Teens: Submit Your Art to Teen Winter Challenge 2022-2023 to Win Prizes

Are you a Chicago teen who’s created art in the past two years? Want to share your work so more people see it? Would you like the opportunity to win an Amazon gift card?

Then submit your art to our 8th annual Teen Winter Challenge art competition!

Submission Guidelines

Who: High school students between 13 to 19 who live in Chicago.
What: Submit a portfolio of one to three original works created in the past two years, along with an artist statement.
When: Submit your portfolio before March 8, 2023.
Why: Every applicant will have one work printed in the 8th annual Teen Winter Challenge catalog, which will be added to the YOUmedia Zine collection and posted online. Submissions are also eligible to win monetary prizes and additional exhibition opportunities.
Where: Complete the form below.

More Details

Allowable mediums: The portfolio can represent a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, sculpture, film, photography, fashion, etc. Written word can be incorporated into the work (e.g., graphic novel, captions, subtitles) but cannot constitute the entirety of the work/portfolio (e.g., an essay or poem by itself).

Artist Statement: The artist statement should give insight into both you and your work using 250 words or less. What do you wish to tell people that would guide their viewing and deepen understanding of your work? Some prompts to consider:

  • Discuss the meaning/intention behind your artistic choices and the overall piece
  • Write about your creative process and your goals for the future

Presentation Tips: Please submit your art using a professional format.

  • Submit well-lit, high-resolution images of your artwork. If you don't have access to a digital camera, most smart phone cameras provide excellent images.
  • Crop any unnecessary details out of the frame.
  • Avoid skewing the image - photograph the work straight on, with the camera at a 90-degree angle to the work. Associated Artists of Pittsburgh provides good tips for photographing your art
  • .jpgs are preferred for processing reasons, but .png and .pdf files are also acceptable. 
  • Title your image file with your name and the name of the piece, if possible.

Evaluation Process: Submissions will be judged by a panel of Chicago Public Library staff. Evaluation will be based on the thoughtfulness of the artist statement, the passion to create, the artistic merit of the piece(s) and the professionalism of the presentation. Ask your local teen library staff member for help with any of these components.


Every applicant will have at least one work printed in our Teen Winter Challenge catalog. Of these works, up to 12 exceptional pieces will receive one of the following Amazon gift card amounts, as well as mounted exhibition at Harold Washington Library Center:

Senior Achievement Award
Open to high school seniors

  • Grand prize: $175 gift card
  • First and second runners-up: $125 gift card
  • Honorable mentions (3): $50 gift card

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

  • Grand prize: $125 gift card
  • First and second runners-up: $75 gift card
  • Honorable mentions (3): $50 gift card

Teen Winter Challenge Submission Form

Winners will be notified by Spring 2023. 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.

Thank you for your interest in our Teen Winter Challenge art competition. The submission deadline has now passed.