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The Middle Tennessee
a program of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers



September 14, 2016 – Scholastic Art & Writing Online Registration System opens for 2017 submissions

December 15, 2016 - deadline to register and upload all work online

December 19, 2016 - submission forms & fees due to Cheekwood

January 9-12, 2017 - digital adjudication at Cheekwood

January 21-25, 2017 - all Gold Key award recipient’s artwork due to Cheekwood

February 4, 2017 - middle TN Scholastic Awards exhibition opens

February 4, 2017 - reception for all Gold & Silver Key recipients


Scholastic Flyer

Tips and Tricks for Scholastic Art Awards


What are The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards?
The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a national nonprofit organization, was established in 1994 to provide guidance and support for the next generation. The Alliance fosters the creative development of youth across the country through the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program, involving over 90,000 students in grades 7 – 12 each year.

The process begins as young artists and writers submit more than 230,000 creative works to a network of Regional Affiliates that locally administer the awards. The most outstanding works from each of the regions are then sent to New York to be judged on a national level. For the past six years, students have submitted more than 1 million works and over $40 million has been made available in scholarships and awards to top winning participants.

For the 26th consecutive year, Cheekwood is proud to partner with the Alliance to host the regional competition and exhibition for Middle Tennessee. Regional winners are eligible for scholarships and cash prizes, are part of the exhibition at Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art, and have their work sent to New York City for national judging.

Who Is Eligible?
Students in grades 7-12 may submit exemplary visual artwork, newly created from January – December 2016. The student must reside in the counties of Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson, or Wilson. Students should discuss their interest in the competition with their school art teacher. Students attending schools that are not participating may enter independently. Artwork should be pre-juried by the school art teacher.

When are Submission Deadlines?
All students and teachers must be registered through the Online Registration System WITH uploaded artwork by Thursday, December 15, 2016. The registration is NOT complete until signed submission forms and fees have been received by the Cheekwood Education department. Submission forms and fees are due by Monday, December 19, 2016.

How Do I Enter?
1) Participants and teachers must register at
2) All artwork MUST be uploaded to the Online Registration System. See upload image requirements below.
3) A copy of the completed submission form with required signatures and fees must be sent to Cheekwood’s Education department at:
Attn: Brooke Griffith
1200 Forrest Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37205

What are the Entry Fees?
$5.00 per individual entry
$20.00 per portfolio
*Checks can be made payable to Cheekwood

Fee waivers are available to students for whom fees are a barrier to participate. Teachers or administrators must attach the fee waiver form to their submission form.

What are the Submission Guidelines?
To see a list of art categories enter your school’s zip code at

Upload image requirements:
• Artwork must be submitted as a JPEG file.
• Print dimensions must be 5” x 7” or larger. Image resolution must be 300 dpi.
• Students can scan photography at 100%.

Size Limitations for ACTUAL Artwork:
Set by the national office of The Alliance for Young Artists & Writers
• 2D artwork should not exceed 48 inches in any direction and, in general, the largest 2D work that is eligible is 36" x 48".
• 3D artwork should not exceed 18" x 18" x 36" in dimensions and should not exceed 30 pounds in weight. Individual works that exceed the size limitations may be disqualified.
• Any edible projects will not be eligible for display if they are awarded a gold key.

Matting Requirements for Gold Key Award Winners:
If your artwork wins a Gold Key award, you will be notified immediately after judging. All 2D works must be matted to the below specifications:
• All 2D flat artwork must be matted in a bright white standard mat. No poster or railroad board will be accepted.
• All 2D flat artwork will only be accepted if matted to fit one of the following finished frame sizes: 12x16, 12x18, 16x22, 18x24, 22x28, 24x36. Pieces that are larger than 24x36 do not have to be matted. However, these pieces will need to have a rigid backer-board for support.
• All pieces must have a backer-board, such as cardboard or chipboard, for support. Please attach the artwork securely to the backer board.
• Canvases, Canvas Boards, and 3D pieces do not need to be matted.
• Please do not wrap artwork in acetate or other clear material. If needed, attach temporary cover to artwork with one strip of removable tape.

Please note: If your piece does not meet the above requirements and wins a Gold Key award, it will not be displayed in Cheekwood’s exhibition but can be submitted to New York for national adjudication.

Art Portfolios:
Review the Portfolio Submission Guidelines in the ‘Regional Guidelines and Deadlines’ section at for specific instructions on portfolio entries. All Portfolios require an Artist Statement, and this should be uploaded online when registering and uploading artwork.

When is the Regional Celebration & Exhibition?
Ceremony: Saturday, February 6 (Alternate date in the event of inclement weather: Saturday, February 13)

Group I (7th & 8th grade): 12pm – 12:30pm
Group II (9th-12th grade): 1pm – 2:30pm

ExhibitionSaturday, February 6 – Sunday, March 6
Cheekwood Botanical Garden & Museum of Art
1200 Forrest Park Drive
Nashville, TN 37205

Cheekwood works with local colleges that provide scholarships to Gold or Silver Key winners. Click here for a list of 2016 scholarship providers.

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Contact School and Outreach Programs Manager at 615.353.6973.

The Scholastic Art Competition and Exhibition
is presented by:

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