M'ART'ch Madness

ARE THE ARTS A BIG PART OF YOUR LIFE?

SUBMIT YOUR ART AND 
WIN A PAIR OF AIRPODS! 
 

_________


DEADLINE EXTENDED!

SUBMISSIONS DUE MARCH 15th

In March, the Utah Partnership for Arts Education is sponsoring a K-12 art competition titled M”art”ch Madness as part of the Arts for Life Utah initiative. M”art”ch Madness is a multidisciplinary, bracket-style, art competition presenting student art on the theme Arts for Life. 

 

Submissions from the fields of dance, drama, music, visual arts, media arts, literary arts, and more are accepted. Submissions are due March 15th and will be published as an online digital gallery on this site and on social media platforms. Canvas modules have been created for teachers to help prepare students to submit to the competition.

Sample Prompts

Need help getting started? Consider these prompts to begin creating your work of art.

  • Fill in the blank: COVID is _________ but the arts are __________.

  • Complete the sentence: Because of the arts ______________.

  • How is art a cure?

  • ResiliART: How does art help you be resilient in your life?

How the Bracket Works & Prizes

Directors of the Arts for Life Utah initiative will select 16 works of art to participate in the M”art”ch Madness competition on Instagram. Selections will be determined by the quality of work and connection to the theme. The 16 finalists will be announced on March 20th and voting will open on March 23rd on Instagram.

Finalists will be published on the @artsforlifeutah Instagram story in pairs and viewers will be able to vote for their favorite! Each day the previous day's winners will be paired until we have a final winner on March 27th. Additionally, one winner will be selected from each art form (dance, visual art, music, and theatre). The grand prize winner will receive a pair of AirPods in the mail!
 

Submission Requirements

  • Connected to the theme Arts for Life.

  • Digital file prepared to share on the Instagram platform: no larger than 4GB, 1-minute limit, aspect ratio 1:1, 1080p x 1350p is best.

  • Acceptable formats include: .doc, .jpg, .pdf, .png, .mov, .mp4, .mp3. 

  • Include biographical information: name, school, age, and grade (a headshot is optional but welcome).

  • Include an artist statement about your piece (250 words max).

  • Teachers can submit for students who have given permission for their work to be shared.

  • Submit by March 15th to be considered for the competition.

  • Submit to artsforlifeutah@gmail.com or DM us on Instagram @artsforlifeutah.

Schedule

  • March 15th - Submissions Due -- Deadline Extended!

  • March 20th - 16 Finalists Announced

  • March 23rd - M’art’ch Madness Voting Opens

  • March 27th - Final Winner announced

Resources for Teachers

The professional arts education organizations in Utah that are sponsoring this initiative (UMEA, UDEO, UAEA, and UACTT) have created Canvas courses for teachers to share to help prepare students for participation in the competition or to simply create works of art on the theme "Arts for Life." Find these modules and assignments in the resource section of our website.

Click here to download a flier to share with your students, friends, family, and colleagues.

Grand Prize Winner

Irene Hu

Cedar Hills High School

Judges Choice Awards

Ryelyn McQuivey

Santaquin Elementary School

Madi Fairbanks

Olympus High School

Sadie A. Taylor

Ingrid Payne

Grand County High School

Pine View High School

16 Finalists:

Madi Fairbanks.jpg

Olympus High School

Madi Fairbanks - Junior, 17 yrs old

"The theme “Why Does Art Matter” inspired me to create a self-portrait demonstrating the ways art has helped me. I wanted to portray how art calms me down and clears my mind. It is a distraction that helps divert my anxiety. When I create art my fear of perfection dissipates, and I focus on putting my feelings onto the paper. Unlike in other aspects of my life, I am not afraid to get messy and try new things. Art is something that never ceases to make me happy, it is so comforting to know that I can pick up a pencil an forget my stresses."

Carolyn Youngs MM.jpg

Meadowbrook Elementary School

Carolyn Youngs - 1st Grade

"I love art so much that I see it everyday. My eye represents me and what I see. "I matter because I am the only me". My art is never going to be like everyone else's. I create and it becomes a part of me. Just like my eye."

Knowlton Elementary School

Maggie Hains - 3rd Grade, 9 yrs old

"Because of art, I can be calm when life is hard.”

Ryelyn Mc.jpeg

Santaquin Elementary School

Ryelyn McQuivey - 5th Grade, 10 yrs old

"Art is a cure, it helps me when I am mad, sad, or anxious. It helps me to be creative. Art inspires me and encourages me. It makes me happy when I am feeling down and I need something to help me be happy. Art is an amazing, I've enjoyed it my whole life. I keep on practicing and practicing and I get better and better. Art is a very special thing; it is so nice to be able to stroke with the paint and smear the colors together. Art inspired me so much that I started doing an art class with my best friend. Art is an amazing cure for anything you're going through."

Olivia Adamson.jpeg

American Fork High School

Olivia Adamson - Junior, 17 yrs old

"Because of the Arts, we can develop empathy. When we look at another artist's creation, we are able to see a part of their souls, emotions, ideas, and opinions. I think that empathy is a cure for hatred, and in this day and age we could all use an extra dose. I created this painting titled, " Colorful Spirits", because we all need to do some more searching to see the beautiful soul inside."

Olympus High School

Brooklyn Fairbanks - Sophomore, 14 yrs old

"I created this artwork because I wanted to demonstrate how art made me feel and how it has caused my creativity to grow from when I was young. My artwork makes me feel delighted and brings me peace at any given time. Art does not have to be perfect, in fact it can be messy and wild, just like us. Showing different styles is all a part of growing individually. Reflecting your emotions onto paper helps you grow. Art matters because it builds who I am as a person."

Annabel Lee.jpeg

Bingham HIgh School

Annabel Lee - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I Scream for Ice Cream represents the looming presence of Covid-19 and the strange beauties we discovered from these trying times. The moon depicts the constant, creepy nature of Covid in our recent lives. Despite the obvious tension the "moon" brings, the ice cream and cute characters are the aspects in society that have come forth from the despair. Society as a whole has experienced unity and empathy like no other and is represented in the relieving presence of the bright pink dessert. The purpose of the piece itself is to bring awe, joy, and glee to the viewers. My goal is to use art to bring healing and relief to the world in ways we can't express other than through visual stimulation. This form of expression may be the key to help others release their frustrations and feel refreshed to move forward. This is my way of saying, 'Stay strong. Stay optimistic. Stay youthful.'"

Ingrid Payne.jpeg

Grand County High School

Ingrid Payne - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"Art has helped me greatly through the past couple of months. When school went online I had a lot more time to really connect more with my art and explore a lot of different mediums. Art has always been a huge part of my life since I was little, and I love to see art in everything I do. It’s my passion and I will continue making art and leaving my mark while I’m still on earth."

Olympus High School

Jay Roest - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"Imagine you are walking outside, you see buckets painting walls, people making blueprints, logos on boards, posters covering the stores. Have you ever wondered who has made these things? Artists. Artists make art that fills cities, towns, and the world. They make those photos in schools, doctors’ offices, and even that silly painting on your house wall. Artists' minds are full of colours and life as if their finger painting their own mind. I like many artists have a reason for why I draw. It keeps me sane; I have seen my family members go in and out of hospitals all my life. Art makes me smile and when my artworks are finished, they make others smile too. It’s my outlet. I love to finger paint my mind and fill it with colour and creativity. Paint the world with my ideas full of rainbows and colour! There are so many reasons why art is important but, think of this. If it makes people happy shouldn’t that be enough?"

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Timpanogos High School

Catherine Bao - Sophomore, 15 yrs old

"It is not the age of a person that matters but their spirit. Art does not discriminate between ages, but it does change not only in quality but also meaning as a person ages. Both the quality and meaning of art throughout the ages are represented through the colors and orientation. The colors, the first obvious trait represents the enhancement of skill through a lifetime, while orientation changes with what art represents. This piece shows that throughout this person’s lifetime art is always with them, even though it may change in appearance its presence is always evident. On good days and bad, young or old, art is always there. "

art chest.png

Pine View High School

Sadie A. Taylor - Senior, 18 yrs old

"Art Chest: I was inspired to create this piece because when I read the prompt, I thought "how am I supposed to show how much art means to me in one simple picture?" Art has been such a big part of my life--It's always just been there. This piece is supposed to convey that I feel like it's always been a part of me, and it always will. I feel like paint runs through my veins. Art is what keeps my heart going."

Cedar High School

Irene Hu - Freshman, 14 yrs old

"This digital art piece is called "The Balcony Concert". It is inspired by the big lockdown in 2020. Everyone was prohibited from going outside so people just had to stay home. The whole world was affected drastically by the coronavirus and nothing would ever be the same again. But even in dire times like this, the arts of life still managed to brighten up everyone's mood. The art scene depicts people in France who are quarantined in their apartments (based off of real events). They all came out to perform some art and music and still managed to enjoy themselves in quarantine. The theme and meaning portrayed in this digital drawing is that the arts of life has the power to bring everyone together, no matter the situation."

D82DB750-A895-47E1-9E59-A707CCCC4820.JPG

Knowlton Elementary School

Marshall Hains - 5th Grade, 11 yrs old

"Because of art, I can share happiness.” 

Press play to watch Marshall's Stop-Action video

Elizabeth Sampson.jpeg

Union High School

Sharyse Bird - Junior, 17 yrs old

"This picture is real, raw emotion, for me. All the hobbies I love are about self-expression. Talking is hard, and therapy is hard, but art is easy. It's easy on the mind. There were days that I would be so hurt, or so happy, and the emotions were just spilling out of me. There was no room left in my mind to hold everything I felt, so I let it spill over onto paper. I do a lot of mixed media, it's freeing that anything and everything can be art. I also love poetry, I always have, but I have never shown anyone other than my mom my poetry. This is the first time that I am making some of my writing public, and that's a vulnerable thing.  Showing all art is vulnerable, but it is also empowering. For me, it is important to paint, and draw, and write using my imagination, there is something so powerful in taking something that only exists in your mind, and making it something physical, that exists in the real world."

Payson High School

Violet Andrew - Senior, 18 yrs old

"Emotion are an essential part of the human experience, and expressions are how we convey our emotions to those around us. This painting represents how, because of Covid, so much expression is lost behind our mask. While the eyes may be the windows to the soul, without the majority of a face for our brains to analyze, we remove the walls and curtains from those eyes, leaving them stranded in blank space. While exploring this concept, I found that these masks parallel the social expectation placed on us to remain emotionless, especially in regards to negative emotions, because it is seen as weakness. In my life, I have been able to turn to art as an outlet, and will for the rest of my life because art is for life. These extreme emotions are what I wanted the focus of this piece to be, however, when I first attempted the background I found that it was too distracting. I scrubbed it away and found that it had tinted the canvas behind it, leaving blank spaces where there had once been vibrant colors. As the water rolled off the canvas like tears off a face, I found it oddly symbolic of the way that extreme emotions can leave lasting impresssions, not only physically, but in one's soul once they pass through your life. I decided to leave the background in this state, colored, but uneven, missing pieces that had once been filled and found beauty in this subtractive art."

Spencer Bennett MM.HEIC

Payson High School

Spencer Bennett - Senior, 17 yrs old

"Art can lead our thoughts, actions, and perspectives to a place that is safe to explore. It allows wandering souls to be creative, to think outside the box, and to feel at peace. In this scene, there is a deer that protectively stands in front of his herd. To his left is a crunchy wasteland, and a lush enclave to his right. The guardian deer captured in this scene represents art. This guardian deer is majestic, however battered, and ushers in the herd to a safe haven. No matter what happens on our journey, art will be there. We might get mad at it, we might abuse it, we might rage our feelings through it, but it doesn’t care. Art is selfless because it allows us to be free. It doesn't judge, but allows us to shape it to what we want, and what we need. Creating better worlds through my art has been my way of enduring to the end. Just as the smoke turns to an aurora, we can turn our shambling lives into something of value and beauty. Just as this guardian deer has led the herd together, art can connect millions of people together in a collective direction. I believe that when we allow art to broaden our perspective and gain empathy towards others, we can feel less alone. Art gathers us into a herd headed for a land of peace and understanding."

Digital Gallery

D82DB750-A895-47E1-9E59-A707CCCC4820.JPG

Timpanogos High School

Catherine Bao - Sophomore, 15 yrs old

"It is not the age of a person that matters but their spirit. Art does not discriminate between ages, but it does change not only in quality but also meaning as a person ages. Both the quality and meaning of art throughout the ages are represented through the colors and orientation. The colors, the first obvious trait represents the enhancement of skill through a lifetime, while orientation changes with what art represents. This piece shows that throughout this person’s lifetime art is always with them, even though it may change in appearance its presence is always evident. On good days and bad, young or old, art is always there. "

art chest.png

Pine View High School

Sadie A. Taylor - Senior, 18 yrs old

"Art Chest: I was inspired to create this piece because when I read the prompt, I thought "how am I supposed to show how much art means to me in one simple picture?" Art has been such a big part of my life--It's always just been there. This piece is supposed to convey that I feel like it's always been a part of me, and it always will. I feel like paint runs through my veins. Art is what keeps my heart going."

Cedar High School

Irene Hu - Freshman, 14 yrs old

"This digital art piece is called "The Balcony Concert". It is inspired by the big lockdown in 2020. Everyone was prohibited from going outside so people just had to stay home. The whole world was affected drastically by the coronavirus and nothing would ever be the same again. But even in dire times like this, the arts of life still managed to brighten up everyone's mood. The art scene depicts people in France who are quarantined in their apartments (based off of real events). They all came out to perform some art and music and still managed to enjoy themselves in quarantine. The theme and meaning portrayed in this digital drawing is that the arts of life has the power to bring everyone together, no matter the situation."

83060FF6-B5A9-4DEC-8F08-105548C3E831.JPG

Ogden High School

Kashius Bey - Ogden High School, 16 yrs old

"The mushroom is supposed to be a persona of myself. The reason it takes place in the forest is because when I went hiking and looked over everybody and everything it made me realize that there is so much to do and achieve. The moment really inspired me."

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Orem High School

Tucker Kelsey-Fraser - Senior, 18 yrs old

"This is a piece of art inspired by the place my grandpa took me hunting. He always taught me very good life lessons on this road. I chose to use bright colors to represent the joy and happiness I felt spending time with him."

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Orem High School

Giuliana Fiorella Cespedes - Senior, 17 yrs old

"This piece is more about how one might perceive death when they come close to it. The life we physically and visually live makes more sense to us than what existence might look like when we pass away. We all have an idea of what our lives might be after death but none of us truly know what it will look like till we are close to passing. It's a thought that many people including myself may have thought of at least once in their lives or maybe more. The idea of not knowing till it's time keeps me grounded because it's not something I'm supposed to know for now."

GraysonBurton.JPG

Knowlton Elementary School

Grayson Burton - 2nd Grade, 8 yrs old

"My grandma and I have been wanting to do a painting class together, but because of her being high risk, we decided to stay home and do our own paint class from home. We got the painting supplies and found a painting class on YouTube and painted this picture of paradise. It looks like somewhere I would like to escape to when school is hard and I’m sad because I can’t see all of my friends right now. I was really proud of how it turned out and making art with my grandma made me really happy. It made me feel like when life gets hard, art is a way we can pretend we’re somewhere else."

SavannahWilkerson.jpg

Payson High School

Savannah Wilkerson - Junior, 16 yrs old

"My art is simple. It has cartoonish, happy, flowy lines and strokes. It can be seen as little doodles on a paper corner or elaborate and all over the page... This specific style of drawing became mine after years of tracing sketches I liked and practicing faces. I usually draw people I know or characters from books and movies... I was inspired to do this specific piece by the concept of how, “art heals.” I thought that because everyone has both light and creativity inside of us, and I decided that I needed to demonstrate how that can heal both ourselves and others."

Maggie Hains KE.JPG

Knowlton Elementary School

Maggie Hains - 3rd Grade, 9 yrs old

"Because of art, I can be calm when life is hard." 

Spencer Bennett MM.HEIC

Payson High School

Spencer Bennett - Senior, 17 yrs old

"Art can lead our thoughts, actions, and perspectives to a place that is safe to explore. It allows wandering souls to be creative, to think outside the box, and to feel at peace. In this scene, there is a deer that protectively stands in front of his herd. To his left is a crunchy wasteland, and a lush enclave to his right. The guardian deer captured in this scene represents art. This guardian deer is majestic, however battered, and ushers in the herd to a safe haven. No matter what happens on our journey, art will be there. We might get mad at it, we might abuse it, we might rage our feelings through it, but it doesn’t care. Art is selfless because it allows us to be free. It doesn't judge, but allows us to shape it to what we want, and what we need. Creating better worlds through my art has been my way of enduring to the end. Just as the smoke turns to an aurora, we can turn our shambling lives into something of value and beauty. Just as this guardian deer has led the herd together, art can connect millions of people together in a collective direction. I believe that when we allow art to broaden our perspective and gain empathy towards others, we can feel less alone. Art gathers us into a herd headed for a land of peace and understanding."

Olympus High School

Demetria Johnson - Sophomore, 15 yrs old

"Because of the arts, I am more confident in myself and can appreciate the world differently. I see things differently because my brain thinks of them in the context of drawing or painting. The arts help me know that I'm not lazy because I dislike doing some things and want to change them, because art is just as difficult as other things, it just depends on how much you care about it. It helps me have goals to work towards in my life, and I enjoy the fact that it's difficult. It also helps me put things in my brain into context visually."

JulyTobar MM.heic

Orem High School

Juliana Tobar - Junior, 17 yrs old

"My piece is centered around the theme of: "What does art mean to me?". Ever since I started drawing I've used my art as a way of coping with my feelings and ideas. Whether it was drawing pieces about my favorite show, or creating vent art, I've always used art to cope with my feelings. My teenage years have been rough for me since I have faced depression and body insecurities from a young age. It has always been hard for me to have a positive mindset and I tend to be easily overwhelmed by my thoughts. I use art as a way to put my thoughts into paper, to turn insecurities and fear into visual pieces. It has helped me get through hard times by giving a positive way to convey my emotions and move on from leaving behind family, friends, and my country when I migrated with my family. In this piece, I've created a self-portrait in which my ideas and thoughts are spilling out of my head as colors and shapes. The eyes are meant to represent insecurities and expectations, the hands represent my hopes reaching out, the snake and birds represent my regrets, the fire the passion and spite that keeps me going every day, and the plants and clouds represent my love for life and my family. Even though my head is filled with dark thoughts, through art, I've found a way to turn them into something beautiful. "

BrisaCastillo MM.jpg

Pasyon High School

Brisa Castillo - Sophomore, 15 yrs old

"For this piece, I wanted to experiment using painting. I learned how to use different brush techniques to add texture and use different colors of shades. I decided to go for an antique look on the young lady's face, so I used color pencils to make the eyes and the cheekbones. For the lips, I used black, reddish-orange, and white paint to make them pop out and used the same colors for the hair to compliment the tree. I loved how the streak of light illuminating the tree turned out. I regret not using pastels to make her hair look better instead of taking a risk and using paint to add hair strokes. While making the stream, I was surprised at how realistic the water turned out, giving a sensation of the waves moving. Also, I was proud of how the fur of the squirrel made it look realistic. The teenager's black hair highlights and clothing symbolizes all the pain build-up inside an individual. Also how nature influences positivity, as a smile is forming on her face and her hair starts turning brighter. My whole purpose was to express how beautiful god’s creation is and how spending time away from the world and electronics can bring peace to our hearts. I also want to invite others to respect nature and be aware that there is life surrounding us, so it's our responsibility to keep the area clean and not cause any harm, like last year when there were a lot of cases of fires. That is what this art project was about."

Payson High School

Tatumn Coon - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I’m 18 years old and I’ve been drawing since I was 10. Over the years I’ve been getting better and a couple of years ago I decided I wanted to be an illustrator. I really enjoy drawing people, and all types of different people. I like to use different styles instead of focusing on just one, and I continue to change it up because as an illustrator you kind of have to depending on what the client wants. In all of my work, I try to show emotion in the character's faces and that’s why I enjoy it so much. In this piece, I drew a girl with burning wings in a storm. The girl is wearing a mask symbolizing what’s been happening in the world, and the wings symbolize freedom. She is trying to fly away from all of the chaos that's going on around her. For this piece I did a sketch, then I started to line it with a pen. I colored the girl with colored pencils, then I used markers for the background, and this was my first time using markers for something big so this was very new to me but I wanted to try something I wasn’t used to."

Olympus High School

Kelly Rice - Junior, 16 yrs old

"Art is important to me because it is always me to see the beauty in nature. Shen people go outside and don't take a closer look at what's around them or see the beauty of the outdoors, an artist can take that and see its potential beauty and create an amazing and beautiful piece of artwork."

Mount Ogden Junior High

Ella Reeves - 7th Grade, 12 yrs old

"Because of the arts the world is a better place. There are lots of different kinds of art in the world, music, dancing, drawing, drama, movies, and even gardening and making food. All of these things give people reasons to be happy and have a smile on their face. It makes boring places exciting."

Mountain Creek Middle School

Alex and Anna Paladini - Freshman, 15 yrs old 

"We are twin sisters, we paint together before and now during COVID. We call it A&A fashion. This Resilient theme is great for us, we both painted this painting of a guitar with a fun background with this theme in mind. Music is a very important part in life it brings happiness and joy to people everywhere."

Olympus High School

Sophia Siciliano - Freshman, 15 yrs old

"The theme of this competition inspired me to create a piece that resembles both growth and creativity. Because of the arts, people are able to have an outlet where they can express themselves. Taking time out of your day to reflect and practice gratitude is often overlooked, but extremely important and art allows you to do just that. This piece shows a girl grounding herself by doing yoga. The plants in the painting resemble growth and life. I want people to be able to look at this piece and feel empowered and a sense of joy. Art allows so much room for new ideas which has helped me grow throughout my life."

Payson High School

Kelsie Taylor - Junior, 17 yrs old

"I'm a 17 year old artist. I've been drawing for about seven years and I'm still trying to perfect my own style while learning to draw realistically. I also think nature is the best place to find inspiration, with everything that happened this year, I've found my inspiration and peace in nature. This piece focuses on finding that balance between my style and realistic. The piece is called "An Escape From Reality's Business." I wanted to show an artist breaking away from everything to just sit and watch the stars in searching for insipration. That is where I can just break away from everything and do something that makes me happy and I wanted to portray this in my piece. I love how the sky and the water flows like they are constantly swaying. I wish I could have done something different with the mountains, but I think they turned out okay. I created this piece by layering watercolor, colored pencils, and lead pencils. I also had to layer colored pencils onto the watercolor paper and I was surprised about the way that felt and how different it was from sketch paper. I don't usually work with watercolors but it was fun to explore new mediums and techniques. overall, I spent a lot of time on this piece and learning so many things."

Payson High School

Violet Andrew - Senior, 18 yrs old

"Emotion are an essential part of the human experience, and expressions are how we convey our emotions to those around us. This painting represents how, because of Covid, so much expression is lost behind our mask. While the eyes may be the windows to the soul, without the majority of a face for our brains to analyze, we remove the walls and curtains from those eyes, leaving them stranded in blank space. While exploring this concept, I found that these masks parallel the social expectation placed on us to remain emotionless, especially in regards to negative emotions, because it is seen as weakness. In my life, I have been able to turn to art as an outlet, and will for the rest of my life because art is for life. These extreme emotions are what I wanted the focus of this piece to be, however, when I first attempted the background I found that it was too distracting. I scrubbed it away and found that it had tinted the canvas behind it, leaving blank spaces where there had once been vibrant colors. As the water rolled off the canvas like tears off a face, I found it oddly symbolic of the way that extreme emotions can leave lasting impresssions, not only physically, but in one's soul once they pass through your life. I decided to leave the background in this state, colored, but uneven, missing pieces that had once been filled and found beauty in this subtractive art."

Payson High School

Reid Evans - Junior, 17 yrs old

"I mainly chose this because I thought since I had a project at home I was working on for a game, I decided that one of the characters could relate to real life situations. It was made with pencil and shades on certain parts. It is an original character I thought of in my head, it represents that people may have a dark side and even the background represents how obscure it may be to notice their dark side as well."

Payson High School

Amanda Memmott - Senior, 17 yrs old

"I'm an 18 year old artist that has been drawing all my life. Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit I was limited to all the outside things last yearI couldn't do. Since. Ihaven't been able to hang out with friends, I've had a lot of time to draw. The prompt I came up with for the Martch Madness that represents me is the Sound of Music. I created this work of art by the influence of music giving off creativity to me, which I picked as the lyric "the sun will rise & we will try again" song by Twenty One Pilots. During the past year COVID has halted many people's plans which made the world silent but art is the sound of living that gives off emotion, because the art of music gave me another way to express myself. I chose that lyric that stands out to me because it gave me hope that the next day will get better. My favorite part is the blending of the two different colors to create the shading of the image that makes it real. The sound of music let me express what I truly feel in life, which made me draw the piece I made today from a band that gave me hope for. a better tomorrow. This helped me get through those silent days of 2020. I want to share this artwork for day's your bored and have nothing to do [but] draw, you might make something new that no one has ever done before."

Ogden High School

Alicia Martinez - Senior, 17 yrs old

"Art brings me hope and light into my life, it helps me destress myself. It takes me to a peaceful place in my mind, it feels like unwinding my mind. There's many different forms of art and there's no true way of doing art. Every piece is unique and different. Nothing can't be replicated, even if you trace over something, it's not going to be the exact same one as the original. I think that's why I love art so much because there's no limit and nobody can say that's not art, because it is but it's just not for everyone."

Ben Lomond High School

Alondra Sustaita - Junior, 16 yrs old 

"Art is a cure because it helps people Express themselves and helps people let their emotions out."

Ben Lomond High School

Taylor Cole - Junior, 17 yrs old

"Name of art: "inexpressible". This piece is showing how I express myself or my emotions through art because I can't express it with words."

Ogden High School

London Yeaman - Senior, 17 yrs old

"This artwork is an example of resilience in my life. Art impacts my life in a very good way, it helps me forget about the stress of life. I have a square brain and I get stressed out and have panic attacks a lot. But, when I'm creating art, I never feel stressed out and I actually have a lot of fun creating art."

Payson High School

Kelly Cobia - Senior, 17 yrs old

"My piece of art is titled “Gold and Glowing.” I chose to incorporate song lyrics into this to emphasize the message I was trying to convey. That idea is to remain a source of light in a shadowed world. The lyrics are from the song “Stay Gold,” by BTS. The words and meaning of the song really resonate with me, so including it into my work adds more of a personal connection. The song has the same theme as my piece, hence the title “Stay Gold.” This band in particular has positively influenced me in so many ways, and I wanted to pay homage to them while also sharing with others what they have to offer. To bring it to life, I used acrylic paints and alcohol markers. I rarely use paints, so going into this was slightly worrying. But it turned out better than I expected, so I am quite satisfied with the end product. Because of this, I want to pursue that media and improve in it. I also enjoyed writing the text in the background, it was time-consuming but at the same time stress-relieving. Overall making this work inspired me and opened my eyes to more possibilities I can explore in the future, and I hope that those who see my painting will feel a sense of peace and reassurance."

Payson High School

Elizabeth Smith - Senior, 17 yrs old

"'In Every Breath' takes inspiration from Zentangle, the first type of structured art I did regularly besides random doodles on the edges of any paper I could find. Each sector holds something I enjoy, whether it be my love for fantasy, learning Japanese, or my favorite mediums. I chose to show someone exhaling art because creating art is the space where I can go to just breathe away from the craziness of the world. it is a way for me to relax, and express myself as a way of therapy for my mental health. I have always been very good at recognizing patterns wherever I go; in math, music, and art. I see the principles of art and design everywhere I go, and so it seems like I am surrounded by it everywhere, much like how the air surrounds me every second. I have always enjoyed nature, so since I usually include it in my art anyway, I made sure to include it in my piece. From the cherry blossoms surrounding the kanji to the wood patterns on the desk, I have especially enjoyed trees. This subtle mixed-media shows off my skills using my favorite mediums. I enjoy line art surrounding alcohol markers, and I especially enjoy showing off the skills I gained by taking a college-level watercolor class in the eighth grade." 

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Kearns High School

Juana Aleece Lagunas - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I decided to make a collage in order to represent a fraction of what I think art is. Once concept I tried to grasp was that art is different for everyone. Art is a perspective and emotion-driven act that puts a piece of yourself out into the world. That in itself is, and has been a beautiful thing. We have practiced arts like: dance, music, painting, literature, drawings, and more... for centuries. And throughout all this time we have witnessed an art evolution that continues to change daily. Today, in 2021, I made a reflection piece to demonstrate how art has helped me through the year 2020 and more. I used cutouts from magazines to incorporate a broader view of beauty and art in my collage. I tried to use women of all backgrounds and words of encouragement. Trying to bring in perceptions of others along with mine. Even bridging in an art piece that was older and turned into a modern day piece in the 2020 pandemic. My last thought I tried. to put into my work was the fact that we experience art everyday. It is all around us fulfilling inspiration and representation. rt matters because art lets us exhibit anything we chose to let out into the world. Art is intimate and carries emotion. This is all important to a society where we are all trying to find ourselves."

Payson High School

Nicole Booth - Senior, 17 yrs old

"I create this work by using colored pencils and markers. Some things I learned while creating this were using different colors and shapes. My favorite parts are the mountains and the lake. If I could change something about it, it would be to choose a different subject and a different technique. While I was making it, I was surprised that it turned out different that what I was planning on. Something else I wanted to share about this artwork is that it is not my very best artwork. I thought my art piece was good, but no the best I have done. I should've done a watercolor or just paint which would go better with the mountains and lake. I tried to put colors together but it wasn't the color scheme I was going for. I thought this project was very fun."

Ogden High School

Sasha Willie - Senior, 17 yrs old

"Despite the COVID boulder that is stuck in our lives at the moment, the arts will grow from it. Even though COVID put a block in most of our lives, we can make something beautiful from it. To see the beauty through the ugliness of it and what we can create from a hard circumstance."

Orem High School

Joshua Singh - Senior, 18 yrs old

"What does Art mean to me? Art can be a way of expressing emotions, feelings, thoughts and even a way to communicate. In my Polynesian culture, Art is a way to communicate and can also be almost like a language. Art also can be a way to remember history. The reason I drew the flower with a tribal design around it is because my dad has a Fijian tattoo on his arms. I've always wanted one since I was a little boy and I'm probably going to get one soon. To me, the flower represents Hawaii where I'm originally from and the tribals around are almost like my dads. To many people, tribal tattoos are something that is just really cool to have or really nice. They really are! But to me and my family its about the culture. I'm grateful for the chance to express what Art means to me and what it has done for me. I hope to one day carry the tattoo that represents my culture and my family."

Payson High School

Abby Neal - Senior, 17 yrs old

"For this art piece I wanted to go off of the theme, “Because of the arts” and decided that because of the arts I create life.  For my piece I was inspired by the hanahaki disease and a video I watched. For those of you who don’t know what hanahaki disease is, it is, “a fictitious disease in which the victim coughs up flower petals when suffering from unrequited love”. For me, I wanted to create a character based off of those two things and that is where my character comes in. Now for me when I create art or in this case a character I don’t think of them as just some doodle on a piece of paper, no, I think of them as an actual person. Someone who has a history behind them. And to symbolize the life for this character I added butterflies since they symbolize life. As for the roses it symbolizes the unrequited love, since roses do in fact symbolize love. For this my art I decided not to color it since I just wanted the lines to speak for itself, but also so that people can imagine what they think she looks like. For my work I wanted to go for the more realistic route, which is why I gave my character more realistic features, but still at the same time made it my own style."

Meadowbrook Elementary School

Carolyn Youngs - 1st Grade, 7 yrs old

"I love art so much that I see it everyday. My eye represents me and what I see. I matter because I am the only me. My art is never going to be like everyone else's. I create and it becomes a part of me. Just like my eye."

Orem High School

Laurel Mecham - Senior, 17 yrs old

"This piece reflects the emotion that art allows one to express. While many pieces of art are beautiful on the surface, emotion and pain are often the roots of creation. My piece shows the explosion of all kinds of emotion from the heart."

Uintah School District

Linden Deletant - 1st Grade, 6 yrs old

Linden has not seen his Nana (grandma) since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. He wrote this song for her, imagining what they would do when they finally get to see each other in person again. He says, "Music makes me happy. Singing makes me happy. I like to make up my own songs about what I am doing or what I am thinking about."

Lyrics: 

I love you Nana

Now we are together

Now we can go.

You spend your money with me. 

Me and Rowan and you go to the store.

So we're going down to the store

We're picking up Lego's like a chore.

Knowlton Elementary School

Marshall Haines - 5th Grade, 11 yrs old

"Because of art, I can share happiness."

Click on the video to watch!

Olympus High School

Mary Burchett - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I created this artwork to bring memories back to life."

Brockbank Elementary

Olivia Andersen - 3rd Grade, 9 yrs old

“Gymnastics was really hard for me and challenging at first. I’ve been doing it for about one year now and I can do lots of tricks. I love gymnastics! Gymnastics teaches me over and over that I can do hard things.”

Ogden High School

Rally Carver - Sophomore, 15 yrs old

"My artwork relates to the theme of "Arts for life" because the character I've created is unique and odd however it is wearing a regular surgical mask, my reason behind this is it ties it to the real world and shows how each unique person has something in common because of the corona-virus. I included all of the different eyes to represent others and symbolizes their relation to the person I drew. Finally, the last reason I included the mask in my artwork is because wearing it is in favor of you and everyone around and I thought including it brought together both elements of art and life."

Olympus High School

Isabelle Booth - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"My artwork reflects the theme of why art is important because it represents one of my best memories involving art and also represents how art. has been very important to many people of the past year by bringing peace and awareness to COVID and other recent issues."

Olympus High School

Miabella Bradley - Senior, 17 

"The theme inspired me to create something beautiful. Being artistic is something that doesn't come easy to me, so I went with something that isn't too complex but is still art. I drew two roses and a butterfly. Showing that everything holds beauty and is precious. I believe that art means beauty and is such a precious thing we take for granted sometimes."

Olympus High School

Denyse Cloe - Freshman, 15 yrs old

"The theme inspired me to create something that represents my past history of living in Japan. I chose the sunset because it is something that makes my day worth living."

Olympus High School

Havalee Coy - Junior, 16 yrs old

"Art for some, is a form of escape. It's meant to aid us in escaping the tragedies and anxieties of reality and life. In this aspect, art is important. My piece portrays the escapism art provides fairly straight forward with the photography portion. The doodles and sketches are what adds my personal touch and amplifies the anxieties and the welcoming of escape."

Olympus High School

Theo Dabling - Junior, 16 yrs old

"Art matters to me because it inspires me. Art makes me want to get out of the bed in the morning, it makes me see things differently and it makes me question myself and the world around me. Art inspires me to wake up with a smile and I wouldn’t be here without it."

Olympus High School

Ashlee Edman - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"I created this artwork because it can show people what art can do. It can take a person away from the darkness of life that we live in, like Covid-19 for example. Art can be an escape to somewhere beautiful and peaceful."

Olympus High School

Madi Fairbanks - Junior, 17 yrs old

"The theme “Why Does Art Matter” inspired me to create a self-portrait demonstrating the ways art has helped me. I wanted to portray how art calms me down and clears my mind. It is a distraction that helps divert my anxiety. When I create art my fear of perfection dissipates, and I focus on putting my feelings onto the paper. Unlike in other aspects of my life, I am not afraid to get messy and try new things. Art is something that never ceases to make me happy, it is so comforting to know that I can pick up a pencil an forget my stresses."

Olympus High School

Reed Forsyth - Junior, 16 yrs old

"The reason I created this artwork is because it's my dream to help people, and one of the best ways to help people is by allowing them to access information easily and creatively."

Olympus High School

Grace Garrison - Freshman, 15 yrs old

“I dream my painting, and then I paint my dreams” The theme inspired me to create this drawing because it shows what art means to me. It represents an expression of imagination and creativity that every artist has. In my drawing, it shows a young girl being inspired with dreams of becoming an artist."

Olympus High School

Ashton Haaga - Junior, 16 yrs old

"I drew the Buddha because art relaxes me and acts as an escape when life is very stressful. To become the Buddha, he had to devoid himself of worldly possessions and desires and that’s what I try to do when I’m drawing. I want to be in my own little world, away from the stress and pressure of life. Art is also more than an escape or a stress reliever. It’s also an outlet to express some of my more obscure thoughts. I have a lot of thoughts that are hard to express, but through art I found a way."

Olympus High School

Isaac Hundley - Junior, 18 yrs old

"The theme of this contest inspired me to create this illustration because I consistently use art in my life as a creative outlet. My illustration shows what I feel are the three key components in creating your own unique artwork: the brain, the eyes, and a blank canvas."

Olympus High School

Jay Roest - Sophomore, 16 yrsold

"Imagine you are walking outside, you see buckets painting walls, people making blueprints, logos on boards, posters covering the stores. Have you ever wondered who has made these things? Artists. Artists make art that fills cities, towns, and the world. They make those photos in schools, doctors’ offices, and even that silly painting on your house wall. Artists' minds are full of colours and life as if their finger painting their own mind. I like many artists have a reason for why I draw. It keeps me sane; I have seen my family members go in and out of hospitals all my life. Art makes me smile and when my artworks are finished, they make others smile too. It’s my outlet. I love to finger paint my mind and fill it with colour and creativity. Paint the world with my ideas full of rainbows and colour! There are so many reasons why art is important but, think of this. If it makes people happy shouldn’t that be enough?"

Olympus High School

Nellie Mauga- Junior, 17 yrs old

"Art is important to me because of my family and people around me. No matter how chaotic my day is I can always ignore the real world for an hour and go and do my thing."

Olympus High School

Elsa Mcphie - Freshman, 15 yrs old

"I drew this because I wanted to show how art can bring optimism and hope into someone’s life in a dark time. You can use art to help others and inspire them to keep going, and give them someone to relate to through your art."

Olympus High School

Nicole Miller - Freshman, 15 yrs old

"The theme of this contest really got me thinking, why do I create? Why is art important to me? I've decided that art is important to me because it gives me a distraction from life, from the negativities in life, the waves that seem to drown you out. You can create anything you want, real or fake, with art. I think that during the pandemic the waves are what seemed to overwhelm everyone. Depression and Anxiety rates are definitely higher than before lockdown. But despite all of this, the positives in life are still there. Family, friends, hobbies, like art, are still there. These are the bubbles in life. No matter what, bubbles will always float up in the ocean, they will rise above the negativities no matter what. This is why I think it is important to focus on these things, to let art distract you, to focus on the positives so that you can also rise above the negative things in life. So, this is how Covid-19 has affected me, and how they have inspired me to create."

Olympus High School

Sarah Moffat - Freshman, 15 yrs ol

"Because of the arts, everyone can be uplifted. This includes those who view the art as well as those who create the art. This is why I drew a spiral staircase because staircases raise people up, though physically rather than figuratively."

Olympus High School

Katherine Osterstock - Sophomore - 16 yrs old

"I created this artwork because I wanted to make art that would make people smile and bring some happiness into their day. The pandemic has caused many people to live in isolation. I believe that art can represent many things, but in this difficult time, having art that brings joy into our lives is important. Also, art allows the viewer to have a glimpse into the imagination of the artist and better understand them. This connection can help ease the feelings of isolation in ways that nothing else can."

Olympus High School

Kate Soffe - Freshman, 14 yrs old

“Covid is dark, but art is bright.” I created this artwork because art is very important to me. Art is healing and comforting. It has a big impact on others and their emotions. Art has gotten me through hard times, and it helps me express my emotions."

Olympus High School

Morgan Young - Junior, 16 yrs old

"My artwork reflects the theme “why does art matter” because it shows how art can brighten up your world. Without art we would live in a dull environment void of beautiful colors and designs. Art helps me be resilient by allowing me to look at something wonderful and creative every day. I can see paintings, drawings, sculptures, and costumes that make me happy. I can see new art, I can see old art, I can see art created by everyone in different ways. Art matters because it gives people a spark that helps them keep on going."

Olympus High School

Tessa Peterson

"The theme inspired me to create a picture of a library with books falling out representing ideas falling into your consciousness; to describe how art matters to enlighten someone’s day and bring peace in a dark moment."

Olympus High School

Max Wilkinson - Junior, 17 yrs old

"Art is a cure for many different things in life. It is the only thing in life that you can create that has no boundaries. I think art is a cure for the repetitiveness of life because it has no structure or routine, just thought and creativity. Art is a cure because it is a way for people to escape reality. Art is a great way to get your mind off of all the crazy things in life and go to a place that only you can create. Art has no wrong answers whereas most things in life do. The reason I drew this picture of a gorilla is because they have many characteristics of what I want in life. They are strong, disciplines, motivated, and smart. I thought this would be a good representation of how art can symbolize my life."

Olympus High School

Nikole Hutchinson - Freshman, 14 yrs old

"I was inspired to do this piece because it shows the earth and some of the big art pieces around the world. And it also shows you cannot have EARTH without ART in it. The earth needs the art, or the earth would probably be sad with no color. So, I choose it because art is a big part of the earth!"

Olympus High School

Brooklynn Fairbanks 0 Freshman, 14 yrs old

"I created this artwork because I wanted to demonstrate how art made me feel and how it has caused my creativity to grow from when I was young. My artwork makes me feel delighted and brings me peace at any given time. Art does not have to be perfect, in fact, it can be messy and wild, just like us. Showing different styles is all a part of growing individually. Reflecting your emotions onto paper helps you grow. Art matters because it builds who I am as a person."

Olympus High School

Jenna Welsch - Junior, 16 yrs old

"I created this artwork because I think art is like the mind and body. Everyone’s bodies are so different, but they are beautiful because of those differences. This relates to the theme because art helps us express the things we feel to show other people."

Bingham High School

Annabel Lee - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I Scream for Ice Cream represents the looming presence of Covid-19 and the strange beauties we discovered from these trying times. The moon depicts the constant, creepy nature of Covid in our recent lives. Despite the obvious tension the "moon" brings, the ice cream and cute characters are the aspects in society that have come forth from the despair. Society as a whole has experienced unity and empathy like no other and is represented in the relieving presence of the bright pink dessert. The purpose of the piece itself is to bring awe, joy, and glee to the viewers. My goal is to use art to bring healing and relief to the world in ways we can't express other than through visual stimulation. This form of expression may be the key to help others release their frustrations and feel refreshed to move forward. This is my way of saying, 'Stay strong. Stay optimistic. Stay youthful.'"

Grand County High School

Ingrid Payne - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"Art has helped me greatly through the past couple of months. When school went online I had a lot more time to really connect more with my art and explore a lot of different mediums. Art has always been a huge part of my life since I was little, and I love to see art in everything I do. It’s my passion and I will continue making art and leaving my mark while I’m still on earth."

American Fork High School

Olivia Adamson - Junior, 17 yrs old

"Colorful Spirits: Because of the Arts, we can develop empathy. When we look at another artist's creation, we are able to see a part of their souls, emotions, ideas, and opinions.  I think that empathy is a cure for hatred, and in this day and age we could all use an extra dose. I created this painting titled, " Colorful Spirits", because we all need to do some more searching to see the beautiful soul inside. "

Brockbank Elementary School

Brooklyn Larsen - 3rd Grade, 9 yrs old

"Dance has been a cure for me through covid. Even though I had to wear my mask, I was still able to practice what I love and express myself in a way I could share my happiness with others. I love that art helps push me in my life to do things with 110% and to never give up. During covid my baby sister passed away, dance helped me deal with those emotions and I am so lucky to have the chance to dance for you. I hope you smile when you watch my video just like I did while making it."

Piute High School

Culann - 8th Grade, 13 yrs old

The making of this artwork was inspired by a place the artist had been and had made art about before. He was very interested in the mist, and how to portray it. Art seemed to be a source of exploring happy memories for him. "It reminds me of a time I made a similar piece. I decided to add something new to it."

Piute High School

Corbin - 8th Grade, 14 yrs old

"There are lots of reasons I picked to draw this. One is that I love to hunt with my bow. But the main reason is to do with COVID-19, lots of things changed but one thing didn't. It is the mountains and the time I spent on them with my family." 

Uintah School District

Rowan Deletant - 4th Grade, 10 yrs old

 “I created this because I sometimes I feel like I am the only one around, like post-apocalyptic after Covid.  No one is around to play with.  So I designed this work of art like a note to myself, to remind me I am not the only one left alive in this pandemic.  The other half of the drawing is part of a machine, with lots of different features.  I would design and build different machines to help me and others survive.”

Timpanogos High School

Tahlia Forman - Sophomore, 16 yrs old

"Something that I often have a hard time doing is expressing myself. Art is a way to push yourself and express what you love, hate, and might be afraid of. During this process it becomes much easier to draw, rather than to speak."

Santaquin Elementary School

Ryelyn McQuivey - 5th Grade, 10 yrs old

"Art is a cure, it helps me when I am mad, sad, or anxious. It helps me to be creative. Art inspires me and encourages me. It makes me happy when I am feeling down and I need something to help me be happy. Art is an amazing, I've enjoyed it my whole life. I keep on practicing and practicing and I get better and better. Art is a very special thing; it is so nice to be able to stroke with the paint and smear the colors together. Art inspired me so much that I started doing an art class with my best friend. Art is an amazing cure for anything you're going through."

Bingham High School

Isabelle Ashton - Senior, 18 yrs old

"I drew this picture for Elias’ grandmother after he passed away. I believe that this portrait carries on his life because art, in general, is more personal and informing than a simple photograph. It makes the gaps between us feel smaller."

Timpanogos High School

Merissa Davies - Senior, 17 yrs old

"Art matters to me because it is the one language everyone understands. Art shows emotion and speaks volumes without ever having to say anything. The whole world and universe is one giant piece of art. Art existed before anything else really did and is always surrounding us. It gives me a voice and a way to show the world who I really am and why I matter."

The Paper Plate Project 2021

Salt Lake City School District K-6

"Students from the Salt Lake City School District have decorated paper plates to help raise funds for The Utah Food Bank - an organization which has provided tremendous support at this critical time. In the 1st phase of this program, plates have been shared with Utah State Legislators to raise awareness of the Food Bank and the work the BTS Program is doing in our schools.