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Opportunities for students and teachers

Young at Art

What is Young at Art

Young at Art is a juried 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 jury of established and new artists from our community. The jury process delivers exciting, quality exhibitions based on common assessment criteria: elements of art, craftsmanship, composition, originality and uniqueness of style

Who is eligible to enter?

Visual artists between 12 to 20 years of age as of January 1, 2020 who live or go to school in Ottawa.


Works selected by the jury for Young at Art 2020 will be displayed in three different community galleries in April. There will also be a vernissage at each gallery with snacks and refreshments:

East Ottawa

  • Display: April 23 to May 17, 2020
  • Vernissage: Sunday, April 26, 1 pm to 3 pm
  • Location: Shenkman Arts Centre, Salons A and B of Trinity Art Gallery
  • Artwork pickup: May 19, 3:30 pm to 7 pm

Central Ottawa

  • Display: April 23 to May 17, 2020
  • Vernissage: Tuesday, April 28, 6:30 pm to 8 pm
  • Location: Atrium Art Gallery and Meridian Theatres @ Centrepointe, Ben Franklin Place
  • Artwork pickup: May 19, 6 pm to 8 pm

West Ottawa

  • Display: April 23 to May 13, 2020
  • Vernissage: Thursday, April 30, 6:30 pm to 8 pm
  • Location: Kanata Civic Art Gallery, John Mlacak Centre
  • Artwork pickup: May 13, 4:30 pm to 8:30 pm

There will also be a citywide awards ceremony to recognize outstanding work:

  • Thursday May 14, 2020 from 7 pm to 8 pm
  • Location: The Chambers at Ben Franklin Place,101 Centrepointe Drive

How to apply

Deadline to apply: March 25, 2020

Young at Art 2020 Application Form

  • Only one artwork entry permitted per person.
  • Late applications will not be accepted.
  • Participating in Young at Art is free.
  • *New* Biography: this is a short statement that tells us who you are.
    • Example: I am a 16 year old high school student taking art courses. I enjoy painting and making art about my family.
  • 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
  • Artist statements are highly encouraged, but optional. These are displayed at the gallery if you are accepted. The maximum word limit is 300 words.
  • 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.
  • If you have been selected to participate in the exhibition, you will be contacted regarding artwork drop off information in April.

The jury will meet at the beginning of April 2020 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.

Judging process

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

The jury considers several aspects such as limited gallery space and artistic criteria when making their selections.

Each judge 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. Craftsmanship: 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

Awards are presented in each region of the City in the following categories:

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.)

Sponsored awards

2019 Sponsors:

Preparing your artwork for display

Presentation is a very important factor for how your artwork is considered by the audience.

When dropping off your artwork for exhibition, you need to make sure it is ready for hanging or displaying in the gallery. Artwork that is not framed or prepared for display will not be accepted.

How to prepare your work for display:

  • Properly stretched canvas can be left unframed, as long as the edges are painted, dry and presentable. All paintings must be ready to hang with solidly attached wire on the back.
  • All drawings, photographs or prints must be properly framed and ready to hang with solidly attached wire on the back.
    • Tip: use D hooks to attach the wire. Place them about 1/3 of the way down the back of your artwork. See example.
    • Tip: there are various places you can visit to purchase frames or framing materials including: Canadian Tire, IKEA, Michaels, Wallack's, and many more!
  • Sculpture or 3-dimensional work can stand alone or be mounted on a plaque. Sculptures must be able to stand solidly without supports. The gallery can provide basic plinths for display, but any additional or specialized requirements must be provided by the artist.
  • Video or new media display requirements must be provided by the artist. This includes USB sticks, video files, monitor(s), projector(s), etc.
  • Artwork must be clearly labelled on the back with the title, medium, category, artist's name, age, and phone number.
  • Artwork must be smaller than 48” X 72”.

Sale of artwork

Artists may choose to sell their artwork during the exhibition. If your artwork is for sale please indicate a price on the application form.

  • All sales transactions must be conducted between the artist and the purchaser.
  • The artist is responsible for the pickup and delivery of artwork to the buyer.
  • All purchased artwork must remain in the gallery until the end of the exhibition.

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Young at Art Coordinator
Community Arts and Social Engagement
172 Guiges Avenue, 3rd floor