AoC 2016: Rules & Registration


Any student who is an Island resident in grades 9-12 may enter the competition.

You must register and submit your artwork by 10:00 am on May 5, 2017. 

Artworks are not limited by any "category." Students may submit a work in any medium. Artists are limited, however, to one entry.

Your artwork must be original and must include a short written description (1-3 paragraphs) of the work and how it ties into the competition theme. (If you need help with this aspect of your submission, please talk to your art teachers or contact the VCS office.) Although you will not be judged on your written description, it will be critical to the judges’ understanding of your interpretation of the theme.

Your finished artwork must be delivered to Chris Baer, Art Department Chair at MVRHS by 10:00 am on May 5, 2017.

Works will be judged shortly after the submission deadline. Judges will select up to five 1st place winners and up to 10 ‘Special Distinctions.’ First place winners will receive $100. Special Distinction winners will receive a gift certificate redeemable at a specific local business. Winners will be advised by email or telephone.

Make sure to put your name on the back (or bottom, if it is a sculpture or other 3 dimensional work) of your work, so that we know whose it is. Do not sign your work on the front. If it isn’t possible to mark you name on your work, then make sure that your name is somehow “attached’ to your work.

VCS plans to exhibit selected works at venues throughout the Island. If you do not wish to have your work exhibited, you should notify VCS promptly after the judging is complete. You agree to let VCS display your artwork (and the accompanying description) on the VCS website and other VCS promotional materials.

Still have questions? Read on!


Q.  How many prizes are there?

A.   There will be 4-5 first prizes, as determined by the judges. A number of Special Distinctions will also be awarded.

Q.  What are the prizes?

A.   Each first prize is $100 cash. Special Distinction prizes will be gift certificates for Island businesses like Mocha Motts.

Q.  Do I need to be enrolled in an Art class this semester to enter?

A.   No, any Island student in grades 9-12 may enter. You do not need to be taking Art.

Q.  What kind of art is acceptable to enter?

A.   There really aren’t any restrictions.  But it must be a creative and original work. 

Q.  How long does the written description have to be?

A.   A few paragraphs (1-3) are enough.  It should be just long enough so the judges and the viewer understand what you are trying to express in your work.  If you have any difficulty writing your description, please contact the VCS office and we may be able to help. 

Q.  Can we ask others for help in writing up our description?

A.   Yes.  And your work will not be judged less favorably if you have received help in writing up the description. 

Q.  Do we have to frame or mat our work?

A.   You may frame or mat your work, but you don’t need to.  You work will not be judged any less favorably if it isn’t framed or matted.  Works selected for exhibition will be hung if possible.  If not, they will be presented leaning against a wall or on a table, though these options are less desirable.  For this reason, we suggest your finished work be suitable for hanging – either matted or rigid enough that it can be hung with a hook. VCS may choose to mount, mat, or frame some or all of the exhibited entries.  Works that are not 2D will be exhibited if possible.

Q.  Can a frame be included as an integral part of the work?

A.   Yes, and in this case, the work together with the integrated frame will be judged.

Q.  Why can’t I sign my work on the front?

A.   We want to the judges to be absolutely impartial when judging the artwork. A signature might compromise their impartiality.

Q.  Will VCS reimburse me for any materials I have to buy to do complete my art work?

A.   No. 

Q.  What if I don’t submit my registration form by May 5?

A.   Your artwork will not be eligible for a prize and it will not be exhibited.

Q.  What if I don’t submit my finished artwork by May 5?

A.   Your artwork will not be eligible for a prize and it will not be exhibited. 

Q.  When do we find out if we have won?

A.   The judges are scheduled to judge the works on May 5.  Winners, including those with ‘Special Distinctions’ will be promptly advised by email or telephone.  The names of the winners will also be posted on the VCS website.  Selected works will be exhibited in May and at other times throughout the summer.

Q.  Will every entry be exhibited?

A.   Every entry will be presented at the judging venue. In addition, VCS plans to display all works on the VCS website, where the work is such that it can be displayed. Selected works will be exhibited publicly.  The first exhibition venue will be at the Martha’s Vineyard Film Center in Vineyard Haven (at Tisbury Marketplace).  Later exhibitions on the Island over the course of the spring/summer are also planned.

Q.  Who do we ask if we have any questions?

A.   You can try asking your Art teacher or you can call VCS at 508-693-9588.

Q.  Who is VCS and what do you do on the Island?

A.   We thought you would never ask!! VCS is the Vineyard Conservation Society.  We are a non-profit membership organization dedicated to preserving the environment of Martha’s Vineyard through advocacy, education, and the protection of the Island’s land and water. 

Conservation today is about more than land protection. At VCS, we believe in a broad definition of environmental stewardship: we’re always prepared to fight inappropriate development, but we also advocate for proactive solutions in all areas of environmental concern. We have been at work on the Island for 50 years – preserving lands for public use, sponsoring clean water initiatives, coordinating recycling activities, promoting community awareness for climate change adaptation and a range of other initiatives. To get a better idea of our specific initiatives, check out the rest of our website.

Q.  Why did VCS choose to sponsor this art competition?

A.   We want to encourage more young people to get involved in Island conservation activities.  We hope that you will consider working with us over the coming years in projects that interest you.