Support this contest by purchasing prints of our winners and honorable mentions.
View the 2018 Coastal Art & Poetry Contest online and on exhibit at the following locations during 2018:
All California residents in kindergarten through grade 12 are invited to participate.
There are five grade categories for awards in both art and poetry:
K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12.
Entries must have a California coastal or California marine theme (e.g. no tropical or Arctic settings or species -- for help with California species, click here.) Poems and artwork must be student's original work. If using a photo model taken by someone else, image must be significantly altered to avoid plagiarism. Artwork should not be traced from another artist's work, and no hands other than the student's own should be involved in the creation of the artwork.
Art should be no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches. Acceptable art media are paint, pencil, markers, ink, crayon, chalk or pastel (fixed), and collage. Three-dimensional pieces, computer printouts, photography, or photocopies are not eligible in this contest. Students may enter multiple pieces of art, poetry, or both. Multiple entries (whether from one student or from a group) can be sent in one package. All entries must include a completed contest Entry Form.
Artists: Please include a short statement of a paragraph or less describing what about the coast or ocean inspired you to create your artwork. If needed, this can be dictated to or translated by the teacher or parent. (Please make a note if that's the case.) This statement can be attached to the back of the artwork with the entry form, or included in the envelope.
Winners will be selected in art and poetry in each of five grade-level categories (K-1, 2-3, 4-6, 7-9, and 10-12) to receive a gift certificate for $100 to an art supply store (for winners in art) or book store (for winners in poetry). Winners and their teacher will receive tickets to Aquarium of the Pacific, courtesy of the Aquarium. Each winner's sponsoring teacher will receive a gift certificate for $50 for educational materials courtesy of Acorn Naturalists.
Entries must be postmarked by January 31, 2018. Winners will be announced by April on this website and by email to the entrants and teachers who include an email address on the entry form. Winners and honorable mentions will be contacted individually.
Review and complete the Guidelines and Entry Form and submit it with your art or poetry to:
COASTAL ART AND POETRY CONTEST
California Coastal Commission
45 Fremont Street, Suite 2000
San Francisco, CA 94105
Students may have their work featured in California Coastal Commission materials and webpages. Artwork will only be returned if it is submitted with adequate postage and an address label for reuse of your original packaging (preferred) or a self-addressed, stamped envelope of the correct size. Do not include cash or check, only actual postage. Entries that do not include these items at the time of submittal can not be returned. Poetry will not be returned. There have been rare instances of packages being lost in the mail, so you may want to make a scan or photo of your work before sending it. Please be sure to pay for any USPS envelopes you use and have the post office cancel the bar code on the back! We can no longer cover the cost of USPS envelopes.
Multiple entries may be returned in one package if preferred.
Winners and honorable mentions may be retained by the Commission for approximately one year for public exhibit.
For more information, or to request to have an entry form emailed, mailed, or faxed to you, contact
the California Coastal Commission at
800-COAST-4U or firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Entry Form and Guidelines in English
2018 Entry Form and Guidelines in Spanish
(Poetry entries must be in English, although poems in languages other than English may be submitted accompanied by a translation.)
If specific species or habitats are depicted in an entry, they must be California species and habitats. (Of course, entries may be more abstract, and particular species need not be identifiable; but students are discouraged from submitting obviously non-California images such as clownfish, coconut palms, walruses, penguins, etc., or landscapes of identifiable non-California locations.) Below are some websites with images and information about the many native species of the California coast. If you know of another website to add to this list, please email us. These sites should be used for habitat and species information only. If using a photo model taken by someone else, the image must be significantly altered to avoid plagiarism.
Find free curricula and other resources on our For Educators webpage.
Below are a few questions that might help encourage artwork or poetry. Entries need not be about anything in particular except the California coast or ocean. Students should create whatever our coast inspires them to create.