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Visual Arts Scholarship Competition

Your future is your design, and we’re here to help you along the way with a Thea visual arts scholarship!


Each year, artists from all across Arkansas convene at Thea Foundation in downtown North Little Rock to display their work to our panel of qualified judges, who select 10 winners of scholarships ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. 


1st Place – $4,000

2nd Place – $3,500

5th – 10th Places – $2,000

3rd Place – $3,000

4th Place – $2,500


Saturday, March 28, 2020


Monday, March 23, 2020


Brilliant, radiant, overcoming the senses.


2020 THEME

After Registering to Compete: Participating students who register should email Paul Leopoulos at to confirm their registration was received.


Delivery of Entries: Finished works can be mailed to Thea Foundation ATTN: Paul Leopoulos starting Monday, February 3, or dropped off at Thea Foundation the week of the competition during normal business hours or delivered the day of the competition between 8 and 10 a.m. Everyone can pick up their work between 3 and 5 p.m. that same day or the following week between regular business hours.


The judging for all entries will take place Saturday, March 28,  at the Thea Foundation. The judging is closed to the public. 


The following information must be identified on the back of your entry:


First and last name

Address, and a phone number

School name and address


Print your written description on a separate piece of paper to be placed on/attached to the front of your entry for judging. 


Everyone except the top 10 senior finishers must pick up their entries between 3:00 and 5:00 p.m. after judging or during the following week between regular business hours. 


The winners will be placed on exhibit in Thea's Argenta gallery space for the entire month of April 2020. 

Judging Process


Your entry will be judged on the following criterion:

Artist Statement

A written or typed statement explaining your work and how it interprets the theme must be both submitted with your online application and included physically with your art at the competition. Attach your artist statement so that it is visible while looking at your work (i.e. with a piece of tape behind the work so that the text is visible below or to the side of the work when looking at it straight on). 


Interpretation of Theme

Is the artwork consistent with the art contest theme? Does the project clearly represent the student’s interpretation of the theme to the viewer? The title and artist description provided should be considered in making this judgment. This year's theme is "Brilliant, radiant, overcoming the senses." 



Do the concepts/ideas/format of the artwork seem new and original?



How well does the work represent or deconstruct the medium to which it belongs? Please consider all elements of design including: composition, visual balance, color, finish, and overall impression.


2 - D

Printmaking - The process of making original prints by pressing an inked block or plate onto a receptive support surface, typically paper. Techniques include relief, intaglio, and planographic. 


Photography - A 20th century medium by which the artist captures pictorial images on film or a digital sensor, to be later printed via darkroom or digital printer. Renderings of computer animation do not fall under this category. 


Painting - The art of painting consists of the arrangement of shapes, lines, colors, tones and textures on a two-dimensional surface, thus creating an aesthetic image. Mediums of painting include encaustic, oil, acrylic, fresco, tempera, watercolors and gouache.


Drawing - Drawing may be defined as the linear realization of visual objects, concepts, and emotions, including symbols and even abstract forms. Mediums include pen and ink, charcoal, chalks, pastels, metalpoint, silverpoint, graphite point, colored crayons, as well as graver, burin or etching needle for incised types of drawing.


Mixed Media - A composition made up of a variety of assorted materials - typically, printed matter like newspaper clippings, photographs, pieces of graphic or digital art, oddments of textile or fabric, and perhaps solid objects - all glued to a sheet of paper or board or canvas.


3 - D

Sculpture - Sculpture is a three-dimensional work of plastic art created either by (1) Carving - in stone, marble, wood, ivory, bone; (2) modeling - from wax or clay, after which it may be cast in bronze. 


Ceramics - A type of plastic art, ceramics refers to items made from clay and baked in a kiln.


Assemblage / Appropriated - A contemporary form of sculpture, comparable to collage, in which a work of art is built up or "assembled" from 3-D materials - typically "found" objects.


Specifications of Entries


2 - D


All works must be mounted and matted. Canvas entries do not have to be matted and should not be framed.


Max image size is 16" x 20" (not including mat)


First, last name, title of piece, phone number, and email address should all be included on the back of the piece. 


3 - D

All students submitting 3 - D works need to provide appropriate pedestals for the work to rest on if the work is to be viewed higher than ground level. Tables and pedestals will not be provided. If a work is submitted without a pedestal, it will be viewed from the floor.


Max size 3' x 3' x 3' (max height not including pedestal height)


First, last name, title of piece, phone number, and email address should all be affixed somewhere on the pedestal or piece itself.

Before you register, be sure you FULLY READ the qualifications below and be sure that you’re eligible:

By visiting this page you understand that this information has been available to you starting August 6, 2019, and that failure to read this information or register for a scholarship before the registration deadline is to no fault of the Thea Foundation. The Thea Foundation makes every attempt possible within its means to notify students, parents, teachers, counselors, and the general public of the availability of its scholarship competitions and will not allow late registration predicated on the notion that an individual party was not aware of the information regarding deadlines. 


Registering for a Thea Foundation Scholarship Competition requires students to register online via a gravity form. Students may only register through the specific portal that the Foundation has created for each scholarship competition. Thea staff will not register students for scholarship competitions.


The Foundation recognizes that issues may arise during the registration process either from faulty equipment, user error, or issues beyond the control of either the registrant or the Foundation. The Thea Foundation encourages all students who register for a scholarship competition to contact Paul Leopoulos at to verify whether or not their registration was indeed processed. The Foundation makes available the registration for their scholarship competitions many months in advance to provide time to those having technical difficulties during the registering process. The Thea Foundation will not allow students to participate in a scholarship competition who arrive at the competition stating that they registered during the time allotted and who's name is not present on the Thea Foundation's list of participating students.


As stated above, all students are encouraged to call the Foundation to see whether or not their registration was successful. Failure to do so jeopardizes the student's certainty of a successful registration and participation in any scholarship competition. 

Only high school seniors enrolled in either public, private or home schools in Arkansas are eligible to register for a Thea Foundation Scholarship Competition.  A high school senior means any student who is currently completing the 12th grade in public or private school or any home school student who lists the 11th grade as their last grade level completed on their Notice of Intent to Home School on file with the Arkansas Department of Education for the current school year.

Rules and Regulations:

To view the 2019 scholarship winning art along with each artist's statement, visit our blog.

The gallery below is a sample of art created by our 2019 winners.