Art Day

The Highland Community College Visual Art Department is currently making preparations to host the 40th Annual High School Art Competition, Art Day 2022. The event consists of a juried art competition, workshops, and various other art activities designed to challenge and enlighten participating students.


The competitive exhibition is designed to recognize artistic talent at the senior high level (grades 9-12) within the region. 2019’s Art Day was attended by 40 high schools which exhibited 1125 works of art. Unfortunately we had to cancel Art Day the last two years, but we are excited to be back this year! The Art Day experience is an excellent opportunity for students and art educators to view the creative efforts of their contemporaries and colleagues. As always, we hope Art Day 2022 will be an enjoyable, exciting, and educational day for all who join in the activities.


Registration Information

Art Day 40 (2022) is scheduled for Thursday, April 21, 2022 and is open to all regional High Schools (grades 9-12).

If your school would like to participate in Art Day 2022, please complete the registration form by clicking the link below.

Art Day Registration Form

*** Teachers, confirmation emails containing your 'Master List', art work labels, schedule of events, and a map of campus have been sent out. We've had trouble with the confirmation email being blocked by schools' firewalls. If you have not recieved your confirmation email, please check your "junk" or "spam" folders and contact Mary Kate Thiltges at (785) 442-6015 or if you continue to have issues. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you on the 21st! ***

Additional information will be sent to interested schools after the schedule and events have been finalized.

Your interest, participation, and enthusiasm are key to the continued success of Art Day. We look forward to seeing you and your students on April 21 for another enjoyable, educational, and successful event.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact:

Sam Perkins, Graphic Design Instructor 785.442.6066

Todd Meier, Art Instructor, 785.442.6086


Art Day Events and Competitions

Art Hung on Display for Art Day


Art Competition

The Art Competition is the crowning event for Art Day. Each high school can bring up to 30 works of art to be displayed and judged. Art Day judges will view several hundred works of art and present Best of Show, Artistic Excellence, and Honorable Mention awards to selected works. The competition offers students the opportunity to publicly display their art and to view the work of their fellow students. The show is a wonderful source of inspiration and ideas for students and educators alike.

Art History

Theme -- 'The 40's! Throughout History'

This event will test student knowledge in the area of Art History. Easy Questions will be taken from all of Art History, while Challenge Questions will be taken from 'The 40's! Throughout History'. 

The 1540's BCE - The 18th Dynasty of Egypt

The 440's BCE - Rebuilding Athens/Parthenon

The 1640's - Self-Portraits in Europe

The 1940's - Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series

One team per school, up to four students per team. Teachers compete as individuals. Location: Room MS-1 (in the CT Building)

Team Sculpture

Each high school can enter one team of students for this event. The specifics of this event will be revealed on the day of the contest. This contest is designed to challenge the students' abilities to work as a team as well as their understanding of three dimensional design, and the principles of physics. Each school is limited to ONE team of 4 students. Location: Greenspace north of CT Building.​ Suggested tools: wire cutters, pliers.

Wheel Throwing Competition

This traditional and eagerly attended event is designed to test throwing ability. Students will be allowed TWO pounds of clay and TWO minutes in which to throw a specified form. One attempt per half hour! Specific dimensions and judging criteria will be revealed during the event. The studio will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to anyone who would like to participate. The art department will supply the necessary tools and materials. Visit the studio sometime during the day and give it a try or just cheer on your classmates. Location: Ceramics Studio (CT-134)

Wheel Throwing - Teachers

Teachers throwing clay on a pottery wheel

Art Instructors are invited to the Five Throw competition at 1:15 pm to dethrone last year's ruler of the wheel. Stop in and give it a spin. Location: Ceramics Studio (CT-134)

Sidewalk Chalk

Students drawing sidewalk chalk murals

Each school will have the opportunity to create an art history inspired sidewalk chalk drawing with a 'modern thematic twist. Drawings must be complete by 1:00 pm when judging begins.


Self Portrait

This event is designed to test the student’s personal expression and life drawing skills. Students will be supplied with paper, media, and a mirror. Participants will be allowed one hour to complete their portrait, working from direct observation. Location: Print/Drawing Studio (CT-130)

Button Making

Students create unique Art Day Buttons in this walk-in activity. Location: CT-113.

Draw for Keeps

Art Day 40 Draw for Keeps

Contestants will be given an elegantly posed secret object bathed in dramatic light. Paper and materials will be provided, but students can bring materials of choice with them. Any 2D medium is allowed. The winner will be determined by Art Day jurors. The winner will recieve the secret object as a trophy!  Location: CT-117

Artist Trading Cards

Art Day 40 Art Trading Cards

The Artist Trading Card (ATC) concept is a collaboration between participants to create a community, exchange ideas, make new friends and is a fantastic way to begin a personal art collection. Students can join us in creating a collection of ATC's and then participate in an informal Art Card exchange throughout the day. 

Art Cards are 2 1/2 inches by 3 1/2 inches, the same dimensions as other trading cards (baseball, hockey, Pokemon cards, etc.). Students will have access to various blank cards and materials. Students can also make cards prior to Art Day! Anyone can participate in the project, and all techniques are allowed. Location: CT-Hallway

Skeletal Charcoal Challenge

Students will compete to draw skeletons of various origins using only charcoal. Materials provided. The winning artist will recieve a Charcoal Prize Pack! Location: CT-117



Two judges are being selected. More coming soon!


Schedule of Events 

(subject to change) 

7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.  Check in and Hang Artwork


Schools can check in at the registration desk located in the lobby of the HCC Wellness Center. HCC art students will be on hand to assist schools in hanging their artwork in the designated areas. Judging will begin at 9:00.

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.  Workshops and Competitions

(See registration packet for detailed schedule of events.)


Team Sculpture Competition: This contest is designed to challenge the students abilities to work as a team, their understanding of the nature of clay, the laws of gravity, and the principles of physics. This is often a fun way to start the day. One team of up to four students per school.

Location: Outdoor greenspace north of the CT Building or alternatve location in event of rain.


Chalk Drawing Competition: Students will demonstrate their creativity and compositional skills with their art history inspired chalk drawings, reinterpreted with a modern or contemporary twist. Students may come and go throughout the day, there is no need to have a set team.

Location: Sidewalks (see map) This event will be cancelled in event of rain.


Self-Portrait Competition: Expressive Self-Portraits. (Competitive walk-in activity) Choose your paper, choose your media. Participation is based on available space, and is a walk-in event. You're allowed 45 MINUTES maximum! 

Location: Print/Drawing Studio CT-130


Throwing Competition: (Competitive walk-in activity) Students will throw a pot in a specified time, PRIZE awarded!

Location: Ceramic Studio CT-134


Art History Competition: (Student team competition, individual teacher competition)This event will test student knowledge in the area of art history from the Renaissance through Modern Art period. One team per school, up to four students per team. Teachers compete as individuals.

Location: MS-1


Button Making: Stop by this station and create a unique Art Day memento. 

Location: CT Hallway


Art Cards: Art cards are 2.5"X3.5" individual pieces of artwork. Art Cards should never be bought or sold, but rather traded. Make them, trade them, collect them!

Location: CT Hallway


Art-in-Action: Drawing a dynamic pose, using light, line and action. Drawings will be judged, and winners will be rewarded! Any medium allowed, artwork will be judged by Art Day jurors.

Location: CT-117


Design Slam: Design Slams are a challenge of design, skill, and presentation. This workshop will be in three separate divisions, logo design (illustrator), and photo montage/manipulation (photoshop) and the third being a head to head competition between the winners. May the best designer win!

Location: CT-116 (Mac Lab) 


Chalk Drawing Competition concludes and judging begins.


Three-Throw for the Pros (teachers only!!!) Stop by and watch your teachers battle for bragging rights and muddy clothes.

Location: Ceramic Studio CT-134

1:50 - 2:10

Awards Presentation: The judges will give a brief presentation describing what they looked for when allocating the awards.
Location: Culbertson Auditorium

1:50 - 4:00

Artwork can be taken down at this time.


Art Day Awards

School and Team Awards

1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies   1A, 2A, 3A Schools
1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies   4A, 5A, 6A Schools
1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies   Art History Competition
1st place award   Team Clay Competition
1st, 2nd, 3rd place trophies   Chalk Drawing Competition


1st place Award   Wheel Throwing Competition
1st place Award   Self-portrait Competition

Individual Student Awards

Best of Show   Best of Show Medal, Ribbon
Artistic Excellence   Artistic Excellence Medal, Ribbon
Honorable Mention   Ribbon

Art Instructor Awards

1st place Award   Wheel Throwing Competition
1st place Award   Art History Competition


Art Day Rules

  1. Participating schools may bring up to 30 pieces of artwork to be displayed in the art competition.

  2. Artwork must have an entry label attached to the front side of artwork in lower right hand corner. Artwork Labels.pdf

  3. High schools must submit their Master List at the registration table the morning of the show. (The Master list will be personalized and sent to participating schools via e-mail.)

  4. Artwork exhibited must have been produced during the 2021-2022 academic year.

  5. All artwork should remain hanging until 2:10 p.m.

  6. All two-dimensional work should be ready to display (matted or framed with a hanging device). You should bring your own pliers and tools for final adjustments. We will provide adequate space for displaying all three-dimensional work (see below for hanging suggestions).

  7. Artworks may not have awards from previous shows/contests attached.


We often receive questions about why a derivative work received an award, and occasionally receive comments about plagiarism after the exhibit. Please remember that the HCC faculty do not evaluate the student's images. We don’t counsel judges on their criteria for awards, or how they should approach artwork that is not significantly developed beyond mere duplication. If you put yourself in the shoes of a juror, I think you’ll recognize why we don’t tell them how to judge art. Although we try to select judges who we respect and whom we think will approach the event with professionalism, in the past there have been some awards given to artworks that were not significantly changed in content or form or don’t seem to fit the majority consensus on technical or aesthetic excellence. That’s bound to happen when hundreds of awards are allocated.

Another concern raised is that student works have been given awards even though they are copies of an existing work. As you know there are untold millions of images on the internet- more uploaded every nanosecond- and it is simply not possible for a judge to always know when something is a copy. We don't currently have a plagiarism policy. I have been told some leagues require source images to be attached- we have not required that at this point, but may do so in the future.

A common practice in the art world is to title a derivative work as such. For example, if one is rendering a close copy of a famous work by Velasquez, or even a heavily modified version, one might title such a work The Maids of Honor (Las Meninas, after Velázquez). This is precisely what Picasso did when paying homage to his predecessors, and numerous artists continue this tradition of giving credit where it is due.


Hanging Artwork

All two-dimensional work should be ready to display (matted or framed with a hanging device). You should bring your own pliers and tools for final adjustments. The panels used for hanging artwork are 7 ft. all and 5ft. wide with 4" x 4" openings.

Possible ways to hang work:

Examples coming soon!

Keep in mind we don't have the judges allocate awards by category- however we would like artworks hung in groupings by media.

Here are the groupings we have:

Jewelry and Metalsmithing
Painting Oil and Acrylic
Fiber Art and Textiles
Graphic Design
Mixed Media
Pencil Drawings
Charcoal, Pastel, and Conte

High School Art Faculty

If your image doesn't fit precisely into one category, put it in the most sensible spot.


Labeling of Art Work

All artworks entered in the competition must have an entry label. Labels should be attached to the front side of artwork in lower right hand corner. This label is important for identification purposes and links the work to the master list during the judging process.

The accuracy of the entry label is very important for judging and identification. Entry labels must be legible and contain all of the above information. (the comment line is optional)

Each high school will be assigned a unique entry code.
Entry code and coresponding identification number must be clearly marked on the label.
School code and numbers must correspond with the MASTER LIST


Master List of Entries

A personalized Master List will be sent to each high school that participates in Art Day. Student names, grades, and mediums should be typed or clearly printed on the master list. This list must correspond to information on artwork labels. It is essential for the judging process and for the correct spelling of names on awards. The Master List must be completely filled out and presented to us when you register the morning of the show.


Student Registration

In years past, teachers filled out an online form that allocated students to various activites - we no longer use that form or register students individually. Feedback indicated that it took a lot of time and really wasn't particualry useful because teams often change the day of.

Individual instructors will need to be aware of the activites that are limited:

Art History is limited to one team of 4 students.

Team clay is limited to one team of 4.


Scholarships to Highland Community College


The HCC Art department is dedicated to helping talented students gain a solid foundation in the areas of fine art and commercial design. We currently award scholarships in the amount of books and tuition to full-time students interested in pursuing a career in art or design. Scholarship recipients are required to be enrolled in at least two 3 hour studio art class each semester, assist with HCC Art Day, submit work and assist in the set-up of the annual HCC Student Honors Art Show, maintain a 3.0 GPA in art courses, maintain a 2.0 GPA each semester, and maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA. For more information, contact Todd Meier

Graphic Design

Graphic Design is a transfer program for students wanting a career using graphic arts and techniques of visual communication.  This curriculum is suggested for those intending to complete an associate in arts degree at HCC and then transfer to another institution to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Graphic designers might work in advertising, publishing, or corporate settings creating visual designs to enhance a variety of products or messaging. For more information, contact Sam Perkins

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