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The Top 19 Art Contests for Kids and Teens

Want your child to enter some art competitions? These 19 international art contests for kids and teens are a great place to start to get their work out there.

Do you have a talented young artist, photographer, designer, or illustrator in your life? It’s never too early to start helping them get their work out there! We’ve rounded up the top art contests for kids and teens that can help these budding creators share their first masterpieces with the world. Best of all? Most of them are totally free to enter!

International Art Contests (Open To All Nationalities)

SpaceTime Juried International Student Poster Competition and Online Exhibition

Age: 25 and under
Open to: Current students
Medium: Digital design

This is an awesome opportunity for newbie digital artists looking to showcase their creative skills. SpaceTime is on the hunt for youngsters to design themed posters (“thrive” was a recent prompt). Entries will be judged by international jurors on their execution of the theme, artistic merit, design, originality, technical excellence, and content.

Global Canvas International Children’s Art Competition

Ages: 16 and under
Mediums: Drawing, painting

Global Canvas is all about the environment. (One recent theme? “Habitats for the world.”) Launched by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation, this art competition wants to inspire the next generation to be more mindful of how we take care of the earth. The judges are looking for artists to capture the weird and wonderful places that wildlife call home.

Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

Ages: Four to 15
Mediums: Drawing, painting

Time to design a dream car! Toyota wants to get junior artists thinking about what the future of transportation might look like. Prizes at stake include cash and a chance to tour one of the Toyota manufacturing plants.

Kids 4 Human Rights

Ages: 10 to 14
Mediums: Drawing, painting

Kids 4 Human Rights has a great cause and wants to recruit some talented young artists to join. For this art contest, your creative kids can either draw or paint a picture showing what we can do to defend or promote human rights, a picture of a human rights defender who they admire, or a picture depicting a human right which they feel strongly about. Amazing!

World Wide Kids Drawings

Ages: Six to 17
Mediums: Drawing, painting

This art competition for kids runs all year long—and has no theme! The organization just wants the blossoming artists to draw whatever they feel like drawing, or paint whatever they feel like painting. Their one request is that the piece demonstrates the artist’s originality and style.

Advena World 2018 International Children’s Art Competition

Ages: 15 and under
Mediums: Drawing, painting

Advena World’s art competition aims to promote creativity and self-expression. Instead of a theme, they ask the participating artists to simply express their feelings—anything from sadness or joy to anger or excitement—through their chosen medium,.

FAI Young Artists Contest

Ages: 14 and under
Mediums: Drawing, painting

Now, this is an interesting one: it blends the visual arts with aeronautics, encouraging burgeoning artists to innovate through artistry. Applicants are tasked with thinking about flight, and can expect skyward-related themes like "my dream to fly!”

Embracing Our Differences Art Competition

Ages: All ages
Mediums: Painting, photography

Want a chance to win $3000 USD? This is one of the big-money options on our list. Embracing Our Differences is a not-for-profit organization that focuses on diversity. And what better way to bring people together than through art? A recent theme, for example, was “enriching lives through diversity and inclusion.” Applicants are judged by a panel based on artistic excellence and originality.

The Centre pour l’UNESCO Louis François International Art Contest

Ages: 25 and under
Mediums: Drawing, painting

One of the most prestigious art competitions for kids on this list! Its goal is to promote the arts amongst young people all around the world; one recent theme was “traces and writings in history.” With this competition, encourage your loved one to think broadly and really take the theme and run with it.

Progressive Young Artist Awards

Ages: 13 to 19
Open to: All international applicants
Mediums: Painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, sculpture
Cost to enter: $5 USD

PYAA is all about expressing and celebrating progressive values. So, if there is a creative teen in your life who wants to do good in the world, sign them up for this art contest for teens. The prize is a scholarship which they can put toward their post-secondary schooling.

The IAFOR Documentary Photography Award

Ages: 31 and under
Medium: Photography

This art contest is quite the opportunity for a fledgling photographer. It was started by The International Academic Forum (IAFOR) to aid in the development of up-and-coming documentary photographers and photojournalists. This one is most likely for mature teens only, as their themes can be a little on the edgier side; one recent one was “fearful futures.”

World Photography Organisation

Ages: 12 to 19
Mediums: Photography

The objective of this art contest for teens is to help beginner photographers take the next step in their careers. The WPO is looking for applicants to capture the essence of the theme word in a single image, whether it’s a culture or an environment. One past theme? “Diversity.” So there’s lots of room for interpretation!

United States Art Contests

U.S. Kids Magazines Art Competition

Ages: 12 and under
Open to: US applicants
Mediums: Drawing or painting

The rookie artist in your life now has a chance to get their work on the cover (!) of U.S. Kids Magazine. This publication is for artistic children and aims to make learning fun. Their annual art contest for kids encourages grade-schoolers to get those creative juices flowing. One recent theme was “going places”.

Youth Art Contest

Ages: Five to 19
Open to: US applicants
Mediums: Drawing or painting
Cost to enter: $8 (USD)

Is the developing artist in your life also an animal lover? Encourage them to submit to the Ned Smith Center’s Youth Art Contest, which wants to cultivate the next generation of wildlife artists. There are a fair number of rules for this contest, so make sure to review them with your applicant before they start creating.

United Kingdom Art Contests

Young Art

Ages: Four to 19
Open to: Students in the UK
Mediums: Drawing or painting
Cost to enter: £2.00

The finalists’ work for this art contest will be displayed at the 29th Young Art Exhibition at the Royal College of Art. All proceeds from the final exhibit will go toward cancer research in the UK. Themes like “the moment” are totally up to the interpretation of the young artist, so they can just grab that easel and have at it!

Environment 2020 Children’s Art Competition

Ages: 16 and under
Open to: UK and Ireland applicants
Mediums: Painting or photography

Whether they’re a painter, drawer, or burgeoning photographer, all kinds of wee artists are welcome in this green art competition (themes are along the lines of “the environment and the home”). Sponsored by Worcester and Bosch, it looks to foster eco-friendly thinking in our kids.

National Open Art

Ages: 15 or under
Open to: UK and Ireland applicants
Mediums: Drawing, painting, photography, installation, digital art
Cost to enter: £5

This art contest for kids looks to pave the way for the next generation of artists. Their mandate is to promote, improve, and advance the arts, while simultaneously encouraging youngsters to cultivate their artistic abilities and choose the artist’s path. Hopefully winning this contest will set them on the right path!

Canada Art Contests

CANFAR Youth Art Competition

Ages: 30 and under
Open to: All eligible applicants from the Canadian provinces of Newfoundland and PEI, and the territories of Nunavut and the Yukon
Medium: Drawing or painting

The Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR) is on the lookout for budding artists to help raise awareness of health services available to young Canadians. Themes for this art competition are along the lines of “youth health and community,” “community empowerment,” and “community support.” The winner could take home a cash prize of $1000!

Kids’ Fish Art Contest

Ages: Grades four through 12
Open to: All eligible applicants from the province of Ontario, Canada
Medium: Drawing or painting

The Ontario government is looking for little artists within the province to draw either a channel catfish or an Atlantic salmon. This is part of the government’s efforts to help young Ontarians learn more about Ontario’s native fish and their habitats. The rules and guidelines are pretty extensive, so make sure you go over everything with your artist before they start on their submission.

Want to help the kid or teen artist in your life create a head-turning art portfolio website? They can curate their work and design their website exactly the way they want it. Start a free trial with Format today!

Art competitions aren’t just for kids! Check out some amazing prizes grownups can go for here:
The Best Fine Art Contests and Prizes
The Best Photography Contests and Prizes
The Best Design Contests and Prizes
The Best Illustration, Design and Art Contests for Students

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