Each year, more than 3,500 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 all the previous first-place national winners.
Who is Eligible to Apply?
- Any student in grades 9-12 who is enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home study program in the United States.
- Maximum student age of 18 at time of local entry.
- Student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
- Applicant does not have to be related to a VFW or VFW Auxiliary member to participate, but the student must attend school in the same state as the sponsoring VFW Auxiliary.
What is the Scholarship Amount?
- The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $21,000.
What are the Scholarship Submission Requirements?
- Art must be on paper or canvas. Water color, pencil, pastel, charcoal, tempera, crayon, acrylic, pen-and-ink or oil may be used.
- Digital art and photography is NOT ACCEPTED.
- Submit canvas entries on stretcher frames or canvas board; other entries must be matted on white.
- Do not frame.
- Art should be no smaller than 8” x 10” but no larger than 18” x 24,” not including the mat.
- Complete entry form and attach to back of entry.
- Submit a typed explanation of patriotism expressed in art (150 words or less).
What are the Scholarship Deadlines?
- March 31: Student Entry Deadline to Local VFW Auxiliary.*
- April 10: Local VFW Auxiliary and District Judging Complete.
- April 15: Local VFW Auxiliary and District Winners to Department (state) for Judging.*
- May 5: VFW Auxiliary Department (state) Winners to VFW Auxiliary National Headquarters.*
* required deadlines
Click on the individual images below more information about the 2016 top eight national winners and what the artists said about their pieces.