The Utah State Senate Visual Arts Scholarship Competition is sponsored by Senate President Stuart Adams and the Utah State Senate. They seek to challenge Utah students to view the world artistically and express their creativity. The Utah Senate will reward outstanding students with scholarships to support their college and career goals. As in 2020, there is no specific theme. 

Students: You are encouraged to share a visual idea of an aspect of Utah that is meaningful and inspirational to you – the land, the people, a specific moment of history in Utah, the environment, flora, fauna, social justice, patriotism, building community, innovation, exploration, new Utahns/Americans, new challenges, etc. 

The competition will continue as in previous years, although with awareness to the pandemic. Current plans include the in-person awarding of scholarships on the floor of the Senate Chamber. However, depending on the state of the COVID-19, and commitment to the safety of students, their families and the Senators and staff, the in-person acknowledgement may change to a virtual event. The Senate office will notify all students, families, teachers, and District Arts Coordinators of any change to the event by January 2021.


All Utah students, grades 9 – 12 are eligible to participate – public, private, charter, parochial, homeschool. The selection committee is seeking two-dimensional, original visual art images. The following media will be eligible for competition (please note, photography is now eligible for this competition): 

• oil                                • colored pencils

• pen and ink                • crayon

• watercolor                  • encaustic

• printmaking                • digital drawing

• graphic design           •  watercolor pencils 

• photography              • any other medium appropriate for 2D  


Scholarship funds will be deposited into a new or existing my529 account in the name of the student. 

The scholarship award categories are:

1st place   $5,000 

2nd place   $3,000

3rd place   $1,000

4th-17th place $500 


• Work submitted by private/parochial/charter and home schooled students will be selected by qualified jurors to advance to the final round of competition.

• All work in both the preliminary and final round will be judged “blind” without knowledge of student name, school, and city.

• Jurors will view work online. To ensure that your artwork gets a fair critique from the jurors, provide a high resolution image of the art. Please submit a jpeg at a resolution of 300 dpi. Dimensions will vary, but the short side of the image of the art work should be at least 5 inches.

• Jurors in the final round will include three Utah state senators and three professional artists/arts educators.


September 1, 2020  Submittable – online submission form is open

November 13, 2020 Entries are due by submitting application and photo of work online onto the Submittable form. The Submittable form closes November 13 at 5:00 p.m.

November 22, 2020 Judging at school district level complete

December 15, 2020 Final judging complete

December 18, 2020 Student winners, teachers, District Arts Coordinators notified

December 30, 2020 Winning artwork due to Senate Office for matting and framing. Do not submit matted and framed work. Mail delivery at Senate Office, Monday-Friday. Physical delivery, Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. except when posted.

Utah Senate Offices (3rd floor)

 320 State Capitol 

Salt Lake City, UT 84114

Students and teachers are notified by letter from the Senate office. The public announcement takes place at Arts Day on the Hill on February 11, 2021 at the Utah State Capitol building. The top 20 entries will be on exhibition at the Capitol January 18, 2021.

The 1st place entry will become the property of the Senate and exhibited in the Senate suite. All other work will be available for pickup on April 27, 2021.

An exhibition may be curated for the Utah Arts & Museums’ Traveling Exhibition Program.


Submit on-line application with uploaded image of entry. Submittable entry form located at 


• Only one entry allowed per student.

• Work must be original and the work of one student and signed by the student.

• Non-matted work must be at least 8” X 11 ½” – UA&M will mat and frame all winning work.

• Non-matted work may not exceed 36” X 36” – UA&M will mat and frame all winning work.

• After submission, each school district will have access to images for their district and will determine which students advance to the final round of competition.

• A complete application, with image attached must be submitted through Submittable to be eligible for competition. Emailed and mailed entries with image attached WILL NOT be eligible.


Based upon student population, ONE student per student population of 20,000 will advance from each school district. Following submission by students, each district will have the opportunity to determine which student(s) will advance. Students may submit independently. See guidelines for a list of school districts.

For more information, contact Jean Tokuda Irwin jirwin@utah.gov (801) 236.7559

Utah Arts & Museums