So You Want To Be An Artist? The National Gallery of Canada kicks off the second edition of its cross-Canada art contest for teens

Ottawa - January 25, 2012

Fresh from the successful first edition of its So You Want To Be An Artist? contest, which last year attracted more than 120 participants, some 50,000 visitors to the website and 20,000 votes, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) is once again inviting youth aged 16 to 19 from across the country to express their creative side through the visual arts, and submit their artworks. The 12 entries that get the most votes on Facebook will make it to the semi-finals and will be shown at the Gallery for a month, before being judged by a jury made up of journalists, artists, and curators. The creators of the three winning entries will receive outstanding prizes, and the grand prize winner will enjoy a behind-the-scenes visit with NGC experts.

"We were very impressed with the quality of the artworks entered last year," said Gary Goodacre, NGC Manager, Youth and School Programs. "We're really looking forward to seeing what the participants have in store for us this year."

The 2012 jury is made up of Ottawa Citizen arts-editor-at-large Peter Simpson, Radio-Canada television arts reporter Claude Deschênes, artist and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design assistant professor Kim Morgan, Vancouver and Montreal interdisciplinary artist Sonny Assu and Iqaluit illustrator and graphic designer Jonathan Cruz.

How to enter
Young artists can base their work on whatever sparks their imagination. They can also draw inspiration from the NGC’s rich collection, either in person or by visiting Artworks must be original two dimensional pieces in any medium, and must be accompanied by a short text explaining the story behind the piece. A digital copy of the work must also be submitted, which will be shown on the website, where visitors will be able to vote for their favourite piece(s) through Facebook.

The 12 contestants with the most online votes will be invited to submit their original artwork for entry into the final phase of the contest. For more information, go to

The contest is open to residents of Canada who are aged 16 to 19, as of June 4, 2012

One Contest, Three Phases:

1. Online Submission Phase
The NGC will accept entries from January 25 to March 18, 2012 via the contest website at

2. Online Voting Phase
The NGC will post all accepted entries online at During the voting phase of the contest, visitors to the contest website will be able to vote once for every artwork that appeals to them by using the Facebook "Like" feature. The voting phase takes place from March 26 to April 30, 2012.

3. Public Display and Jury Selection Phase
The NGC will invite the top 12 contestants with the most online votes to submit their original artwork for display on its Artissimo Gallery wall, located in the concourse. The works will be on view from June 2 to July 3, 2012. During the display phase, a jury appointed by the NGC will evaluate the artworks based on: the clarity of the theme and message; originality and imaginativeness; and the thought and feeling provoked in the viewer.

Announcement of Winners
The jurors will choose three finalists who will be awarded exciting prizes as outlined below. The NGC will announce the winners during the week of June 4, 2012.

First Prize
First prize includes travel, accommodation and meals for a two-night stay in Ottawa for the winner and one accompanying adult as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit of the NGC that will focus on careers in the visual arts. The winner will also gain expert advice on his or her art portfolio and receive a $500 gift certificate for art supplies. The first-place winner will also receive a reproduction of their work on canvas graciously provided by CanvasPop. (Note: If the winner lives within a 100 km radius from downtown Ottawa, a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies will be awarded instead of the travel portion of the prize.) Total maximum value: $3,500.

Second Prize
A $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies.

Third Prize
A $500 gift certificate for art supplies.

Top 12 finalists
The top 12 finalists will receive a voucher, graciously provided by CanvasPop, to have their images printed on canvas.

Official Rules
Visit for the contest's full official rules.

About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains the largest touring art exhibition programme in the world. For more information, visit


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For media only: For further information, please contact:

Josée-Britanie Mallet
Senior Media and
Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada