For further information please e-mail Art Competition.

(Virtual) Capital City African American Youth Art Competition

Theme-Black in the Future-Envisioning Tomorrow Through the Eyes of Young African American Artists

The African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County and The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. Pi Chapter are proud to announce the first (Virtual) Capital City African American Youth Art Competition 2021. The theme is Black in the Future: Tomorrow Through the Eyes of Young African American Artists. We are excited to give our youth an opportunity to use artistic expression to look toward the future. The art for the competition will be displayed in a breathtaking, virtual gallery for all to view and enjoy.

In 2019 we sponsored two African American History Bowls in which youth from local youth groups competed in teams to answer questions about African and African American History. These competitions were held in February and August at Mercer County Community College, Kearny Campus.

In 2020 COVID-19 changed the way people did everything. You could not have events inside, so we had to rethink how we could continue to support our youth and promote a better understanding of the contributions made by African Americans to the history of this country and to the world. Going virtual was the answer. In August of 2020 we presented a Virtual History Bowl where students submitted short videos on African Americans who have made significant contributions to the United States and the World. There were seven entries from individual youth or youth groups. We were excited to discover that the Virtual History Bowl Video received over 1000 views.

The first (Virtual) Capital City African American Youth Art Competition 2021 is open to Mercer County students grades 5-12. We are challenging our young people to use their art to paint, draw, sculpt or design a future that exemplifies a just and equitable future for all. Entries are due by January 25th and winners will be announced on February 19th 2021 during a virtual awards ceremony. We must begin to look toward a future that is safer, more equitable, and brighter for all citizens.

Criteria & Guidelines for Virtual Visual Art Competition


Students/contestants must currently reside and be based in Trenton/Mercer County area.

Contest is open to African American students in two categories:

Middle school: grades 5-8

High school: grades -9-12

Artwork must be original

Artwork must be titled and related to the theme

Artwork must be 2 or 3 dimensional. Entries can be a still digital image ie. Painting, sculpture, drawing collage etc. And medium must be named

Artist must currently own the proposed work.

Artists can submit only 1 piece of work to be considered for judging

Artists can submit up to 3 pieces, however only 1 can be considered for prize

Artist must submit form stating school, grade, and age

Note: Please do not enter art from any copyrighted sources such as images originated from Disney Marvel, DC Comics, or Pixar. As well as celebrity images that may have originated from a copyrighted photo.


Submissions must be in by January 25th 2021 by 5:00 PM. Notification of winners will be announced by February 19th 2021.


Entries will be selected based on creativity, artistic excellence and relevance to the theme. A numerical guideline will be forthcoming.


A panel of judges with the expertise in art will select the winning entries. Committee will grant the winner prizes. All contestants will receive certificates of participation.

Awards are the same for both grade categories.

1st place-$300 2nd place- $200 3rd place- $100 Honorable Mention

The winning artists and their work will be featured on the organizations’ website and social media for one month.

All works will be featured at a local gallery (TBD)


The committee will be accepting submissions of 2D and 3D visual art only. Submission must include the following items:

Images of works (in jpg) uploaded to your assigned google drive folder stating contestant’s name in subject line. Each image must be labeled with contestant’s name, title of work, medium, and dimensions of work. (Once judging is completed then option to sell work will be permitted) File should not be larger than 5MB.

Note: Do Not send links to any website or social media channels to show entry. If so, the submission will not be considered. Do not share.

A brief statement /paragraph (3-4 sentences) stating how the work pertains to the theme.

A brief artist bio Please include your location- school and residence.


Uniqueness- Originality

Professional quality-craftmanship

Application of material

Aesthetic-composition and design

Concept- how well theme is interpreted

**** 10 Points per category