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Opportunities for students and teachers

Young at Art


Young at Art is a juried art exhibition bringing the work of young visual artists to local art galleries. The exhibition, held annually since 1996, represents a tremendous opportunity for the public exhibition and recognition of the creative efforts of these young artists. Creators of accepted works will have their pieces displayed in a community gallery and are eligible for a number of prizes and awards contributed by the City of Ottawa and Young at Art Sponsors.

Works selected by the jury for Young at Art 2018 will be displayed in three different community galleries in April. There will be a vernissage at each gallery and a citywide awards ceremony to recognize outstanding work at Centrepointe Theatres in May.


Visual artists between 12 to 19 years of age as of January 1, 2018 who live or go to school in Ottawa are eligible to enter Young at Art.


What began in 1996 as an annual event run by artists based at the Kanata Civic Art Gallery has since become a citywide event coordinated by the City of Ottawa.

Submitted artwork enters a jury process which determines which pieces will be exhibited in the City of Ottawa's community galleries. Young at Art jurors are a diverse mix of established artists from our community who help to deliver exciting, quality exhibitions based on common assessment criteria.

Artists of accepted works will have their piece displayed in a community gallery. In addition, a number of prizes are presented for outstanding artwork at our awards ceremony.

City Awards

Awards in the following categories will be presented to participants in each region of the City:

  • Painting Junior (12 to 15 years) and Painting Senior (16 to 19 years)
  • Drawing Junior and Drawing Senior
  • 3-Dimensional Junior and 3-Dimensional Senior
  • Photography Junior and Photography Senior
  • Mixed Media Junior and Mixed Media Senior
  • Other Media (Printmaking, Digital Media etc.) Junior and Other Media Senior

Sponsored Awards

Local sponsors also donate awards. Past sponsors include: Corel, OMMA (Ottawa Mixed Media Artists), Arteast, AOE Arts Council, Ottawa School of Art, Algonquin College, Kanata Civic Art Gallery, Foyer Gallery, MIFO, various City Councillors and many more.


Exhibitions and Vernissages

East Ottawa
Salons A & B of Trinity Art Gallery
Shenkman Arts Centre, Lower Level
245 Centrum Blvd.

West Ottawa
Kanata Civic Art Gallery
John Mlacak Centre
2500 Campeau Drive

Central Ottawa
Atrium Art Gallery and Nepean Fine Arts League Exhibition Space
Ben Franklin Place
101 Centrepointe Dr.

Awards Ceremony

Centrepointe Theatres
101 Centrepointe Dr.

Sometimes an artist will live in one region of the City but go to school in another region. We give the option of exhibiting in either region based on indicated preference on the application form. 

What region do I live in? Please contact the Young at Art coordinator

What region is my school in?


Applications for Young at Art 2018 have now closed.
For more information please contact


  • East: April 19 to May 14, 2018
  • West: April 19 to May 13, 2018
  • Central: April 21 to May 13, 2018


  • East: Shenkman Arts Centre Sunday, April 22 at 1 pm
  • West: John Mlacak Centre, Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 pm
  • Central: Atrium Gallery, Tuesday, April 24 at 6:30 pm

Artwork pickup

  • East: May 15, 3:30 to 7 pm
  • West: May 13, 6:30 to 8 pm
  • Central: May 14, 3:30 to 7 pm

Awards Ceremony

Thursday May 3, at 7 pm


The application form is available online here. Applicants must provide basic contact information as well as upload an image or provide a link to their artwork. The deadline for submitting application forms is Friday March 9, 2018. Only one artwork entry permitted per person. Late applications will not be accepted.

Participating in Young at Art is free.


The jury will meet in March to evaluate all submissions. It is vital to label artwork submissions correctly (procedures stated below).

Note: it is encouraged to submit an artwork statement along with your work.

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


Participants are eligible to enter one artwork which should fall in one of the following categories: 

  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Three Dimensional
  • Photography
  • Mixed Media and Other Media (Printmaking, Digital Media, etc.).

Winners will be granted the opportunity to exhibit their work in a community gallery. Secondary prizes of different levels may be presented to winners at the awards ceremony.

Young at Art is intended to promote and praise youth for their originality and talent in visual arts.  Judging criteria is based on originality, elements of design and composition, uniqueness of style, and the artist's skill with the medium chosen.

Always properly source artwork! Originality is very important, however if the artwork was inspired by another artist it must be referenced in the artist statement.


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

When judging the works, the jury considers several aspects such as limited gallery space and artistic criteria.  It is highly encouraged for all artists to review the criteria before submitting an entry.

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

Originality – does the piece show uniqueness within its genre? Value will be given to those who can portray the inspiration within their work and show how that inspiration has been made into a new and creative concept. Unoriginal work will be disqualified. Direct copies from media sources are not acceptable.

Overall impression/ elements of Art - does the piece fit within the category chosen? Is the work pleasing to the eye?  Are lines, colour, space, form, media and texture used? Is the space used effectively?

Craftsmanship - Do all the art elements work together to create a unified design? Do all elements and factors work well together visually within the piece? Is there technique used within the piece?

Composition – are forms and abstract techniques used effectively? Are visual arts elements placed properly or accordingly to the work being achieved?

Submission Process

Please submit a good quality image of your work with your online application form before the deadline. Only one high quality image per work. Exception: three-dimensional works may submit up to 3 images.

Please ensure to properly label your image, as follows: First and last name, followed by title of work, location (Central, East or West) and phone number used on the application form. (Example: firstname_lastname_title_location_phone, Julia_Smith_TheGrey_Central_6135992244.) 

Artwork statements are encouraged. The maximum word limit is 300 words.

If you have been selected to participate in the exhibition, you will be contacted regarding artwork drop off information.

Prepare your artwork

Standards for Presentation of Artwork

Once you have been accepted into the show, you will need to prepare your artwork for gallery display.

The following steps will help guide you on how to properly prepare your artwork:

  1. All paintings/drawings/prints must be properly framed or matted and ready to hang with solidly attached wire - no string or cord on the back or they will not be accepted. If properly stretched canvas work is unframed, please ensure hanging wire is fastened and edges of canvas are painted.
  2. Work must be clearly labelled on the back with the title, medium, category, artist's name, age, and phone number.
  3. All painted works must be dry at time of delivery.

Tips and Pointers

When handing over your artwork to the gallery for display you need to make sure it is 'gallery ready' - in other words ready for hanging or displaying in the gallery. Artwork that is not framed or display ready will not be accepted.

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


  • Finish your work off completely by painting the sides and sealing it when dry.
  • Write the title, medium, category, artist's name, age, and phone number on a tag or sticker that is easily visible on the back of your work.
  • Use D hooks to attach the wire.
  • Place them about 1/3 the way down on the back.
  • Insert the D hooks on the insides of the boxed canvas so that they don't protrude and leave marks on the wall.
  • Use wire to hang. Wire is best if your work is heavy as it stretches less. String or cord will not be accepted.


  • Take your art work anywhere when wet.
  • Expect unframed artwork to be put on display; All paintings/drawings/prints must be properly framed or matted and ready to hang with solidly attached wire.
  • Forget to add the artwork information (Title, Date, Medium, Category, Artist, Price) to the back.
  • Submit artwork over 48” X 72” as there will not be enough space in the gallery.

Preparation of canvases

Prepare your artwork for installation by attaching wire to the backs. Saw-tooth hangers are not reliable (and you won't appear professional if you use them). It's also recommended to put little rubber or felt pads on the back of the piece at the bottom. This helps to protect the wall from any paint rubbing off the frame. The rubber pads help keep the artwork in place and to stay level.

Works on canvas

Any paintings that have been done on canvas should have the sides of the canvas finished off. The most common way to do this is the just paint the sides. You could either paint it solid black, or one of the dominant colours of the painting or carry the work off on to the sides of the painting.

Another method is to frame the canvas or, attach strips of wood to the sides to create a frame. The frame should be deep enough so that the canvas fits in flush with the frame.

Works on Masonite, canvas board, wood panels or foam core

Any work that is done on Masonite, canvas board, hardboard, foam core or similar surfaces must be framed. These types of materials are thin and can easily be framed. It's a good idea to deal with them as you would paper. For a thick wood panel, you can sand the sides and treat it like canvas by painting them.

Works on Paper

Paintings, drawings, photographs, collages or any other medium on paper must be framed. Adding a matte board finishes the framed artwork. If the paper has deckled edges you can attach the paper to matte board and float it within the frame.

Sculptures and Pottery

Sculpture or 3-dimensional work can stand alone or be mounted on a plaque. Sculptures must be able to stand solidly.

Framing and Supplies

There are various places you can visit to purchase frames and have your work professionally framed. Some examples include: IKEA, Michaels, Wallack's, Art World One, and many more! If you have any questions regarding framing please contact us at

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.

Other ways to participate

Become a fan!
Look for Young at Art/Artistes en herbe Ottawa on Facebook.
Follow us for important information and updates! 

Volunteering is extremely important to the success of Young at Art. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Young at Art please contact the Young at Art Volunteer Coordinator.

Contact Us

Young at Art Co-ordinator
Routhier Community Centre
172 Guiges Avenue