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Opportunities for students and teachers

Young at Art

The Young at art application is now open.
Deadline to apply: Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 4 pm

What is Young at Art

Young at Art is a professionally assessed art exhibition bringing the work of young visual artists to local art galleries. Held annually since 1996, Young at Art recognizes the creative efforts of young artists across Ottawa. Accepted works are displayed in a community gallery and are eligible for a number of prizes and awards.

Each year, submitted artworks are reviewed by a selection committee of established and new artists from our community. The selection process delivers exciting, quality exhibitions based on common assessment criteria: elements of art, technical ability, composition, originality and uniqueness of style.

Who is eligible to enter?

Visual artists between 12 to 20 years of age who live or go to school in Ottawa.

The City of Ottawa supports cultural activity that is inclusive of Ottawa's diverse community, including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. The City of Ottawa recognizes the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation as Ottawa’s Indigenous Host Nation. Applications from artists of diverse origins, First Nations, Inuit and Métis are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages as having the same rights, status and privileges.

Effects of COVID-19 on Young at Art

Due to COVID-19 and Ottawa Public Health’s recommendations, Young at Art will be held virtually for 2021. All selected art-works will be featured on the Young at Art Instagram - @youngatartott.

What will Young at Art 2021 look like?

Young at Art will continue to recognize the great artworks and talented youth in the City of Ottawa.

  • Select top artworks across all disciplines and regions from the 2021 Young at Art submissions will be featured on the City’s Young at Art Instagram.
  • In addition to these top artworks, winners in each discipline will be chosen to be recognized with a Citywide Award.


Follow the Young at Art Instagram account for updates on the 2021 program.

How to apply

Deadline to apply: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Apply now

  • Only one artwork entry permitted per person.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Participating in Young at Art is free.
  • Award categories are divided by region that are based on city wards. Use the Find a Ward tool to find out which ward you belong to.
  • Please submit a high-quality image of your work through the application form – jurors will make their selections based on the image you provide. Ensure to properly title your image as follows: first and last name, title of work, location (Central, East or West) and phone number.
    • Example: Julia_Smith_TheGrey_Central_6135992244
  • An artist statement is a description of your artwork and what inspired you. Should your work be selected, this statement may be featured as the caption on Instagram. The statement should be less than 2220 characters.
  • Submissions must not include profanity or discriminatory language.
  • Always properly source artwork! Originality is very important, however if the artwork was inspired by another artist it must be referenced in your statement.

The selection committee will meet in May 2021 to evaluate all submissions.

Please be sure to read all rules and information carefully. If you have any questions or concerns please contact the Young at Art Team.

Selection process

Members of the selection committee are all carefully selected and possess extensive background in arts, culture, and/or arts education.

Each committee member will rate participant’s work on a 1-to-5 scale in the following categories:

  1. Originality: does the piece show uniqueness within its genre? Value will be given to those who can show a new and creative concept. Unoriginal work will be disqualified. Direct copies from media sources are not acceptable.
  2. Overall impression/elements of art: does the piece fit within the category chosen? Are lines, colours, forms, values and textures used effectively?
  3. Technical ability: do all art elements work well together to create a strong design? Is strong technique used within the piece?
  4. Composition: Are visual arts elements placed properly or accordingly for the artwork? Is there evidence of thoughtful planning? Has the artist’s intention been communicated through the piece?

City award categories

Award categories are divided by region that are based on city wards. Awards are presented in each region of the City in the following categories:

Citywide Awards – Top award citywide in each art discipline

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed Media
  • Other (Printmaking, Digital Media etc.)

Junior awards – 12 to 15 years

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed media
  • Other media (Printmaking, Digital Media etc.)

Senior awards – 16 to 20 years

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • 3-Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed media
  • Other media (Printmaking, Digital Media etc.)

Like or follow!

Follow Recreation and Culture on Facebook or Young at Art on Instagram for news and updates.


Young at Art Coordinator
Community Arts and Social Engagement