Each year, more than 4,000 high school students from across the country participate in the VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest. The contest began in 1979 to recognize up-and-coming artists and encourage patriotism in youth. View the top 12 2021-2022 state winners or all the previous first-place national winners. This contest comprises only two-dimensional entries. New this Program Year (2022-2023) is the 3-Dimensional Patriotic Art Contest, exclusively for three-dimensional art pieces.

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest:

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Students in grades 9-12 by the March 31 deadline who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools.
  • Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence status (the application for which has not been denied) to become a U.S. citizen.
  • Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or older, GED and adult education students, or national winners of previous Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contests are ineligible.

What is the Scholarship Amount?

  • The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $34,000.

What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?

  • Two-dimensional art must be on canvas or paper. Watercolor, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen, ink, oil, marker or other media taught may be used.
  • Do not frame two-dimensional pieces.
  • Submit canvas entries on a stretcher frame or canvas board. Other entries, if matted, must be matted in white. Do not use color mats. Reinforce the back with heavy paper. Mounted and floating mats may also be used.
  • The art should be no smaller than 8” x 10” but no larger than 18” x 24”, not including mat.
  • Complete entry form and attach to back of entry.
  • Submit a typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (250 words or less).

What are the Scholarship Contest Deadlines?

  • March 31: Student Entry Deadline to VFW Auxiliary.*
  • April 15: VFW Auxiliary winners due to Department (state) Scholarships Chairman for judging.*
  • May 5:  VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters.*

* required deadlines

 

3-Dimensional Patriotic Art Contest:

Who is Eligible to Apply?

  • Students in grades 9-12 by the March 31 deadline who are enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States, its territories and possessions; or dependents of U.S. military or civilian personnel in overseas schools.
  • Although U.S. citizenship is not required, students must be permanent residents or have applied for permanent residence status (the application for which has not been denied) to become a U.S. citizen.
  • Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or older, GED and adult education students are ineligible.

What is the Scholarship Amount?

  • The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $4,000.

What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?

  • Three-dimensional art can be paper, papier-mâché, pottery, clay, metal work, fabric, etc.
  • Pieces should be no larger than 18” in any direction.
  • Art cannot be more than 5 lbs. in weight.
  • Complete entry form and submit with entry.
  • Submit a typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (250 words or less).

What are the Scholarship Contest Deadlines?

  • March 31: Student Entry Deadline to VFW Auxiliary.*
  • April 15: VFW Auxiliary winners due to Department (state) Scholarships Chairman for judging.*
  • May 5:  VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters.*

* required deadlines

 

Digital art, photography and jewelry are NOT ACCEPTED for either contest.

 

Additional Resources:

VFW Auxiliary Brochure Order Form

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest info sheet

Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest entry form

3-Dimensional Patriotic Art info sheet

3-Dimensional Patriotic Art entry form