The Art of Friendship Contest 2016 Rules and Guidelines


This program hopes to contribute to the promotion of friendship and dialogue among the diverse members of our society, including peers, strangers, adults, and figures of authority. The wide range of cultures and ethnicities that characterizes our city and our schools provides a unique opportunity for such dialogue, and we ask participants consider the implications of this friendship in a visual medium.  It allows our young people the chance to deal with real community and world issues and work towards global peace and intercultural understanding.


All artwork must abide the following rules to avoid disqualification:

  • Artwork submitted must be original, unpublished, and created by only the student.
  • Each student may submit only one work of art.
  • The student may work under the supervision of his/her teacher.
  • Accepted media for the two-dimensional artwork includes but not limited to: paintings (oil, acrylics, watercolor, etc.), drawings (colored pencil, pencil, ink, marker, pastels, charcoal), mixed media (use of more than two mediums such as pencil, ink, watercolor, etc.), collages, and water marbling.
  • Photography and computer-generated artwork are not allowed.
  • Maximum entry size is 18” x 24”; minimum entry size is 11” x 14”.
  • Artwork should NOT be framed.
  • All entries must be backed with the official entry form, as well as a brief (40-word minimum and 80-word maximum) explanation of the artwork in relation to the contest theme. The paragraph must be typed, printed, and attached to the artwork.
  • Submissions must be received no later than by 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 2016.
  • All artwork should be submitted / delivered to Dialogue Institute of the Southwest.
  • The winning students’ names will be announced by November 11, 2016 upon the judging process without their exact rankings. Students will learn their ranking at the award ceremony. Those who fail to participate to the award ceremony will not be awarded.
  • The artwork will not be given back to the students.


Entries will be judged on the following criteria: originality and creativity, craftsmanship and interpretation of topic/theme.

  1. Creativity and Originality: Evaluation of the artwork based on the uniqueness, and its imaginative and inventive nature.
  2. Craftsmanship: Evaluation of the artwork based on the difficulty of the chosen media, use of colors, shadings, design, and drawing skills.
  3. Interpretation of the theme: Evaluation of the artwork based on the effective and clear interpretation of the contest theme.

This year’s theme is “Opening Doors & Hearts to ALL”. The decision of the judges is final as relating to all contest matters.

Entries will also be placed on Dialogue Institutes’ Facebook page. The artwork that gets the most number of likes will be the social media winner.


Contest winners and their art teachers will be invited to an Awards Dinner where they will receive recognition for their efforts in front of distinguished guests.

For both Middle and High School Categories, awards for the winners are:

 First Place: $200

Second Place: $150

Third Place: $100

Fourth & Fifth Place: $50

Social Media Winner: $100

Teachers of winning students will receive a gift card as an award of appreciation and recognition. If more than one student of the same teacher win, the teacher will receive one gift card. All finalist students will receive an Honorary Certificate.


Try to avoid the direct use of lettering / graphic symbols in your artistic portrayal of the concept of “Opening Doors & Hearts to ALL” – the idea is to visually depict this idea.  Religious verses, song titles / lyrics, etc., may be the source of a student’s inspiration for their entry, but it should not be a part of the finished piece. Let the artwork / illustration / painting speak for itself without the ‘need’ for verbiage in the design.

Keep artwork within the size limitations prescribed in the Rules Section, and pay special attention to the inclusion of a matte board and its effect on the accepted size of the entry.

The explanation is just as important as the illustration, especially when judges are trying to decide between several comparable entries. Entries submitted without this all-important section will be automatically disqualified.

Suggested questions / topics for students to consider in creating and developing their art entries for The Art of Friendship Contest 2016:

  • How can I improve understanding and cooperation among the members of my community (school or home)?
  • America is a nation of immigrants from different cultures. What can I do to facilitate the gathering of people from different backgrounds in my community? In the state? The nation? The international community?
  • What can be done by the media to further promote voices of concern and calls for reconciliation among people around the world?
  • What can be done by individuals, groups of individuals, or societal and government leaders to promote an understanding of the cultural and religious differences that define peoples and nations?
  • How can we better apply the lessons of our cultures and religions to promote more understanding among communities and peoples?
  • What can I do to make a difference in my own sphere of life and among the lives of my friends, my family, my community?


Dialogue Institute of the Southwest was founded to address the question: ‘How can the citizens of the world live in peace and harmony?’ The Institute aims to eliminate and reduce false stereotypes, prejudices, and unjustified fears through the development and maintenance of direct human communication.  The Art of Friendship Contest is one of many activities designed to help realize this goal among the youth of our community.

For more information

Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments or concerns you might have regarding The Art of Friendship Contest 2016 or the Institute.

Dialogue Institute of the Southwest

9301 West Belfort Avenue, Houston, Texas 77031

Phone: 713-974-4443, Fax: 713-974-4445

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