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Children’s Art Competitions

By September 6th, 2021Competitions

Our pick of the best UK Art Competitions for kids and young people in 2021-2022. Open to children of all ages up to seventeen…

Most of our UK Art Competitions are for artists eighteen and over so I’m excited to start an alternative version for children and youths. Get in touch if you know of any more UK art contests for juniors and I’ll add the best ones here.

Seeing my childhood cartoon of Goofy cracking a joke win Mickey Mouse comic’s weekly competition was about as big a thrill as a creative kid could get. I hope this list leads to similar creative landmarks, good luck everyone!

VR Academi Design Competition

VR Academi Design Competition

Inviting young creative minds globally to showcase their design talents with categories for Enviromental Design, Film Making and Graphic Design.

Close:15th September 2021 enter now!
  • Under 18s Prizes:
  • 3D Enviroment Design Prize: Oculus Quest2 64 GB (view on Amazon)
  • Movie Making Prize: GoPro Hero 8 (view on Amazon)
  • Creative Design Prize: Wacom Intuos CTL 6100 (view on Amazon)
  • Runners Up Prizes: £150 ($100–$200 coupons off VRAcademi)
Rules:3D ENVIRONMENT DESIGN: Plan and design what your city would look like in 100 years from now.
MOVIE MAKING: Show your perspective of what you believe is needed in our world today.
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Illustrate how nature is connected with us.
Ages:9–12 (Level 1) and 13–18 (Level 2)

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Young Railway Photographer of the Year

Young Railway Photographer of the Year

A new photographic competition from Rail Camera Club with a category for those aged 18 and younger for images with a railway connection.

Close:1st November 2021 enter now!
  • 18 & Under Prize: (A Level 1 or Level 2 Photography Course provided by the Jessops Academy. Tram Driving Experience at the Heaton Park Tramway. ‘Behind the Scenes’ visit to Rail Story, Yorkshire. Voucher towards a photographic event. Complimentary Day Rover tickets for two to travel on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway. Behind the Scenes photographic opportunity at the National Railway Museum, York. Selection of NRM merchandise. Books bundle.
Rules:Entries are invited to illustrate the “THE RAILWAY SEEN” using images with a railway connection that have been taken since 1 January 2019.
Ages:Category One: 18 years of age and under, UK based

Sony World Photography Awards - Youth

Sony World Photography Awards: Youth Competition

Monthly competitions for young photographers (aged 12 to 19) to compete to be Young Photographer of the Year and win Sony digital imaging equipment!

Close:31st December 2021 enter now!
  • 1st Prize: top Sony digital imaging equipment
Rules:Monthly competitions with a changing theme running from 1 June to 31 December, 2021. Photographers can enter up to three images per month. Judges will select a shortlist of 10 images per month, including one winner, Monthly winners compete to be Youth Photographer of the Year.
Ages:12 – 19 year olds

Awaiting Entry


Toyota Dream Car Art Contest

Global competition that invites children under the age of 15 to let their imaginations run wild by designing cars of the future.

Close:January 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: Winners of the national competition are invited to an awards ceremony at Toyota GB HQ to receive a variety of different prizes, including computer tablets and Toyota goody bags. Their entries will also go forward to the the global competition and the chance to win the trip of a lifetime to Japan.
Rules:Design a car of the future.
Ages:Children under the age of 15

RHS Photo Competition

RHS Photo Competition

The RHS Photographic Competition inspires young and old alike to get outdoors and record how enriching and inspiring gardens and plants can be.

Close:February 2022 awaiting entry
  • Under 18s Prizes:
  • 1st Prize: £150 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
  • 2nd Prize: £75 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
  • 3rd Prize: £50 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
  • Under 11s Prizes:
  • 1st Prize: £150 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
  • 2nd Prize: £75 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
  • 3rd Prize: £50 (Wex Photographic vouchers)
Rules:Photographs depicting something plant, garden or wildlife related that interests you
Ages:10 and under, 11-17 years old, 18+ in adults category

Global Canvas – Children’s Wildlife Art Competition

Global Canvas – Children’s Wildlife Art Competition

Annual group art contest for children 16 and under encouraging collaboration and creativity around wildlife and the environment.

Close:February 2022 awaiting entry
  • Prizes to be announcedlast year’s prizes included: trophies, DSWF species adoptions, art materials vouchers for the top 3 schools, and a selection of books.
Rules:2021’s theme was “Healing Nature – A Planet on the Edge” Each group’s entry should fill a wall space 180cm x 180cm with a table 180cm x 60cm in front. Be as creative as you can, using anything from paint, sculpture or sewing to recycled art, to create your own mini-exhibition! Make sure that you use some form of recycled materials in the final piece. 2019’s winners.
Ages:16 and under. The competition is group entry: art groups, classes, year groups, groups of friends or a whole school! (16-22 year olds can enter the Human Impact category of Wildlife Artist of the Year).

Postcards from the Trafalgar Way

Postcards from the Trafalgar Way

Create an artwork based on a feature on the historic Trafalgar Way route (Falmouth to London) prizes in three age categories: 7-11, 12-16 and 17-adult.

Close:April 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize (age 17-adult): 2 x £1,000
  • 1st Prize (age 12-16): 2 x £500
  • 1st Prize (age 7-11): 2 x £250
  • Schools Prize (age 7-11): £250
  • John Richards Lapenotiere Trophy: £500 (for resident in one of the 8 counties of The Trafalgar Way)
  • A touring exhibition will take place in 2021 (shortlisted announced 25th May 2021)
  • Full list of prizes and details
Rules:Take a stunning photograph or create a two-dimensional artwork (including digital art) of a scene along The Trafalgar Way (size range: A6 to A1)
Ages:7-11, 12-16, 17 to adult

Young Artists’ Summer Show

The Young Artists’ Summer Show

A free, open submission exhibition from the Royal Academy for young artists aged 5 – 19 years studying in the UK and British schools overseas.

Close:April 2022 awaiting entry
  • Prizes to be announcedsee last year’s prize winners. Selected pieces will be shown in an online exhibition and some will also be shown at the Royal Academy of Arts.
Rules:First, a teacher needs to register your school. Once the school is registered, your artworks can be submitted. If you’re 12 or under, a teacher or parent/guardian will need to enter for you; if you’re 13 or over you can submit artworks yourself. Each student can submit up to three artworks of any type and there is no theme. When you enter, we’ll ask for images of your artwork plus some information about the piece such as title, size, and a little text about the artwork and why you made it.
Ages:Students aged 5-19 studying in the UK or attending a British school overseas

Unique Art Awards

Unique Art Awards

Art Competition for disabled children 7-21 years old. Prizes include up to £600 for entrants and £3,000 for their school/college Art Department.

Close:April 2022 awaiting entry
  • Gold (1st): £600 in vouchers and £3,000 for their school
  • Silver (2nd) – £400 in vouchers and £2,000 for their school
  • Bronze (3nd) – £200 in vouchers and £1,000 for their school
  • Art teacher of the Year: £2,000 vouchers, or equivalent for other department winners
  • Each finalist will receive a certificate and a £50 Great Art Voucher
Rules:All entrants for the competition must have a disability of some kind. The subject for all categories are: CORONA, MY HAPPY PLACE, COMMUNITY, HOW THE WORLD SEES ME or PLASTIC. Groups: 2D Art/Painter, Photographer, 3D Sculpture, Digital Art, Performing Arts
Ages:Child 7–15, Youth 16–21 years old

Art Gemini Prize 2021

Art Gemini Young Artist Prize

The Art Gemini Prize promotes international contemporary art for emerging and established artists and is free to enter for artists 17 and under.

Close:May 2022 awaiting entry
  • Young Artist Prize: £250
Rules:Any kind of 2D and 3D art (excluding installation and video)
Ages:17 years and under

wonders of water competition

Climate Change Painting Competition

International art prize for school pupils aged 6-16 for original work related to ocean conservation. Hosted by the Taiwan Institute of Sustainable Energy.

Close:May 2022 awaiting entry
  • Platinum Prize (ages 12–16): $350
  • Gold Prize: $300
  • Silver Prize: $250
  • Bronze Prizes: 5 x $200
  • Honorable mentions: 5 x $150
  • Platinum Prize (ages 6–12): $250
  • Gold Prize: $200
  • Silver Prize: $150
  • Bronze Prizes: 5 x $100
  • Honorable mentions: 5 x $70
Rules:Express your interest in oceans and climate change through painting. Participants can use watercolor, crayons, printmaking, ink painting, colored pens, or any combination of these on paper. Sketches, collage, and 3D artwork are not accepted. Awards will be announced in mid-May.
Ages:6–16 year olds (all nationalities)

D31 Photography Prize

D31 Young Photographers Prize

Ten under 16 finalists will be selected for an exhibition at the Doncaster based gallery this summer on the theme “Black & White Visual Arts Photography”.

Close:May 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: £100
  • 2nd Prize: £50
  • 3rd Prize: £20
Rules:Enter up to 2 photographs on the theme “Black and White Visual Arts Photography”. £10 exhibition fee if longlisted.
Ages:Under 16s worldwide.

Cairngorms Nature Art Competition

Cairngorms Nature Art Competition

Show your love for the nature of the Cairngorms National Park for a chance to win some fantastic wildlife watching prizes. 2020 winner above.

Close:May 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: Wildlife watching binoculars
  • 10 Finalists: Nature watching kits
Rules:Draw, paint or model a piece of artwork showing your favourite wildlife found in the Cairngorms National Park.
Ages:Open to all primary school aged children (UK)

Barton Peveril Art Competition

Barton Peveril Art Competition

Enter your favourite artwork to this annual art competition open to students from UK secondary schools in two age categories.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize year 9, 10 & 11: £100 (Amazon Giftcard)
  • 2nd Prizes: 2 x £50 (Amazon Giftcard)
  • 1st Prize year 7 & 8: £50 (Amazon Giftcard)
  • 2nd Prizes: 2 x £25 (Amazon Giftcard)
Rules:Enter an image of your favourite piece of artwork you’ve created.
Ages:Secondary students in year 7 & 8 and year 9, 10 & 11.

UKTS Art Competition

UKTS 2021 Art Competition

The Thalassaemia Society asks entrants to create an image of what comes to mind when you think of blood or DNA or thalassaemia.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: £100 (17+ age category)
  • 1st Prize: £50 (all other age groups)
  • 2nd Prize: £30 (for each age group)
  • 3rd Prize: £20 (for each age group)
Rules:Create an image of what comes to mind when you think of blood or DNA or thalassaemia.
Ages:3 to 5 years, 6 to 9 years, 10 to 12 years, 13 to 16 years, 17+

Book Token design

National Book Token Design Competition

Design a National Book Token for the chance to win book tokens for all your class, six weekly winners will be chosen throughout May and June.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: £350 book tokens (up to 35 gift cards of £10/€10 for your class)
Rules: Download the book token template on their website, print it out, create your artwork then upload to website.
Ages:Children aged between 4 and 18  (UK & Ireland)

Ocean Awareness Contest

Ocean Awareness Contest

The 10th annual (US based) competition invites 11-18 year olds from around the world to submit a creative response on the theme ‘Water Rising’.

Close:June 2022 eawaiting entry
  • Gold (Junior): $1,000, (Senior): $1,500
  • Silver (Junior): $750, Silver (Senoir): $1,000
  • Bronze (Junior): $250, Bronze (Senoir): $500
  • Honorable Mention: $50, Bronze (Senoir): $100
Rules:The 2021 Ocean Awareness Contest theme was WATER RISING challenged students to explore and understand their connection to water, and to creatively communicate the need to protect this vital resource and life-sustaining relationship. What are the stories we need to tell about water to sustain and conserve it for current and future generations of life on Earth? Submissions are accepted in: Visual Art, Creative Writing. Film, Interactive & Multimedia, Performing Arts: Music & Dance, Poetry & Spoken Word.
Ages:Junior 11-14, Senior 15–18 years old

Write On Art

Write on Art

Annual national writing competition sponsored by Art UK and the Paul Mellon Centre to encourage an interest in art history among young people.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: £500
  • 2nd Prize: £250
  • 3 Runners Up:£100
Rules:Choose an artwork from the Art UK website that interests or intrigues you. Write about it in a way that would persuade people to share your interest and enthusiasm. (400 or 600 words depending on age category)
Ages:15-18 year olds

Great Paper Escape

The Great Paper Escape

Two holiday vouchers worth £1,000 each are up for grabs, to enter have fun and get creative with paper.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 2 x £1,000 holiday vouchers
  • 2 x £250 experience vouchers
  • 30 x laptop bags
Rules:Have fun with paper and be creative! Once you have your drawing, painting, poem, space helmet or princess tiara… whatever you’ve made from paper – photograph your creation and submit on the website. Must be a resident of England, Scotland or Wales.
Ages:All ages, entry must be submitted by someone over 18.

Sketch For Survival

Sketch For Survival

More than 35,000 species are threatened with extinction, submit your animal or wildlife art for exhibition & auction to help raise funds & awareness.

Close:June 2022 awaiting entry
  • 100 Finalists: your artwork will be exhibited at London’s prestigious gallery@oxo to a wide audience and sold via online auction in aid of 21 For 21 Projects and 1 year membership to Explorer Club.
  • Wildlife Artist of the Year: 5 shortlisted artists go to event at the Royal Geographical Society in London on 18 Nov where winner will be announced.
  • Wild Spaces Artist of the Year: 5 shortlisted artists go to Royal Geographical Society event.
  • Leisure Painter’s People’s Choice Award: Profile piece published in magazine and one year subscription.
  • The Artist Award: Profile piece published in magazine & one year subscription.
  • Junior Introducing Artist of the Year: 3 shortlisted artists go to Royal Geographical Society event.
Rules:Original signed two-dimensional A4 or A3 size work in either of two categories – Wildlife: The main focus should be an endangered species. Depict one or several animals from the IUCN red list. Wild Spaces: Your image should depict an at risk landscape/seascape or a species of plant. For example, a wood or forest, a coral reef, mountain range, coastline, wetland – any wild space threatened by environmental factors such as global warming or human activity. Or specific species of threatened plant/flower/tree/coral on the red list.
Ages:UK & International artists age 16 and younger.

The Fleming Collection Young People’s Art Competition

The Fleming Collection Young People’s Art Competition

Create a painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage, photograph or performance inspired by one of the artworks in the Fleming Collection.

Close:July 2022 awaiting entry
  • 1st Prize: £50 voucher (for each age category, more prizes for 2nd place and special mentions)
Rules:Create a painting, drawing, sculpture, assemblage, photograph or even performance that draws from one of the hundreds of artworks in the collection. To find inspiration, search the collection online and discover artworks from the 17th Century to the present day. Winners announced in early August.
Ages:Under 11s, 11-16, 16-18 year olds (UK residents)

Tabernacle Art Competition

Tabernacle Art Competition

Annual exhibition at MOMA Machynlleth on the theme of ‘Love’. 2021’s exhibition will be held online with only winner’s works displayed at the gallery.

Close:July 2022 awaiting entry
  • Ages 12-17 Winner: £100
  • Ages 11 and Under Winner: £50
Rules:The theme for the 2021 Tabernacle Art Competition is ‘Love’. Any 2D work allowed, including photography. Max size with frame: 36 x 48 inches (914 x 1219 mm). £3 entry fee for under 18s, purchase in advance here. For UK & International artists. Winners must be able to get their work to the museum between 5–18 Aug.
Ages:11 and under, 12 – 17

Kids Wild Art Competition

RSPB Kids Wild Art 2022

Create a piece of art inspired by nature and let your imagination run WILD in this kids art competition from the RSPB and the Cameron Bespolka Trust.

Close:August 2022 awaiting entry
  • First Prize: £100 art vouchers for each category winner. There are also RSPB runner-up prizes for each category and age group.
Rules:Create a piece of art inspired by nature, 2022 themes to be announced.
Ages:Under 8s, 8-12, and 13-18.

BIS WSW UK Children’s Competition

World Space Week Kid’s Competition

The British Interplanetary Society are running a creative children’s competition to inspire the next generation of space explorers.

Close:Closed for 2021 opens Summmer 2022
  • Ages 4-6 Prize: Lego Disney in Space (view on Amazon)
  • Ages 7-10 Prize: Lego Space Shuttle (view on Amazon)
  • Ages 11-16 Prize: EXPERT Lego ISS (view on Amazon)
Rules:4-6 YEARS OLD: ARTWORK: Create a piece of artwork of women in space. Develop your own ideas of what ‘Women in Space’ means to you and express it in a creative way.
7-10 YEARS OLD: VIDEO: Create a celebration video of women in space, to be shown during WSW2021. Celebrate a specific ‘woman in space’ who can be a role model to others
11-16 YEARS OLD: WRITING: Write a Wikipedia entry for a woman in space who doesn’t already have one. The aim is to highlight the less well-known inspirational women in the space industry.
Ages:There are three separate categories (suggested age ranges below in brackets) although each competition is open to all ages between 4-16. You can only enter one of the three categories: Artwork (ages 4-6), Video (ages 7-10) and Writing (ages 11-16).

The End!

That’s it for now but stay tuned for further kids art competitions in 2021 and beyond as more prizes and contests are announced.

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