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 2019-2020 state winners or all the previous first-place national winners.
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.
- Student must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. national.
- Student 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.
- Foreign exchange students, students age 20 or over, 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 $31,500.
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 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.
- 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.
- Digital art, photography and jewelry are NOT ACCEPTED.
- 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 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