High School Art Challenge

Exhibition/Voting Schedule

May 12-June 17 Wharton Center
July 1-August 4 Downtown Library
August 4-August 24 Edgewood Church
August 24-August 31 Presbyterian Church of Okemos
August 31-September 7 Unitarian Universalist Church Of Greater Lansing
September 7-13 Okemos Community Church
September 14th Lansing Harmony Celebration


We invite high school students to create original art about the following theme:

Differences, Justice and Equality

Racial and social segregation, shaped by historical policies and current practices, negatively affects our pursuit of economic, educational, and social fairness and justice.  Segregation can be seen in our places of worship, schools, neighborhoods, and in entertainment and the arts, which inhibits interactions between people who are different and decreases our ability to appreciate and learn from one another. Equity is the action to bring about equality. For instance, equity can be seen in eliminating segregation, eliminating persistent barriers to opportunity, and providing people the necessary resources to create a true equal society.

Students may consider the following in preparing their work:

  • Do you see segregation in your everyday lives? If so, where and how?
  • What situations have you witnessed where the elimination of barriers led to better outcomes for all involved?
  • From your experience, how can we promote cross-cultural acceptance and human dignity and get beyond segregation?
  • How can we promote justice in our society and achieve equality for all people?

Grades: 9-12

Criteria: Work must be two-dimensional and must be mounted individually on black matte board (18” x 24” horizontal and no more than 1/8th inch thick). You may use acetate to cover delicate works such as charcoal or pastel. (These requirements are very important as the finalist art pieces will be framed for the month-long exhibit that will take place at Wharton Center for Performing Arts.)

Paperwork: All projects must be submitted with the filled-out name tags typed, printed in color, and mounted on black matte board (5.5” x 8.5”) on both sides. On one side, the name tag should include the name of the student, school, his/her teacher’s name, the title for the art piece and a brief statement (1-3 sentences) describing the artwork’s message. On the other side, only the title for the art piece and the brief statement should appear. Moreover, another name tag will full information (name of student, school, teacher’s name, title) should be taped (or glued) to the back of the art piece’s matte board for ease of identification.  Please fill out the teacher inventory form for your school as well.

Click here name tag template and the teacher inventory form.

Timeline: The deadline for submissions is April 30th, 2019.  Work will be returned after the awards ceremony and final exhibit during PeaceQuest 2019, which will be held in late September.

Display & Awards: Finalists will be selected based on juror’s choice. After that, finalist art pieces will be shown at multiple venues and winners will be decided based on public vote and juror’s choice. The awards are: $150 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place. In addition, there will be several honorable mentions, which will receive $25. Each participant student will receive a certificate.  A certificate and a gift will also be presented to the participating art teachers.

Please email Ms. Heidi Irvine hirvine@hpsk12.net with questions and to sign up ASAP!  We will let you know how many pieces your school can submit once we know how many schools are participating.

This year’s art challenge is organized and sponsored by the following:

Intercultural Association of Michigan

The mission of Intercultural Association of Michigan (IAM) is to promote and organize activities to foster diversity, social integration, community involvement and volunteering. IAM is dedicated to intercultural dialog between Michigan’s ethnic communities. More information at interculturalmichigan.org

Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation

Launched in 2016, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation (TRHT) is a comprehensive, national and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change, and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism. It seeks to unearth and jettison the deeply held, and often unconscious, beliefs created by racism – the main one being the belief in a hierarchy of human value. In 2017, WK Kellogg Foundation supported TRHT processes in 14 places including Lansing, Michigan. More information at healourcommunities.org