South Dakota Governor’s Student Art Competition

Coordinated by the South Dakota Arts Council

Governor Kristi Noem announced 12 students who are being recognized for their artistic talents through the Governor’s Student Art Competition. An exhibition of the artwork is now open to the public in the South Dakota Capitol building. A brochure of winners is available online at View the announcement online at

Program Details

Students whose work is selected for the 2022 exhibition will be notified in early December 2021. An announcement of the competition results will be made in early January 2022.

Welcome, and thank you for your interest in the South Dakota Governor’s Student Art Competition! We’re excited to launch the 2021 competition for student artists across our state! Please be sure to review all guidelines and eligibility requirements before submitting your artwork. 

If you have any questions regarding the competition, please email or call the South Dakota Arts Council offices at 605.773.3301.

Submission Deadline

Friday, November 12, 2021.

Submission Requirements

Three items will need to be included with each submission. Please be sure to download the forms before filling them in or else your work will not be saved. [Forms to be posted soon.]


All K-12 students in South Dakota are encouraged to participate in the Governor’s Student Art Competition. We ask that an art teacher, classroom teacher or home-school teacher submit the artwork and appropriate forms on behalf of students and respond to any additional requests for information we may have about the submission.

Competition Details

The competition will be juried, and three student artworks in each division will be selected for exhibition in the South Dakota State Capitol in 2022. We ask students to consider selling their artwork to the state at the end of the exhibition. However, if a student does not want to submit their artwork for purchase, it will be returned to them at the end of the year-long exhibition. Competition divisions are determined by grade:

  • Kindergarten-2nd grades
  • 3rd-5th grades
  • 6th-8th grades
  • 9th-12th grades

Submission Instructions

Students will need to prepare the following information and insert it into the contest forms in order to submit their artwork:

  • Have the Release Form completed by your grownups if you are younger than 18. Students who are 18 or older do not need guardian signature.
  • In order to complete the Artwork Submission Form, you’ll need to know your Legislative district. If you don’t know, you can look it up here.
  • You will need to measure your artwork and fill in the dimensions on the form. Artwork must be NO LARGER THAN 36x48 inches.
  • We’ll also need to know the artwork medium (this is what you used to create your art) and the purchase price if you would like to offer your work for sale to the State of South Dakota. If your work is Not For Sale, please indicate this on the form.
  • Write an Artist Statement. Your Artist Statement should be about 3-5 sentences long and help us understand why you make the art you do. If you need help developing your Artist Statement, please review our guide. (online at
  • Write a description of your artwork. Your description should include an explanation of the imagery and the title of the piece if it has one. If the orientation of the artwork is not immediately clear, please make sure to include information about that, so we don’t accidentally hang it upside down! Include more details if you’d like.
  • Take a GREAT photo of your artwork! This contest is judged based on the photos of the artwork submitted, so please make sure you have the best photograph possible before you send it to us. The best thing to do is scan the artwork if possible. But if working with a camera, make sure there is nothing in the background and that the piece is centered in the photo frame rather than at an angle. Placing the artwork on a plain black or white background is the best option. And, please be sure your image is transferred in high resolution! We need images to be at least 300 pixels per inch.

Competition Rules

Submissions must be emailed by midnight on Friday, November 12, 2021.

Teachers submitting artwork on behalf of a large number of students may reach out for guidance regarding easier submission options.

Artwork must be able to be matted and framed in a manner that will not protrude more than 4 inches from a wall; 3-dimensional artwork is accepted if it can be framed in this manner. Each artwork can be no larger than 36 inches by 48 inches, and 4 inches deep. No framed piece should weigh more than 15 pounds.

Accepted mediums for the two-dimensional artwork are as follows:

  • Paintings: oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.
  • Drawings: colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal (It is recommended that
  • charcoal and pastel drawings be fixed.)
  • Collages: must be two dimensional
  • Prints: lithographs, silkscreen, block prints
  • Mixed Media: use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.
  • Computer-generated art
  • Photographs

Each entry must be original in concept, design, and execution and may not violate U.S. copyright laws. Any entry that has been copied from an existing photo or image (including a painting, graphic, or advertisement) that was created by someone other than the student is a violation of the competition rules and will not be accepted. For more information on copyright laws, we recommend you visit the Scholastic website:
Work entered must be in the original medium (that is, not a scanned reproduction of a painting or

If your artwork is selected as the winning piece, it must be shipped to Pierre and arrive by Nov. 30, 2021. Artwork will hang in the South Dakota State Capitol for the duration of the exhibition. Students should only submit artwork they will not need for other purposes.

Each entry must include a high-resolution image of the artwork being submitted; the completed Artwork Submission Form; and the completed Authorization and Release Form – all attached in ONE email. Forms are available at or by request from

Entries that don’t follow all of the above rules may not be accepted.