Submit works to Governor’s Student Art Competition

Emily Hughes, left, and Bria Neff, right, were the guest speakers - among state officials including Gov. Kristi Noem - last February for the announcement of the new South Dakota Governor's Student Art Competition program.

In celebration of National Arts in Education Week, Sept. 13-19, Gov. Kristi Noem and the South Dakota Arts Council have launched the annual Governor’s Student Art Competition.

“Art benefits education and gives experiences that students may never (otherwise) get,” said Emily Hughes, a then-junior at T.F. Riggs High School last February. Hughes won the 2019 Congressional Art Competition for South Dakota. Her acrylic-on-vinyl painting, “Koi,” a swimming koi fish painted on a vinyl record, hung in the House of Representatives complex in Washington, D.C.

Bria Neff, a then-seventh grade student from Sioux Falls, had used her paintings to help raise over $75,000 for conservation centers, fish hatcheries and other organizations that help wildlife, especially endangered species. “I was only seven years old when I entered and won my first art contest,” said Neff.

The Arts Council is now accepting submissions. All South Dakota kindergarten through 12th grade students can participate. Selected student work from four age divisions will be exhibited in the state Capitol in Pierre from January through November 2021. These student artists will also be honored during an event in March.

The submission deadline is Nov. 19. All artwork is to be submitted electronically as a high-resolution jpeg image, along with the submission form and the authorization release form.

Competition guidelines, instructions, and all necessary forms are at

Teachers and parents should help students with their submissions early, so they have plenty of time to prepare their artwork and artist statements. For assistance, email or call 605-773-3301.

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