Announcing the #GND4BHM High School Art Contest

by | Jan 5, 2022

Art has been used for thousands of years to highlight social issues and move people to take action for positive change. As the climate crisis worsens, we need to use the power of art now more than ever to inspire people to save our planet and ensure future generations can thrive. We follow the global movement to think globally and act locally.

As a city already suffering the impacts of climate change, Birmingham can play a leading role in addressing the climate crisis in the U.S. As an artist, you can help push our city in the right direction by using your creative spark to paint a picture of a sustainable future in which people and the planet can thrive.

We invite all high school students in Birmingham, Ala., to create a piece of 2-D art that illustrates a vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham (#GND4BHM)! Contestants can use any medium or combination of media as long as the work meets the criteria designated in the Official Rules. Submissions are due February 28.

The artwork should illustrate your vision for a #GND4BHM. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and dream big! The subject matter of the art can touch on different aspects of #GND4BHM issues such as clean air, land and soil; responsible energy; sustainable development; transit justice; equitable community investments; and transparent government. You could also create a piece illustrating one or more of the #GND4BHM values.

For example, you could apply the theme of a vision for a #GND4BHM to the planting of trees as a means to decrease carbon dioxide and provide spaces for people and wildlife. You could use the value, “Prevent future and repair historic oppression,” to illustrate both the industrial legacy of Birmingham and a potential future of renewable, healthy energy across the city. These are just a few ideas and should no way limit the artist into how the theme can be represented.

This contest is gives local students a voice in how they envision a #GND4BHM. Art is an awesome platform to raise awareness about the environmental issues important to young people and inspire others to take action.

The winner will receive $500 and the satisfaction of seeing their design on #GND4BHM marketing collateral like t-shirts. Runners-up will receive $250 (2nd place) and $125 (3rd place). Honorable mentions will also be recognized with non-cash prizes. Finally, our goal is for all entrants to have their work displayed in an art exhibit this spring.

We need your voice. So grab your brushes, pens, spatulas, or tablets and create something that inspires others to fight for a future worth saving!

Official Rules and Submission Details

Eligibility Requirements

Any student who lives or attends a high school within Birmingham city limits is eligible.

Basic Requirements of the Project

  • Artwork can be 2-D and can use any medium or combination of media.
  • Examples of acceptable media include, but are not limited to, paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolor, etc.), drawings (pencil, charcoal, marker, etc.), and digital media (logos, graphic illustrations, etc.), photography mixed media (drawings and paintings).
  • Artwork must relate to the theme, A Vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham.
  • Artwork should be at least be at least 8.5” X 11” and no larger than 20” X 30”.
  • Entries should not be matted or framed.
  • Finalists give permission to GASP to use the submission for display in an art exhibition in (dates and location TBA).
  • Artwork MUST be original to each student or student group. Submission of counterfeit artwork is not allowed.
  • Each art entry should bear an original title that evokes the message of the artwork.
  • A short description of your art is required (see below).

Description of the Work

We want you to describe how the art represents and communicates the contest theme: A Vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham. The description will be used in the judging process to aid in gaining a full understanding of the entry. Adults (teachers, parents, etc.) may assist in the writing of this essay, but the thoughts should be original to the student artist.

The art description should answer the following questions:

  1. How does your art relate to the contest theme, A Vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham?
  2. What inspired your piece?
  3. How do you want people to feel when they look at your art?

Art Submission Instructions

  • All students must submit a completed online entry form.
  • Artwork must be 2-D. This could include photography, mixed media, and digital.
  • It is recommended that artwork be at least 8.5” X 11”.
  • The entry form includes a place to attach an artwork file (e.g., .pdf, .png, or .jpeg) and a plus to submit a description of your submission.
  • Students who encounter challenges uploading pictures of their art to the online entry form may email their pictures to [email protected].

Additional Information

To be complete, all applications must include the following: entry title, student’s name, student’s age, grade, mailing address (for the purpose of mailing the cash prize, if necessary) as well as email address. If selected as a finalist, students under age 18 must have a parent or legal guardian fill out a media release form. All of these elements must be valid or any prizes may be forfeited.

A working email address and phone number is required in order to receive confirmation of submission and other notifications.

It is highly recommended that entrants make every effort to ensure that emails from are not identified as spam. Additional information may also be requested.

Only one entry per contestant or contestant group.

Anticipated Timeline

  • Submissions Window Opens: January 5
  • Submissions Window Closes: February 28
  • Finalists Announced: February 14
  • Winners Announced:  March 1

*All Finalists will have their entry displayed in an exhibit/awards ceremony. If needed, GASP may be able to assist with costs (e.g., printing of digital art). It will be the responsibility of the finalist to send their Entry to the designated location by the date/time listed in the finalist announcement. GASP will not be responsible for any damage that may occur in transport.

Finalists’ entries can be retrieved at the end of the exhibition by the owner.

Finalists may be required to provide a short video with a discussion of information requested by the judges. This will aid the judges as they select the First Place, Second Place and Honorable Mention winners. Finalists will be given details of how to record and upload this video in the Finalist email notification they receive.

Confirmation of Entry

Each Entrant will receive a Confirmation of Entry once the submission has been received and the submitted Entry has been properly uploaded. If the link to the Entry does not work properly, the Entry will not be accepted and you will not receive a confirmation. Be sure the email you provide on the application is correct.

If you believe you have submitted your completed Entry and have not received a confirmation of submission within 24 hours of submission, it is the responsibility of the Entrant to send an email to [email protected] to determine the status of the entry. Write “Art Contest Submission” in the Subject Line and give a detailed description of the submission. The submission will then be reviewed for final acceptance and the Entrant will receive another email notifying them of the results. 

Once an entry has been successfully uploaded, it will then be reviewed for approval. Once approved, a second email will be sent notifying the artist of its approval. If the Entrant does not receive this notification regarding the artwork within 72 hours, an email requesting confirmation of approval should be sent to [email protected] with the Subject Line reading “Art Contest.” All artwork must be approved to be part of the contest.

Artist Agreement 

Entrants will be required to agree to the Official Rules. If under the legal age of majority in their state or country of residence, the Entrant’s parent or legal guardian must agree on their behalf.

Group Submissions

If any group of individuals elects to collaborate on an Entry, they are required to designate one (1) person as the agent of the group to enter the Project. This person will be the primary contact for the group.

All group members must agree to these Official Rules and to have the designated person accept any prize on behalf of the group (groups can then divide the prize amongst themselves). GASP is not liable for any disputes between collaborators arising out of or related to the Project.

Selection of Winners

The Finalists, including the First Place, Second Place, Third Place and Honorable Mention winners will be selected by a panel of judges agreed upon by the Green New Deal for Birmingham Planning Team. The decisions of the Planning Team with input from the judges will be final.

Entries will be judged by a process in which judges will evaluate the eligible Entries along with information from the Impact Essay based on the following judging criteria:

  • Artistic Merit: e.g., aesthetic value, use of artistic elements
  • Adherence to the Theme: communication of the theme, A Vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham
  • Creative Interpretation: unique perspective of the theme, A Vision for a Green New Deal for Birmingham
  • Impact: capacity to inspire viewers to take environmental action

In the event of a tie, the tie will be broken at the discretion of the Green New Deal for Birmingham Planning Team. Entrants agree that the Planning Team has the sole right to decide all matters and disputes arising from the Project and that all decisions of the Planning Team are at its sole discretion and final. 


Winners will be announced via email in the first or second week of February. The announcement of winners will also be shared on the GASP website and across GASP social media platforms. 


  • 1st place: $500
  • 2nd place: $250
  • 3rd place: $125

Honorable mentions will also be recognized with non-cash prizes. All winners may be recognized in GASP marketing materials, including newsletters, emails, social media posts, and other collateral.


Questions about the art contest can be addressed to [email protected]. Please write “Art Contest” in the subject line.

About Nina Morgan
Nina Morgan is based in Birmingham, Ala., where she works as a climate and environmental justice organizer with GASP. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham where she studied Anthropology and Sociology. As a Black, Southern, working-class person, Nina is committed to creating a world in which people and planet are cherished, protected and liberated.
Share This