DHR K-12 Art Competition

Human Rights Through the Eyes of Our Students

The New York State Division of Human Rights is excited to be hosting an art competition open to all students K-12 throughout the state of New York. Artists of all abilities and varying artistic talents are encouraged to enter. Entries may be made individually or through a class or program. We look forward to seeing “Human Rights Through the Eyes of Our Students”.  

Eligibility & Theme

Any K-12 student from any school within New York State may participate. Submissions will be judged in three grade brackets: 

  1. Elementary (K-4) 
  2. Middle School (5-8) 
  3. High School (9-12) 

Students may enter individually, or educators may submit on behalf of students provided that the student and parent/guardian sign the entry form.  

  • What Fair Housing Means to Me/How Fair Housing Improves Communities 
  • Racial Healing - A Way Forward 
  • How Discrimination Feels/Impact of Discrimination (Short or Long Term)  
  • Which NYS Human Rights Law Protection is Most Important to Me 

Judging Criteria and Winners

A panel of judges will evaluate entries by grade bracket based on artistic skill, creativity, adherence, and interpretation of the theme and originality. The following are the incentives at different levels:  

All Participants  

  • All participants will have their art included in the digital gallery for the competition. All participants will receive a certificate of participation 


  • Finalists from each grade bracket will be part of the extended exhibit at the Empire State Plaza Concourse in Albany, NY.  


  • Winning submissions will be publicized on the DHR website, social media, and other publications  
  • Winners will also receive a plaque of recognition 

Media and Technique Requirements

Any of the following media or techniques may be used: 

  • Paint (watercolor, tempera, poster, acrylic, etc.) 
  • Drawing materials (pencil, charcoal, colored chalk, pastels, oil pastels, colored pencils, markers, etc.) 
  • Collage materials (cut and glued papers, such as construction paper, tissue paper, wrapping paper, aluminum foil, etc.) 
  • Prints (handmade stencils, gadget printing, block prints, etc.) 
  • Sculpting materials (clay, papier-mâché, etc.) 
  • Original digital illustration  
  • Photography 

Other Submission Requirements

  • One entry per student 
  • Artwork must be an original creation of the student submitting it. All submissions must adhere to U.S. Copyright Law. Any artwork that includes copyrighted images may be rejected. 
  • No explicit or graphic content is permitted. 

How to Enter

  • Please complete the digital entry form or print entry form. 
  • Make sure to label your artwork.  
  • Submit your entry package (entry form and artwork).  
    • Digital entry form for digital content.  
      • File size limit 16 MB. 
      • Only PDF, DOC, DOCX, PNG, JPG, JPEG, GIF files are supported. 
      • Please make sure that the image is well-lit and that the entire piece is shown. If this is a 3D artwork, such as a sculpture, you may submit more than one file.  
    • You may mail your entry to our Albany office at: 
      • NYS Division of Human Rights 
        Agency Building 1, 2nd Floor, 
        Empire State Plaza 
        Albany, New York 12220