Teen Winter Challenge: Share Your Talent with the World!

Share your talent with the world through this year's Teen Winter Challenge! Submit a portfolio with three original creations and an artist’s statement for the chance to win a scholarship or gift card—and see your work featured on our website.

Need help with your portfolio? Check out these books about visual and performing arts, or drop into one of these events designed to support the Teen Winter Challenge.

Submission Guidelines

  • Who: High school students ages 14-18; must reside in the City of Chicago.
  • What: Submit a portfolio in a digital format (e.g. website, video, individual files) to Teen Services (teenservices@chipublib.org) by January 20, 2017.Your portfolio must contain three (3) original creative works using skills you have developed at Chicago Public Library or Chicago Public Schools in 2016-17 (e.g. photography, drawing, painting, sculpture, music, film).Your portfolio must also include an artist’s statement of 500 words or less.*
  • When: December 9, 2016 – January 20, 2017
  • Where: Send your portfolio submission emails to teenservices@chipublib.org with the subject line "Teen Winter Challenge Submission 2016-17." Your submission must include your name, age, grade, high school, local library branch, email address and a telephone number.
  • How: The Teen Winter Challenge Jury includes Chicago Public Library staff and museum partners from The Art Institute of Chicago; Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art;The National Veteran’s Art Museum and The Hyde Park Art Center.

Artist Statement Guidelines

Every portfolio must include an artist’s statement of 500 words or less. This statement should:

  • Provide a context for your work, indicating what it means to you and why you feel it represents your journey as an artist
  • Discuss your creative process, identifying the skills you have developed at CPL and/or CPS that contributed to these works 


Winners will be notified by February 17, 2017.

Prize winners will be selected in the following categories:

Senior Achievement Award (open to high school seniors)

  • Grand prize: $500 scholarship
  • First and second runners-up: $250 scholarship

Scholarship funds will be remitted directly to the two- or four-year college or university of your choice. Proof of admission must be provided and no cash awards will be distributed. Each scholarship is a one-time award and cannot be renewed annually.

Young Artist’s Award (open to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors)

  • Grand prize: $100 gift card to Blick Art Materials
  • First and second runners-up: $50 gift cards to Blick Art Materials

Honorable mentions and winning entries will be showcased on the CPL website and social media.

Disclaimer: By submitting your portfolio, you authorize Chicago Public Library to post your work on www.chipublib.org, along with your first name.