Illinois children can enter art contest

Local News

Mike Casey, Exhibits Project Manager at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum, moves the newly acquired Bible that belonged to Abraham Lincoln in his final year of life, into an exhibit at the museum following a press conference announcing its arrival Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Springfield, Ill. Mary Lincoln gave the Bible to family friend Noyes W. Miner in 1872 and it remained in the family’s possession until they donated it to the museum. Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Conservator Bonnie Parr and Carla Smith, registrar for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, are at left. (Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP)

llinois children can showcase their artistic talents and consider the importance of art in our lives, thanks to a statewide art contest sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Board of Education.

The theme of the contest is “Art Surrounds Us,” a news release says. Illinois students from kindergarten through high school can let their imaginations run wild to create original works of art reflecting what the theme means to them.

Judging will occur across four levels: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. In each level a winner and three runners-up will be selected, and one piece will be selected as “Best in Show.”

The 16 top designs will be displayed by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, and a single winner will be used as a poster sent to all schools during Illinois Arts Education Week, March 15-19, 2021.

Artwork may be submitted now through Feb. 12. The winners will be announced in conjunction with Illinois Arts Education Week. The winner of “Best in Show” will also be recognized at an ISBE Board meeting and a framed copy of their work will hang in the Board office.

“We chose ‘Art Surrounds Us’ as the theme this year because of the stories we’ve heard about people finding comfort and inspiration in the arts during the pandemic,” said ALPLM Education Director Heather Nice. “We hope it encourages students to see the world differently, looking for patterns and beauty in the everyday experience – or maybe to highlight the fantastical worlds that surround them via their imaginations.”

Submissions must be 11 inches by 14 inches and two dimensional. They cannot feature copyrighted characters or images. More details are available at

“ISBE is excited to highlight all areas of student learning, including the area of fine arts,” said ISBE’s director of student care, Molly Uhe-Edmonds. “The fine arts allow students to demonstrate their unique talents. These students will go on to be well-rounded individuals who are able to view the world through a creative lens.”

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, at 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield, is dedicated to telling the story of America’s 16th president through old-fashioned scholarship and modern technology.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as millions of other items pertaining to Illinois history. Meanwhile, the museum uses traditional exhibits, eye-catching special effects and innovative story-telling techniques to educate visitors.

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