The African American Cultural Collaborative of Mercer County and The National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc. Pi Chapter (NSPDK-Pi) are calling on the youth of Trenton and the entire Mercer County area to participate in their first (Virtual) Capital City African American Youth Art Competition of 2021.

Open to African American Mercer County students in grades 5 to 12, the new contest is accepting artwork corresponding with its theme, ‘Black in the Future: Tomorrow Through the Eyes of Young African American Artists.’

According to the NSPDK-Pi overview and criteria and guidelines, NSPDK-Pi is, “excited to give our youth an opportunity to use artistic expression to look toward the future.” Through this competition, the organization states, “we are challenging our young people to use their art to paint, draw, sculpt or design a future that exemplifies a just and equitable future for all.”

All artwork submitted to the competition but be original works surrounding this theme. Students can submit up to three pieces, however, only one will be considered for a prize.  Winning entries will be judged on creativity, artistic excellence and theme relevance. At some point in the month, NSPDK-Pi will release a numerical guideline for participants to follow.

Submissions will be critiqued by a panel of judges with expertise in art. They will be judged in two categories based on grade level. Students in middle school, or 5 to 8 grade, will be judged separately from those in high school, or 9 to 12 grade. There will be a first, second and third place winner in each category.

Third place winners, the honorable mention, will receive $100 and second place winners will receive $200. The first place winners will each receive $300 and will be featured on the organizations’ website and social media for one month. All contestants will receive a certificate of participation and will have their work displayed in a local gallery, yet to be determined.

To take part in the competition, students must submit JPEG images to their own assigned google drive folder stating the contestant’s name in subject line. Each submission should be clearly labeled with the contestant’s name, title of work, medium and the dimensions of the work. Along with the artwork, submissions must include a three to four sentence statement explaining how their work pertains to the theme and a short artist bio that includes location, school and residence.

Similar to NSPDK-Pi’s Virtual History Bowl in August of 2020, this art competition aims to highlight significant achievements of African Americans. “We must begin to look toward a future that is safer, more equitable, and brighter for all citizens,” stated the competition overview.

Entries are due by Monday, January 25. Winners will be announced on Friday, February 19 during a virtual awards ceremony. For more information about the (Virtual) Capital City African American Youth Art Competition of 2021 visit: https://www.nspdkpichapter.org/events/youth-art-competition