Umbrella Arts announces Art Expression Contest

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Above, a textile created for the Umbrella Art Expression Contest encourages people to seize the day. (Press photo by Caroline Rosacker)

Submitted by

Umbrella Art member Diane Thiese 

The 2024 theme for the Umbrella Arts (U.A.) of Clayton County Art Expression Contest is "Inspirational Words of Expression".

Inspire with words

This is the 11th year of the Art Expression Contest, formerly known as the Sculpture Contest. Many have participated over the years and we again are excited to see the creative minds and hands at work for the 2024 theme. This theme focuses on entries that inspire such as joy, optimism, beauty, laughter and the list goes on.

Prior year themes focused on an object but we're looking for something different! Words, phrases, favorite quotes that encourage, are positive and uplifting, seize a moment in time, maybe bring a word of wisdom.  Join us in exploring your inspirational word or phrase.  Express it by incorporating it with whatever medium you do best and have fun with it!

U.A. Vision

Process is always mixed in imagination, planning, problem solving, learning, and sharing/celebrating through all the various forms of creating.  Umbrella Arts of Clayton County’s vision of success is to encourage residents and visitors to our wonderful community to walk, bike, or drive around our positively beautiful place we call home and find joy, inspiration, and freedom each has brought to the process.

Prizes awarded

Prizes will be awarded by category based on skill and technique, uniqueness/creativity, fulfilled intent (theme focus), and attractiveness.  

Artistic submissions by category

• Literary/written word/song: write an original poem, story, one-act play, music, game, rap, dance, etc. Winners should expect their entry will be publicized, acted, or performed.

• Sculpture/multi-dimensional/art piece: out of any material. Examples: wood, metal, glass, jewelry, garden, paper, clay,  vehicle, bicycle, cement, rock, dough, horseshoes, plastic, wire, etc (needs to be safe for viewers).

• Canvas:   painting, photograph, collage, jewelry, flag, banner, sign, pencil, chalk, etc

• Textile:   quilt, handwork, garment, T-shirt, knitting, crocheting, fabric flag/banner, muli-dimensional fabric sculture, etc.

Who can participate

The contest is open to individuals of all ages, businesses, organizations, and families within the Clayton Ridge School District. Certain art pieces from outside Guttenberg's city limits will need to be displayed somewhere in the City of Guttenberg from July through September.  A PHOTO NEEDS TO BE SUBMITTED WITH ALL ENTRIES WITH A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF WHY THE WORD/PHRASE INSPIRES YOU for judges to consider.

Judges will be comprised of members from the Umbrella Arts Board and community leaders.

Deadline for entries is July 12, 2024.

Participants should send photo with their name, location, explanation/description of entry to Becky Shaffer at or Patty Schwarz at  Contact Diane Thiese at 515-480-5666 if you have any questions.

Have fun and hope to see your entry soon!

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