Art on the Square’s High School Art Competition has evolved into one of the nation’s largest student exhibits connected to a major art fair. Since the exhibit’s introduction in 2003, the competition has been sponsored by Illinois American Water Company. The high school artwork will be located at 23 Public Square thanks to the law firm of Mathis, Marifian and Richter Ltd. Students from over 50 art instructors at over 30 high schools in the Southern Illinois region participate in the art competition every year. An estimated 250 students enter a personal art piece each year representing a multitude of mediums.
Approximately 48 awards – totaling at just over $2,500 – are presented to the high school winners during an Awards Ceremony at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 19 under the big tent on the Main Stage. The High School Committee of Art on the Square that sponsors 30 of the awards will host the presentation of the awards. The remaining prizes are from the generosity of various local organizations and individuals.
The law firm of Alvin C. Paulson sponsors three St. Clair County Awards which are given to students residing within St. Clair County. Other awards are donated by the Belleville Jaycees, the Rotary Club of St. Clair County East, Gateway East Artists Guild, Delta Kappa Gamma, Belleville Kiwanis, St. Clair County Historical Society, George Gasparich and Jeanne Aguirre. Some of the most unique awards focus on fibers, ceramics and whimsical. With the help of these donors, the high school exhibit is one of the most unique parts of the weekend show.
One of the most coveted awards by the students is the Artists’ Choice Awards, which are selected by ballot from the professional artists participating in the show. Ten of these awards are given out each year. Each of these winners receives a $50 award and have their works on display at the Artists Award Brunch on Sunday morning.
The general public is encouraged to view the high school students’ exceptional art throughout the weekend and cast their ballot for the People’s Choice Awards through 4 p.m. on Saturday. Annually, the High School show has an attendance of over 2,000 that cast their votes for their favorite piece.
What: The Art on the Square High School Exhibition When: May 17-19, 2019 Where: Lobby of Mathis, Marifian & Richter Building 23 Public Square (behind the North Food Court), Belleville, IL. Viewing times for the High School Exhibit: Friday, May 17, 5:00 p.m. thru 9:00 p.m. Saturday, May 18, 11:30 a.m. thru 9:00 p.m. Sunday, May 19, 11:00 a.m. thru 4:00 p.m. (Closes earlier than fair.)
Awards ceremony is Sunday 2:00 p.m. at the main tent in front of the Court House