Idabel, OK (January 21, 2018)—Submissions for the Museum of the Red River’s biennial art competition, Expressions of Youth, will be accepted from January 27 to February 10. The show is open to artists ages 11 to 19. Contestants may submit two pieces of work in any media (watercolors, stoneware, textiles, photographic prints, etc.). Only original works will be accepted. A full list of rules is available online. Submissions that do not follow these rules may be disqualified at any stage of the contest. Entries will be judged on their technical quality, originality and artistic merit by Chris Powell, Associate Professor of Art from Texas Christian University; $1,000 in cash prizes are available. The show will run from February 19 to March 3.
Head of Programs Christina Eastep noted that the contest has become “increasingly important in recent years.” The Museum serves several dozen rural school districts in the four-state region. Many have sharply reduced or eliminated funding for arts education in recent years. As such, Expressions of Youth provides “artistic opportunities that many students might not otherwise have.” The relationship between art and increased academic success is well-documented. For example, a recent study by the Oklahoma Policy Institute noted that a robust arts education improves skills like critical thinking and empathy. It also teaches students how to handle failure and criticism. For “at-risk” students, increased exposure to fine arts can even lead to lower dropout rates.
[Pictured: Sloan Hickerson. 1st place, 2017. 3D Art, Ages 11 to 15.]