Special Competitions

Here are some special Art competitions and awards you may be interested in trying for!  Please also check out the full list of available Awards.

Energy & Sustainability Competition

Any art project that is about energy or sustainability will be eligible to win an iPod for both the student and sponsoring adult.

Genius Art Olympiad

The Genius Art Olympiad is a competition using art to raise public awareness for taking action on global environment problems and solutions. Any student, grade 9th-12th, who creates an art project with a focus on environmental awareness that creates a lasting, emotional connection with the audience is eligible for the Genius Art Olympiad. There are four categories for entry:

Photography – Genius photography should (but is not limited to) express the way natural systems do, and don’t, respond to environmental issues. The photographic storytelling should express a sense of frustration about the world we live in, or show changes that society has made through construction, pollution, and land management policy. Your goal should be to make a positive change to raise awareness about endangered cultures, threatened environments, and social concerns through photography.

Short Film – The Genius Olympiad is looking for animated, live action, or documentary style short films between two and eight minutes in length, that transport the viewer into the scene. The journey that the audience goes on should create an emotional change with the scene, motivating, and informing the viewer towards any global or local environmental issue. The following are examples of Genius Art award winners from 2011, “Meet to Solve“, and from 2012, “Land Pollution“.

Poster Design – A Genius poster should motivate the viewer to think differently about the things that people may be learning or doing about the environment. The poster should aim to create a behavioral change regarding environmental problems (local or global) such as: global warming, water (pollution or usage), air pollution or quality, waste management (reduce, reuse, and recycle), energy, etc. For professional examples of environmental awareness posters, please visit uPrinting.

Satirical Illustration –  The Genius Olympiad is seeking satirical illustrations that require critical viewing, humor, or that challenges accepted notions by making them seem ridiculous, pointing out hypocrisy, or prompting the good to improve the world. Whether the visuals are cartoons, caricatures, or editorial illustrations, this category encompasses the practice of using visual imagery to humorously lampoon society in an attempt to encourage people to behave differently.

Art Scholarship Competition

The Art Scholarship Competition award is the major award for the high school art division.  It is presented to an individual ninth through twelfth grade student whose portfolio is considered the most outstanding body of work entered in the current Mastodon Fair.  The scholarship awards will be given for 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, 4th place, and 5th place.  Please Note: All art exhibits MUST comply with the Mastodon Fair Exhibit Rules, Display Guidelines, and the rules regarding entry.

Rules and Procedures REQUIRED for the Art Scholarship Competition

  • Student has met the eligibility requirements of the Mastodon Fair.
  • Student must be in grades 9 – 12.
  • Student has elected to enter the Art Scholarship Competition by checking the appropriate box on the registration form.
  • A student that has elected to compete in the Art Scholarship Competition MUST submit a single art exhibit that will be displayed and judged along with other art exhibits.  This exhibit must comply with the rules and guidelines of the Mastodon Fair.  All visual media art will be considered.

An Art Scholarship exhibit is allowed larger dimensions.

Wall: Exhibit must fit within a 4′ x 4′ square space.
Table: Exhibit must fit within a 4′ x 4′ square space, not to exceed 4′ in height.

A student that has elected to enter the Art Scholarship Competition must submit a portfolio.  The portfolio must be submitted during Exhibit Check-In (or by instructions in Fair Schedule.)

Portfolio Requirements:

  1. Attached to the front of the portfolio:
    • Student name
    • Entry ID number
    • Grade level
    • Student’s phone number
    • Student’s High School name
    • Student’s Teacher’s name
    • Contact person’s name, phone number, and email address

2. The portfolio must include the appropriate number of items as required.

Students in the following grade levels should bring:

      • Grade 9: Four or more pieces. (50% of work should be from past 2 years)
      • Grade 10: Four or more pieces. (50% of work should be from past 2 years)
      • Grade 11: Five or more pieces. (50% of work should be from past 2 years)
      • Grade 12: Six or more pieces. (50% of work should be from past 2 years)

3. The portfolio should contain the student’s best work and a sketchbook.  The work does not have to be matted.  All work should be in good condition.  The work should contain a minimum of four different media, such as examples of drawings, paintings, photographs, animation art, digital painting, and three dimensional work (photographs of 3-D work are acceptable).  No cartoons unless they are the student’s original creation.  Please limit copied work to no more than one piece.  A self-portrait is recommended.


Preliminary judging: Judges will review the portfolio and the piece that is displayed in the show.  These works will be used to determine the five finalists.  The finalists will be notified through the contact person designated on the portfolio.

The finalists must be available for the Finalist Interview at a specified time.  If a finalist cannot be present for the Finalist Interview the student is disqualified from the Art Scholarship. (See this year’s calendar for the scheduled interview time.)

Finalists should be prepared to answer questions that deal with the following: their thoughts about their portfolio, subject matter, materials and techniques, how their work has developed, and future plans.

Finalist Judging Criteria:

  • Technical Skills – demonstration of the understanding of materials used.
  • Originality – original ideas, use of materials, approach to work. (No more than one copied piece).
  • Creativity – creative solutions to artistic problems and connection to other disciplines
  • Articulation – ability to describe the work verbally

All finalists should be present and will receive recognition at the Awards Ceremony, where the winner and runner-up will be announced. In the event that the winner is unable to take the trip in May, the runner-up may take the trip instead.