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Youth Art Contest

Young people’s voices are often left out of conversations about how to make their neighborhoods and schools safe, supportive spaces where they can thrive. The Center for Youth Equity within the Violence Prevention Institute at Tulane University believes young people should be able to express themselves. Their perspectives on fairness, safety, and community can inspire action toward a future free from violence and full of access and opportunity. 

From August to October 2022, the CYE invited young artists from the New Orleans area to submit original artwork to our youth art contest and exhibition. Winners in each category received a financial prize, and all entrants now have their artwork displayed in the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Click here to see the award winners and a virtual exhibit.


Theme, Content, Media, & Dimensions

Theme: We would like to know what young people want and need to thrive now and well into the future and have chosen a theme of LIBERATION. What does LIBERATION mean to you? Does it mean freedom from limits on thought or behavior? Is it gaining equal rights or full social or economic opportunities? Or, is it social change that removes traditional and oppressive rules so that everyone can live as their authentic selves? And, how can adults and communities support this? Artists may interpret this in any way most meaningful to them. 

Content Guidelines: Because this artwork will be displayed in a space for all ages, submissions that include gratuitous profanity, nudity, or depictions of violence may not be considered for prizes or exhibition. This content is permitted, but it must have a purpose. Our intention is not to restrict artistic vision, so if you have questions about your subject matter, you are welcome to email us at vpi@tulane.edu

Media & Dimensions: Artwork should be in a visual, two-dimensional, fixed medium and should not exceed a height or width of 36 inches. This includes all forms of painting, drawing, photography, and graphic design. Unfortunately, we are unable to display sculpture or video. 

Submission Details

Eligibility: This contest is open to individuals between the ages of 11 and 21 as of October 31, 2022 who are residents of Orleans, Jefferson, St. Bernard, or Plaquemines Parish. Tulane University students who were residents of these parishes prior to university acceptance are welcome to submit.

Submission Instructions: Artists must complete a form with the following information: 

  • name, age, school, parish of residency, email address, and phone number 
  • a 100-word bio 
  • a 100-word description of submitted work 
  • a photo of themselves (optional) 
  • permission, name, and contact information of parent or guardian if under the age of 18 
  • acceptance of Artist Release

Submission Options:

  • Artwork can be submitted online or in-person delivery to 1440 Canal Street. Additionally, CYE staff can offer pickup from schools should multiple artists be submitting. Email vpi@tulane.edu for more information on group pickup options.
  • Artwork submitted online can be a photograph of the piece, but originals will need to be dropped-off for the exhibit. 
  • Artwork can be submitted by individual, caregiver, or individual’s teacher with permission of parent. 

Number of Entries: Artists may submit one artwork for consideration; however, that submission can be in multiple parts. 

Entry Fee: $0 

Submission Deadline: October 31, 2022 


Every submission will be displayed in an in-person gallery exhibition on the first floor of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine building at 1440 Canal Street, and every artist will be invited to an exhibit opening and recognition event to see their artwork displayed. At the close of the exhibit, the artwork will be transferred to the Violence Prevention Institute suite for permanent display. Additionally, a website will host digital images of all submissions. 

A panel of judges will award prizes in each age group along with a Grand Prize award. 

  • Grand Prize: One work chosen from all submitted will receive a financial prize of $500 and have their artwork digitized to become a mural in the reception area of the Violence Prevention Institute
  • Best in Age Category: One artist from each age category will also receive a financial prize
  • Artist Awards: Local artists judges will have the opportunity to create their own award and associated prize to be given to a submission that did not already receive an award
  • VPI Honorable Mention: Each member of the Violence Prevention Institute Executive committee and staff will select an honorable mention prize. When artwork is transferred to permanent display, honorable mention artwork will receive prominent placement near the office of the person that gave the honorable mention award.

All awards will be shared via press release and on the Violence Prevention Institute’s website and social  media channels.