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Opportunities for students and teachers

Young at Art

What is Young at Art

  • Applications are now closed for 2020.
  • 2021 Applications will be available online in October 2020.

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 who live or go to school in Ottawa.

Effects of COVID-19 on Young at Art

On April 6, 2020 the City announced that it is extending the closure of all municipal facilities and parks until June 30, 2020 as part of its ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This decision was made in consultation with Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health and with the intent to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and help protect Ottawa residents.

As a result of the extended closures, The Young at Art exhibitions are moving to a virtual exhibition platform.

What will Young at Art 2020 look like?

Our goal is to continue to recognize the great artworks and talented youth in our city. To do this, we will:

  • Select top artworks across all disciplines and regions to be featured on the City’s Young at Art Instagram page, from the 2020 Young at Art submissions (applications are now closed)
  • In addition to these top artworks, winners in each discipline will be chosen to be recognized with a Citywide Award

Beginning on June 1, 2020, we will feature both the top artworks and the Citywide Award winner’s artwork daily on the City’s Young at Art Instagram page, @youngatartott to be shared with family, friends, and the public


Tune into our Instagram account to see the selected artworks for 2020

How to apply

The deadline for 2020 applications is now closed. Application information for Young at Art 2021 will be posted in October 2020.

Interested in applying next year? Here is what you will need to provide in your application form:

  • Region - if you are unsure, the geoTool can help you determine which region you live in
  • Which artwork category you’re applying to
  • The size of your artwork
  • A JPG photo of your artwork
  • An artist bio telling us in 2 to 3 sentences who you are and what kind of art you make

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. 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

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.)

Citywide Awards presented by the Kanata Civic Gallery founding members

This year, we have added the Citywide Awards. These awards are given to the best artwork in each discipline across the city:

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Mixed Media
  • Photography
  • Three dimensional
  • Other media

Sponsored awards 2019

2019 Sponsors:

Like or follow!

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


Young at Art Coordinator
Community Arts and Social Engagement
172 Guiges Avenue