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Tips on Choosing the Correct Category

Each member may only compete with a maximum of five (5) pieces. 

Each piece must be in a separate category. 

Doubled categorized pieces will be disqualified.  On-Site is an additional piece and does not count as one of the five pieces.

1st Year Categories are for 1st-year art students only. 

Artworks should be placed in the correct categories for judging. 

When selecting the category for each piece, keep in mind the 80% to 20% rule. If an artwork was created using 80% of one medium, it can be categorized as such. Not every piece that uses multiple mediums has to be placed in mixed media. For example, if an artwork is created using charcoal, but the paper's surface was washed with watercolor prior to the charcoal drawing, the artwork can be entered as charcoal/conte.

Sketchbooks will be judged in their entirety. Not just a single page that is left open.


No published artworks may be used as the basis for any categories except First-Year: All Reproductions, Black & White/Color. Artworks will be disqualified if the subject matter is a rendition of a magazine photograph and/or photographs, drawings, or paintings by another artist.


Students may utilize subject matters from photographs they take themselves or by other amateur photographers. The idea is to reward the student's own originality and creative insights.


Artworks that use the style (Cubism, Impressionism, Ect) from art history (Blue Boy, The Scream, Mona Lisa, Ect) without copying an artist's original composition will be considered original.



Realism: This division includes artworks utilizing life studies or direct observation of subject matter. Artworks remind the viewer of the real world and imitate life. No imaginary subjects are to be submitted in this category. This is reality rendered by the artist. What the viewer sees is what the artist saw when creating the work. Artwork does not include fantasy or surreal compositions rendered realistically.


Expressive: This division includes artworks utilizing imaginative and/or direct observation of subject matter with strong communication of feelings, moods, or ideas to the viewer. Works should "send a message" to the viewer. Regardless of style, these works impact the viewer first with symbolism, idea, or mood. Expressive works may include fantasy or mythological subjects, as well as real subjects combined in surreal compositions.


Abstract/Non-Objective: This division includes artworks where the emphasis is on design qualities (compositions stressing the elements of art and using the principles of design). Artwork is created with emphasis on the arrangement of compositions, media techniques, color values, etc. The subject matter is secondary to composition/design.

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