of the student’s school program is not permitted for entry.
a. All work must be entirely created by the student. The entry must be conceptualized, developed, and
completed by the student. Each student may only submit one art piece for consideration.
b. Only one student may work on a single entry. No group project submissions will be accepted.
c. Artwork previously entered into the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts’ Student Art Contest may not be
re-entered. All 2024 contest entries must be completed in the 2023-2024 academic year.
d. Visual resources or references should be collected by teachers for each artwork. References do not need to
be submitted digitally. They will, however, need to be submitted with the physical artwork when the winning entries are brought to the museum after adjudication. Omission of references with winning entries may result in disqualification of the entry; an alternate winner will then be selected. References include, but are not limited to, original photographs, student-directed photographs, preliminary sketches, and rough drafts. Unless created through direct observation, all works of art should have a visual resource(s).
e. Original student photographs or student-directed photographs may be used by students in the development of the entry. Photographs not originated by the student may not be used as source material for artwork submissions. Copying a photograph exactly in any media is prohibited. Images traced with the use of a projector or other mechanical means are prohibited.
5. Guidelines for Artwork
a. Artwork must be two-dimensional and completely dried or fixed.
b. Maximum entry size: artwork may not exceed 36” (height) x 24” (width), including matting.
c. Artwork must NOT be signed on the front of the piece.
d. Artwork does NOT need to be matted, mounted, or ready to hang unless selected as a winner. After adjudication, winning entries should be prepared according to the following guidelines:
- Works on paper should be matted (using black or white mat) or mounted to protect the artwork. Works on stretched canvas frames or canvas board do not need to be matted.
- Paintings on canvas frames must be wired and ready to hang. Any piece that is particularly heavy or fragile must also be ready to hang.
- Artwork may not be framed.
e. Each student may submit one piece of artwork into the contest, in any of the following media:
- Drawing – Colored or graphite pencil, ink, pastel, crayon, chalk, marker, or charcoal. Pastels and charcoal must be protected with a fixative spray.
- Painting – Acrylic, watercolor, oil, tempera, and other plastic paints.
- Printmaking – Block print, monoprint, collagraph, serigraph, lithograph, + other forms.
- Mixed Media – Entries in which two or more 2-D media are combined in a single two dimensional entry; includes collage.* Materials may extend up to one inch from the surface. (*Collage – No more than 20% of collage material may be from newspapers, magazines, books, or other material pre-printed with text or designs (such as scrapbook paper).
- Photography – Includes original traditional or digital photographs taken by the student, in color or black and white.
- Digital Art
Includes compositions rendered on a computer from a blank workspace, as well as compositions that
begin with the student’s original photograph, drawing, or illustration that is scanned in and completed
with digital processes. Entries should adhere to size, matting, & originality guidelines as specified above.
- Media NOT allowed at this time: Animation, video art; ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, and other 3D work.
6. Preparing Artwork for Entry
The artwork submitted to the Student Art Contest is grouped and judged in the following divisions:
- Division I: Grades 9-12
- Division II: Grades 6-8
- Division III: Grades 1-5
b. Entry Fee
There is not a required entry fee for the Student Art Contest. Contest expenses, such as the awards, printing of the contest brochure, and jurors’ fees, are funded by museum supporters and community members.
c. Online Entry Form
The online entry form will be made available on the museum website (www.pearlmfa.org) on January 19, 2024. All entrants must accurately complete and submit the contest form electronically by March 8, 2024.
The online form will collect information about the student and artwork, as well as the required Artist Statement. The statement should be approximately 50 words describing the entry. Elementary grade level teachers/parents may assist in writing and/or transcribing the description. The Artist Statement may assist jurors in learning more about the artwork, which could affect judging outcome.
d. Artwork Photographs
In lieu of submitting physical artwork for adjudication, this year school administrators must submit digital photographs of each entry. *Same as 2023* Students will submit photos in their Google form by uploading an image file with their entry form.
- The artwork should be shown in its entirety.
- Only the artwork should be shown – do not include mats in the photograph.
- Files should be less than 10MB and labeled by assigned number.
e. Signature Form – Required *only* for winning artwork entries, after adjudication
In addition to the online entry form, a signature page will also be available to download online. This form will only need to be submitted for students whose work is selected as a contest winner.
A physical copy of this form, complete with signatures, should be submitted when the winning artwork is brought to the museum. All schools will be notified on March 14th (tentative) about the status of their entries.
This form will collect certification signatures from the student, a parent or guardian, art teacher, and school principal, which confirm that the student has abided by the rules and regulations of the contest. The form also releases the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts from responsibility in cases of loss, theft, or damage to the artwork, and gives permission for displaying and reproducing the artwork.
7. Judging Criteria
The entries will be judged according to the following criteria. Each criterion is weighted equally.
- Technique – The student chooses and utilizes media and tools competently to enhance the appearance of the work.
- Personal Expression – The evidence of imagination, creativity, and individuality. The result is distinctive and the concept presented in a unique way that is imaginative and inventive.
- Organization – The use of elements and the principles of art, effectively selecting those which enhance the overall appearance of the work.
- Integration – The work combines technique, expression, and organization through artistic and critical judgment to achieve an effective interpretation or result.
Note: The museum and its contest representatives reserve the right to exclude any artwork from consideration in the contest. Any artwork disqualified for not meeting entry requirements – which include adherence to appropriate subject matter guidelines – will not complete the adjudication process. The decisions of the museum & contest representatives are final as relating to all contest matters.
8. Judging Procedure
a. Public School Pre-Adjudication
Each public school district may submit up to 25 entries. The district is responsible for adjudicating their students’ work first in order to arrive at the maximum of 25 entries. The district may determine the number of entries per division as long as the total number of submissions is 25 or less.
b. Private and Home School Students
Each home school teacher and private school may submit up to 20 entries. Private and Home School artwork submissions will be pre-adjudicated by the Pearl. Up to 25 finalists from the Private and Home School ‘District’ will go on to be judged in the final adjudication.
c. Final Adjudication
The jurors will judge the public, private, and home school student finalists based on the criteria listed under Judging Criteria. The final selections will be made solely on the consensus of the panel of jurors.
a. Place Winners
Students whose artwork receives 1st, 2nd, 3rd place, or Honorable Mention for each division will receive awards appropriate to their grade level. Winning art may be used in print materials and displayed at the discretion of the museum. However, winning art will be returned to the student following the culmination of contest events.
Division I: Grades 9-12
1st Place: $1000
2nd Place: $500
3rd Place: $300
Honorable Mention: $100 art gift bag
Division II: Grades 6-8
1st Place: $150 and $125 art gift bag
2nd Place: $100 and $125 art gift bag
3rd Place: $50 and $125 art gift bag
Honorable Mention: $50 art gift bag
Division III: Grades 1-5
1st Place: $100 art gift bag
2nd Place: $75 art gift bag
3rd Place: $50 art gift bag
Honorable Mention: $25 art gift bag
b. Jurors’ Selection
Artwork that is not selected as a place winner may be selected as a Jurors’ Selection. Juror selection work will be included in the Student Art Contest booklet and possibly exhibited depending on space. Every year, the Student Art Contest receives exceptional artwork from area students and the inclusion of Jurors’ Selection pieces allows us to recognize as many of these students as possible.
c. 2023 Student Art Contest Winners & Juried Exhibition
All place winners and honorable mentions from the 2024 contest will be on exhibition at the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts from April 4 – April 30, 2024. Artwork will be picked up by school representatives by May 13, 2024.
Support the Student Art Contest
There is no required entry fee for students to submit work to the Student Art Contest. Contest expenses, such as the awards, printing of the contest brochure, and jurors’ fees, are funded by donations from museum supporters, and from sales of Student Art Contest merchandise sold through the museum gift shop.below:
Art ~ Education ~ Community
A donation of $5 is suggested for adult visitors.
6815 Cypresswood Dr.
Spring, Texas 77379
Phone: (281) 376-6322
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