Community Papers

West Van contest showcases the overlooked and undervalued

Celine Chen, an 11th grade Mulgrave School student, is accepting two-dimensional art for the Greater Vancouver Art Contest.  - Michaela Garstin
Celine Chen, an 11th grade Mulgrave School student, is accepting two-dimensional art for the Greater Vancouver Art Contest.
— image credit: Michaela Garstin

Art is often considered one of the most overlooked and undervalued subjects in high school. But one Grade 11 student at Mulgrave School wants to bring art to the forefront.

"Art is not simply trying to make something aesthetically appealing," the young artist says. "It also serves as a method to visually communicate thoughts, ideas and concepts."

Chen is holding a youth art contest, judged by industry professionals and university students. Any form goes as long as it's two dimensional; meaning no pottery, digital art and the like.

The Greater Vancouver Art Contest is open to anyone in Grades 8 to 12 in the Lower Mainland.

"I was born and raised in West Vancouver and as I grew up, it became more apparent to me that it was difficult to find well-known art events and contest for youth."

So, she thought, why not create one?

The art will be showcased online ( when all the submissions are in by March 15. Although she hasn't determined the exact prizes yet, awards will be given for junior (Grades 8 to 10) and the senior categories (Grades 11 and 12), as well as a fan favourite.

"One of the most important parts of being an artist is being inspired by others' work," says Chen at her high school, adding she's currently experimenting with acrylic, oil and sculpture.

Even if becoming a professional artist isn't in your career path, she says, studying art in school still has benefits for other careers. She plans to study science or business at UBC after graduation.

"I want the art contest to be a catalyst for artistic growth in Greater Vancouver, especially since the arts are globally a struggling species in modern culture."

Registration deadline is Feb. 15. Visit for more information.

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