SPRINGFIELD – Illinois children are getting a chance to use their artistic talents to explore the importance of self-expression, thanks to the annual 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 “Survival Through Self-Expression.” Illinois students from kindergarten through high school have the freedom to interpret it as they want and create any two-dimensional art, such as a drawing, painting, or collage.

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The contest has four age groups: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Entries must be mailed no later than Dec. 17. The winners will be announced on Feb. 12, Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.

Each age group will have a winner and two runners-up, all of whom will have their work displayed at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum from Feb. 12 to March 18, 2022. The artwork chosen as “best of show” will be used on a poster sent to all schools during Illinois Arts Education Week, March 14-18.

The winner will also be recognized at an ISBE Board meeting, and a framed copy will hang in the Board office.

“Children grow stronger when they can express their hopes, fears, ideas, and talents. We’re excited to see how students explore this powerful idea in the art they submit,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

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Submissions may be up to 14 inches by 11 inches. They cannot feature copyrighted characters such as Batman. More details are available at bit.ly/ALPLM-ArtContest.

“Arts education provides our students with an important creative outlet and an opportunity to stretch their minds and develop new skills,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr. Carmen I. Ayala. “I encourage all of Illinois’ young artists to enter the annual poster contest and display their talents. Celebrating Arts Education Week elevates the critical role of the arts in high-quality, well-rounded education.”

The contest, presented in cooperation with the Illinois Art Education Association, is open for Illinois students from kindergarten through high school. Entries do not have to be submitted via schools; youth groups, home-educated children, or anyone else can participate. All that is required is that the artist is a student at any public, private, alternative, or home school in Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts, and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.

For more information, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov. You can follow the ALPLM on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The mission of the Illinois State Board of Education is to provide leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois districts by engaging legislators, school administrators, teachers, students, parents, families, and other stakeholders in formulating and advocating for policies that enhance education, empower districts and ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Its vision of Illinois is a state of whole, healthy children nested in whole, healthy systems supporting communities wherein all people are socially and economically secure.

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