Teen Winter Challenge: Share Your Talent

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 our events and resources to get started today!

Teen Winter Challenge Requirements

  • When: December 14, 2015 to February 4, 2016
  • Who: High school students ages 14-18; must reside in the City of Chicago.

Submission Guidelines

Submit a portfolio in a digital format (e.g. website, video, individual files) to Teen Services (teenservices@chipublib.org) on or before February 4, 2016.

Portfolio submission emails must use the subject line "Teen Winter Challenge Submission 2015." Your submission must include your name, age, grade, high school, local library branch, email address and a telephone number where you can be reached.

Your portfolio must contain three (3) original creative works using skills you have developed at Chicago Public Library or Chicago Public Schools in 2015 (e.g. drawing, painting, sculpture, music, film).

Your portfolio must also include an artist’s statement of 500 words or less; your 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

Submissions will be judged by a panel of CPL Teen Services and YOUmedia staff. Evaluation will be based on the cohesiveness of the portfolio, clarity of the artist’s statement and evidence of growth.


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. By submitting your portfolio, you authorize Chicago Public Library to post your work on www.chipublib.org, along with your first name. Winners will be notified in early March 2016.