Teens: Submit Your Art to Teen Winter Challenge 2021-2022 to Win Prizes

Art is a core component of culture, and culture binds us together. So when times are divisive, it’s even more important to create and share the products we make. That’s why the theme of our 7th annual Teen Winter Challenge is Art to Unite!

If you’re a Chicago high schooler between ages 13 to 19, submit your recently created art to our Teen Winter Challenge using the form below. Submissions that demonstrate talent, creativity and originality will be eligible for prizes and recognition. Plus, every applicant will have one work printed in the 7th annual Teen Winter Challenge catalog, which will be added to the YOUmedia Zine collection.

Submission Guidelines

  • Who: High school students between ages 13 to 19 who live in Chicago.
  • What: Submit a portfolio of 1 to 3 original works in a digital format along with an artist statement.
  • When: Submit your works between now and March 1, 2022.
  • Where: The form below!

Portfolio submissions must contain 1 to 3 original creative works from the past year and can represent a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, fashion, etc.

Your artist statement is meant to give insight into both you and your work in 250 words or less. Some helpful prompts:

  • Discuss the meaning/intention behind your artistic choices and the overall piece
  • Write about your prior experiences as an artist and your goals for the future

Evaluation process: Submissions will be judged by a panel of Chicago Public Library staff and guest judges from the Chicago arts community. Evaluation will be based on the clarity of your artist statement, the passion to create and the artistic merit of the piece(s).


Every applicant will have one work printed in our Teen Winter Challenge catalog. Of these works, up to 12 exceptional pieces will receive one of the following prizes:

Senior Achievement Award
Open to high school seniors.

  • Grand prize: $150 gift card
  • First and second runners-up: $100 gift card
  • Honorable mentions (3): $50 gift card

Young Artist Award
Open to high school freshmen, sophomores and juniors.

  • Grand prize: $100 gift card
  • First and second runners-up: $50 gift card
  • Honorable mentions (3): $25 gift card

Teen Winter Challenge Submission Form

Winners will be notified by Spring 2022. By submitting this portfolio, you authorize Chicago Public Library to post a copy of your work with first name, last initial attribution in the Chicago Public Library collection as well as on our website, social media channels and other marketing initiatives.