students have until Jan. 5 to submit entries on the theme of “I
wonder …” The contest asks children from kindergarten through high
school to interpret the theme however they want in two-dimensional
art, such as a drawing, painting or collage.
The contest has four age groups: K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. Each age
group will have a winner and two runners-up. The winners will be
announced March 11 to commemorate Arts Education Week.
All winners and runners-up will have their work displayed by the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum through Aug. 15, and
the artwork chosen as “best of show” will be used on a poster sent
to schools to celebrate Arts Education Week, March 11-15, 2024. The
winner will also be recognized at an ISBE Board meeting, and a
framed copy will hang in the Board office.
“Saying ‘I wonder …’ is the first step in changing the world. It
leads to innovation in arenas from science and medicine to art and
history,” said Christina Shutt, executive director of the Abraham
Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. “We can’t wait to see how
the state’s young artists tackle such a fun, thought-provoking
Contest submissions may be up to 14 inches by 11
inches. They cannot feature copyrighted characters such as Batman.
More details are available at bit.ly/ALPLM-ArtContest. Entries do
not have to be submitted via schools; youth groups, home-educated
children or anyone else can participate. All that is required is
that the artist is a student at any public, private, alternative, or
home school in Illinois.
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“We are proud to sponsor this annual student art
contest to recognize the critical place of the arts in a
well-rounded education,” said State Superintendent of Education Dr.
Tony Sanders. “Every student deserves access to the arts. Learning
and practicing the arts supports students in developing creativity,
self-expression, and confidence. Illinois has incredibly talented
artists at every age, and I look forward to seeing what our young
people ‘wonder’ about through this year’s art contest theme.”
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum
uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship
to immerse visitors in Lincoln’s life and times. The library holds
an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs,
artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to
all aspects of Illinois history.
For more information, visit
The mission of the Illinois State Board of Education is to provide
leadership and resources to achieve excellence across all Illinois
districts by engaging legislators, school administrators, teachers,
students, parents, families and other stakeholders in formulating
and advocating for policies that enhance education, empower
districts and ensure equitable outcomes for all students. Its vision
of Illinois is a state of whole, healthy children nested in whole,
healthy systems supporting communities wherein all people are
socially and economically secure.