Top 10 Art Competitions For High School Students

Being awarded and rewarded can act in the child’s favor, as these honors of appreciation can motivate and inspire individuals, especially children. Kids who are into art and wish to pursue foster, and innate this skill for the future can take part in various competitions. Furthermore, Giving the kids a stage to showcase their skills also transforms their lives in a positive way.

In today’s day and era, a lot of art programs and competitions are available, where high schoolers can take part to nurture their capabilities and show the world what they are capable of. Hence, here in this post, we have compiled a list of art competitions for high school students that will help them hone their talents.  

Art competitions for aspirants in high school

Art is a diverse field, which is constantly evolving. However, it is the key area of interest of many young adults out there. Furthermore, there are numerous regional, national, and worldwide visual art competitions in the United States through which high school art students can convey their enthusiasm and interest in the field of arts. 

1. Doodle 4 Google

Doodle 4 Google competition is an annual event created specifically for schoolchildren, giving them the chance to have their design shown on the Google homepage. This competition takes place across countries and a new theme for art is specified each year. The winner of this competition has their doodle posted on the hugely popular website for 24 hours. There are other prizes also that include substantial scholarships and brand-new equipment. 

2. Scholastic Art and Writing Awards 

This award was launched in 1923 and is one of the longest running and most prestigious art competitions in the country. This competition has around two dozen categories which students can apply from. Applications can be made in more than one category. Winners of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards that have gone on to become icons in their respective fields include Andy Warhol, Sylvia Plath, and Stephen King. 

3. Congressional Art Competition 

This competition is organized every spring by the Congressional Institute for high school students enrolled in classes 10-12. The US Congress seeks to support an annual high school visual arts competition in an effort to support artistic talent across the country in every congressional district. The winners of this competition have their artwork publicly displayed at the Capitol for a year, and are also honoured at an awards show in DC. 

4. Artists Magazine Annual Art Competition

The Artist’s Magazine hosts an annual art competition that invites beginner and advanced artists from all across the world to submit their most outstanding artwork across five different categories. These categories include- till lifes and interiors; landscapes; abstract and experimental art; and wildlife. This art competition offers scholarships to advance your artistic abilities in addition to cash awards of thousands of dollars,  and publication in Artists Magazine.

5. NASA Langley Student Art Competition

This art competition is organized by NASA in partnership with the National Institute of Aerospace. Applications are open to all students from grade kindergarten to 12 in the United States as well as children of military members stationed overseas. The aim of this competition is to allow students to show their creativity and create artwork inspired by NASA’s innovation in space technology, aeronautics and Earth Science. 

6. The Chelsea International Fine Arts Competition

The Chelsea International Fine Art Competition has been in place for more than 35 years now.  Any visual artist from any country who is at least 18 years old and in any stage of their career is eligible to enter this contest in multiple mediums including painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media, and print. This competition allows high schoolers an exciting opportunity to exhibit fresh, original art while getting exposure to a large, global audience. 

7. The Lumen Prize for Art and Technology 

The Lumen Prize was launched in 2012 by Carla Rapoport with the aim to give exposure and support to people around the globe who use technology to create their artwork. Anyone from anywhere in the world is welcome to take part as long as their artwork makes use of technology in some way. This competition includes exhibitions and events to increase awareness in addition to the rewards. These programs can especially be beneficial for high schoolers as the amalgamation of technology with art can intrigue these young minds. 

8. National Society of High School Scholars Visual Arts Competition 

High Schoolers with interests in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, photography, and mixed media, are supported by this visual arts competition. Participants must send digital images of their artwork, a colored headshot, an academic résumé, a current transcript, and a recommendation from an instructor in order to be considered. This contest provides three awards of $2,000 each for photography, painting, drawing, mixed media, and digital art. 

9. Ned Smith Center Youth Art Competition

 This competition is meant to particularly inspire the next generation of wildlife artists to creatively use their art. There is a theme for the competition and it changes annually. Participants have to design their artwork based on the current year’s theme. Since the theme varies from year to year, high school students should carefully research the theme before starting their art project. The contest will enter its 30th year in 2023. 

10. Earth X Eco Art Competition

EarthX is hosting an Eco-Art Contest, calling upon students ages 5 to 22 to create an artwork and essay that invites sustainable action to help save the earth. The aim of this competition is to encourage people to take action by increasing awareness of environmental challenges. The theme changes every year, and the high schoolers participating in the art competition are required to creatively interpret the theme and create their art based on it.  

What’s in it for students?

A good place to start establishing and showing to the world that you are serious about your art is by entering competitions. It demonstrates the participant’s willingness to put in the work and his belief that his/her art merits wider acclaim.  When students compete with one another, it motivates them to work harder to learn more, understand more, and succeed. Students need to have a fire within them that inspires them to succeed, whether it be in athletics or academics.

There are various benefits of taking part in art competitions-

  1. Motivation- Competitions are helpful in inspiring young artists and helps them to improve their creative abilities. By examining the work of their peers, students can appraise and evaluate their own methods and accomplishments in relation to those of other artists. Competition among high school students is motivated by the fact that those who succeed are more likely to land fulfilling professions.
  1. Experience- Young artists of all backgrounds have the opportunity to showcase their talents and engage in a variety of learning opportunities that they might not otherwise have access to by participating in art competitions. It gives them the required experience to creatively express their talents in a risk free manner.
  1. Making connections- Students have the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and develop new networks through art competitions which would help them in the future. Not only that, students have the opportunity to create new ideas and broaden their perspectives by meeting others from various academic fields and geographical regions.
  1. Recognition- Without a doubt, receiving prizes can boost your reputation in the art world. If you want to grow and develop a career in the field of art, building a name on the national level through competitions might be extremely beneficial. 
  1. Practice- You are motivated and inspired to perfect your work when you enter an art competition. The greatest way to excel at your own art is by diligent practice and perseverance, and these art competitions will serve as your inspiration and allow you to work on your mistakes.


Instead of worrying over winning or losing, students should view art competitions as a means to sharpen their skills. They should serve as a medium for young students to creatively express their ideas. Last but not least, taking part in and succeeding in renowned art competitions leaves a lasting impression when a student applies to art schools and can undoubtedly be a stepping stone to a successful future as an artist. At the same time, those who are interested in art can consider choosing art as a class in the freshman year too. 

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