2021 Summer Visual Art Challenge

Showcase your talent by entering our Summer Visual Art Challenge

The event is part of our 2021 Summer Learning Challenge Reading Colors Your World. We look forward to this opportunity to celebrate our community’s creativity!

Please submit your paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, digital art—whatever type of art you make, we want it!

  • Teens are in 7th–12th Grade, and Adults are age 18 and over.
  • The artwork must be original. You must be the creator of the artwork that is submitted to the contest. Your art must be your own original concept and not a copy of anyone else's copyrighted material. If your image infringes upon another's copyright it will be disqualified.
  • Submissions must include a parent, or guardian’s signature. Entry forms must be legibly completed and turned in with the artwork.

Download Visual Art Challenge Form (PDF)

Submissions Accepted

Starting June 1

Artwork Must Be Received

By June 30

Gallery Exhibition

From June 7–August 27

Entry Process

Complete the entry form by either downloading a PDF form, or by visiting Adult & Teen Services on the 2nd floor of the Library. Art should be submitted in person at the Adult & Teen Services desk. For submissions to the Teen category, a parent or guardian’s signature is required.

  • Entry forms must be legibly completed and turned in with the artwork
  • All submissions must be received by 5 pm on Wednesday, June 30
  • You must be in 7th–12th Grade or an Adult to submit. Submissions will be placed in one of three categories: Teens (7th–9th), Teens (10th–12th), and Adults
  • All submissions should be dropped off at the Adult Services desk on the 2nd floor, along with a submission form
  • 1 submission per individual

Judging Criteria

  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Quality

Art Guidelines

  • The artwork must be original. It is required that your submission be your own original concept and not a copy of anyone else's copyrighted material. If your image infringes upon another's copyright, it will be disqualified
  • Any medium will be accepted, including, but not limited to, sculpture, photography, watercolor, chalk
  • Wall Piece: Finished pieces must be no larger than 12"x 16"
  • 3D items must be no larger than 1 ft x 1 ft x 1 ft and able to fit on a shelf
  • The art/object must be gallery ready. Artwork should be mounted onto matte board or other sturdy background, if unframed, and 3D objects should be able to sit on a shelf.
  • Artwork should be practical for a public space that is open 24/7. Please avoid submitting items that are too fragile, sharp, or small to be safe in such an environment.
  • Artwork must be “appropriate,” as it will be displayed in the library building. The library reserves the right to reject work deemed unsuitable for display in the library building.


  • First Place: Artist Prize Basket
  • Second Place: $25.00 Gift Card
  • Third Place: $10.00 Gift Card

The Library will be displaying your art piece throughout the summer. Art must be retrieved by 5 pm on Friday, September 3.


Sue Shanahan

Sue Shanahan's career as an artist is focused on bringing ordinary and not-so-ordinary people to life in her illustrations and portrait commissions. She has decades of experience designing greeting cards, childrens’ books, giftware, and limited edition prints. In one of the high points of her career, Hillary Rodham Clinton displayed my portrait of her daughter in the White House. In a note to Sue, she wrote, “I have your Chelsea drawing—my angel—in my private study where I see it every day. It captures her spirit!”

In 2000, Oprah Winfrey purchased the painting she did of her as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Sue was even more thrilled when she featured it on her “Favorite Things Show” later that year. In 2012, Sue decided to heed marketing advice and create a blog to help build a following for her art. Her blog is currently focusing on a series called the “Porch Light Profiles,” which features those who live by their inner light and how that impacts the world.

Kimberly Carter

Mokena-based artist Kimberly Carter is an illustrator and licensed surface designer. Whether drawing digitally, with pen and ink or painting with watercolor or gouache, her work spans multiple disciplines; sometimes it’s a combination of both digital and analogue. Whatever the medium might be, she is passionate about creating art for kids, sweet characters and custom hand lettering. Her art can be found on greeting cards, gift bags, giftwrap, home decor and children’s products.

Caroline Buttala

Caroline Buttala is an Art Teacher at Lincoln-Way Central Highschool. There she teaches Art Fundamentals, Drawing and Painting, Photography 1+2, Design and illustration, and Digital Design. In her own Art practice she creates comic books centered around creatures and monsters. Some of these creatures then become sculptures or works of fiber art.