About the contest

So You Want to Be an Artist is an art contest for 16-19 year olds. Make artwork about something you care about and post it here. Then it’s up to your friends, family and other people to vote on the entries. The 12 artworks with the most votes will be displayed at the National Gallery of Canada. If you’re not in the top 12, there’s still a chance to make it into the display. An art expert will pick 3 other entries they think should be displayed at the Gallery and considered for the top prizes. Then, our judges will pick the best three out of the 15 finalists.

This is your chance to get your art out into the world. It doesn’t matter if you’re thinking about art school or have never picked up a paintbrush in your life – show us what you’ve got.


  1. You have to submit your artwork image and an artist statement that tells us about your piece and who or what inspired you. You have from May 7 to October 5, 2015. No submissions will be accepted after 11:59 pm EDT on October 5th!

    Having trouble uploading your artwork?

    Email a digital image of your artwork and complete submission to contest@gallery.ca by 11:59 pm EST, October 5th, 2015. Please include the following:

    • Digital image of your artwork
    • Title
    • Medium
    • Artist statement
    • Personal information required
    • Name
    • Email
    • Phone number
    • City
    • Province
    • Birthday (MM/DD/YYYY)
  2. You have to get people to vote for your artwork. Voting happens from October 15 to November 15, 2015.
  3. The 12 artworks with the most votes, plus 3 that have been picked by a gallery curator will be displayed at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, from December 4 to January 15, 2016. A jury of experts will come to the Gallery to select the top three winners. Winners will be announced in January, 2016.

2014 Finalists

  • Isabelle
  • Manmade
  • Hidden
  • Sphygmus
  • Pluie de questions [Shower of Questions]
  • (In)Elegance
  • On the Edge
  • Total Internal Reflection
  • Springtime In The Desert
  • Acknowledgement is Enlightenment
  • Hero
  • Woman – Age 47
  • Petit De Vinci (Young Da Vinci)
  • The World Is Your Canvas
  • Les vertiges berlinois [Berlin Vertigo]