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Aspiring young artists invited to enter So You Want to Be an Artist? National Gallery of Canada's art contest for teens

OTTAWA, April 23, 2014 /CNW/ - This week, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) launched the fourth edition of its popular contest So You Want to Be an Artist? Youth aged 16 to 19 from across the country are invited to submit their work by May 21, 2014. Submitted works will be shown on the site soyouwanttobeanartist.ca so that visitors can vote for their favourite. The 12 entries with the most votes will be shown at the Gallery from July 28 to September 1, 2014. From those 12 entries, a jury of visual arts experts will select the three most outstanding works. The grand prize winner will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit of the Gallery.  So You Want to Be An Artist? is made possible thanks to the generous support of RBC Foundation.

New this year: an art expert will choose three additional works that he or she believes deserve to be exhibited and considered by the jury for one of the grand prizes.

In 2013, So You Want to Be an Artist? attracted 203 teens from all across Canada, and more than 25,000 votes were cast on the contest website. A total of 151,412 users visited the site, a 14% increase from the previous year.

"Since launching in 2011, So You Want to Be an Artist? has been growing in popularity among youth, and we hope to see more and more of them enter," said NGC manager of youth and school programs Gary Goodacre. "We are always blown away by the superb quality of the works submitted."

Members of the jury include Mélanie Boucher, teacher of museology and heritage at the École multidisciplinaire de l'image of the Université du Québec en Outaouais; Rachelle Dickenson, Curatorial Assistant, Indigenous Art at the National Gallery of Canada; Christine Faucher, teacher at the École des arts visuels et médiatiques of the Université du Québec à Montréal; Jennifer Lefort, recipient of the prestigious Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award, and finalist in the 2007 RBC Canadian Painting Competition; Alex Livingston, Professor in Painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCADU); and Luke Painter, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Contemporary Painting and Printmedia department at the Ontario College of Art and Design University.

The panel of judges will evaluate the 15 finalists' artworks on the following criteria: clarity of theme and message; originality and imaginativeness; and thought and feeling provoked in the viewer.

How to enter
Young artists can base their work on whatever sparks their imagination. They can also draw inspiration from the NGC's rich collection, either in person or by visiting gallery.ca. Artworks must be original two dimensional pieces in any medium, and must be accompanied by a short text explaining the inspiration for their piece. A digital copy of the work must be submitted, which will be shown on the soyouwanttobeanartist.ca website, where visitors will be able to vote for their favourite piece(s) through Facebook (one vote per work per Facebook account).

The contestants with the most online votes, as well as the three additional ones whose artworks have been chosen by an expert, will be invited to submit their original artwork for entry into the final phase of the contest. For more information, go to soyouwanttobeanartist.ca.

Eligibility
The contest is open to residents of Canada who are aged 16 to 19, as of August 11, 2014.

One Contest, Three Phases:

1. Online Submission Phase
The NGC will accept entries submitted before 11:59 pm EDT on May 21, 2014 via the contest website at soyouwanttobeanartist.ca. No submissions will be accepted afterwards.

2. Online Voting Phase
The NGC will post all accepted entries online at soyouwanttobeanartist.ca. During the voting phase of the contest, visitors to the contest website will be able to vote once for every artwork that appeals to them. The voting phase takes place from May 26 to June 30, 2014.

3. Public Display and Jury Selection Phase

The NGC will invite the top 12 contestants with the most online votes, as well as the creators of the three additional artworks chosen, to submit their original artwork for display on its Artissimo Gallery wall, located in the concourse. The works will be on view from July 28 to September 1, 2014. During the display phase, a jury appointed by the NGC will evaluate the artworks based on: the clarity of the theme and message; originality and imaginativeness; and the thought and feeling provoked in the viewer.

Announcement of Winners
The jurors will choose three finalists who will be awarded prizes as outlined below. The NGC will announce the winners during the week of August 11, 2014.

First Prize
First prize includes travel, accommodation and meals for a two-night stay in Ottawa for the winner and one accompanying adult as well as an exclusive behind-the-scenes visit of the NGC that will focus on careers in the visual arts. The winner will also gain expert advice on his or her art portfolio and receive a $500 gift certificate for art supplies. (Note: If the winner lives within a 100 km radius from downtown Ottawa, a $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies will be awarded instead of the travel portion of the prize.) Total maximum value: $3,500.

Second Prize
A $1,000 gift certificate for art supplies.

Third Prize
A $500 gift certificate for art supplies.

Official Rules
Visit soyouwanttobeanartist.ca for the contest's full official rules.

About the National Gallery of Canada 
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art exhibition programme. For more information: gallery.ca.

SOURCE National Gallery of Canada

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