Art contest and exhibition in Florida theme Embrace the difference

About the Competition

Artists possess a powerful tool to evoke social change. Without uttering a single word, they can enlighten, educate and affect change around the world. Embracing Our Differences invites you to participate in creating a society where inclusion is embraced and individuality is celebrated.

Become a part of this change by submitting your original art to Embracing Our Differences and its annual international outdoor juried art exhibit.

About the Exhibit

Featuring 50 billboard-size images measuring 16 feet (4.88m) wide by 12.5 feet (3.81m) high, each work of art is created by local, national and international artists reflecting their interpretation of our theme “embracing our differences.

The exhibit will be on display mid-January through April at multiple locations in Southwest Florida. Since 2004, the exhibit has hosted over 4.3 million visitors, in addition to 587,395 students via our education programs, for a very unique opportunity to experience the importance of inclusion, kindness, and respect in our lives.

To view past winning selections, please visit our Galleries.

Who may enter?

Artists, professionals, amateurs, students – everyone can participate. National and international submissions are encouraged. There is no submission or entry fee and there is no limit on the number of submissions.

There is no restriction on entering art which has been submitted to previous competitions.

You may not submit art or quotations to our annual competitions through this website or any related website unless you are 13 years old or over. Your submission to our annual competitions through our website or any related website indicates confirmation that you are at least 13 years old. If you are under the age of 13, you may still enter your art or quotation by submitting it through the mail with parental consent.

Is there a submission or entry fee?


Are there cash awards?

A total of $6,000 (US) will be presented in the form of three separate awards – $2,000 each for “Best-in-Show Adult;” “Best-in-Show Student;” and “People’s Choice.” The “People’s Choice” award will be determined by visitors to the exhibit.

What is the theme of the competition?

Final selections will be chosen based on artistic excellence and originality in the reflection of our theme, “embracing our differences.” This may include, by way of suggestion only, any one or more of the following: appearance; racial differences; physical or mental impairment; language, religious or cultural differences; socioeconomic status; sexual orientation or identity; gender identity, positive attitude; inclusiveness; acceptance; taunting, bullying and confrontation; human rights and equality; understanding and kindness; empowerment; Holocaust awareness or any other topic which you believe furthers our theme of “embracing our differences.” Do not feel limited by these suggestions. We strongly encourage new and fresh interpretations of our theme. To download the full Art Selection Criteria, please click here.

What are the selection criteria?

All submissions must be an original concept and execution and not a copy or reproduction of the work of another. Final selections for inclusion in the exhibit will be made by a five-judge panel of professional artists, curators and art professionals based on artistic excellence and originality in reflection of our theme “embracing our differences.” Judges will also consider:

  • How will the art read when enlarged to billboard size (16ft [4.9m] wide by 12.5ft [3.8m] high) and displayed outdoors?
  • Is the theme clear and easily understood?
  • Does the art explore the theme in an unusual or previously unexplored manner?
  • Will the art and its message prompt a discussion?

To download the full Art Selection Criteria, please click here.

*Embracing Our Differences, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and is not a political organization, therefore it cannot endorse or promote any political candidates.

Do I need to submit my original work of art?

No, only a digital file of your original artwork is required. Due to the number received, submissions will not be returned. Teachers submitting student artwork should click here or email us for a simplified submission process.

May I submit my artwork even though I have submitted it to other competitions or to Embracing Our Differences in the past?

Yes, there is no restriction on submitting art that has been previously submitted to Embracing Our Differences or other competitions.

What is the acceptable size and digital formats for creating and submitting my art?

Your original art may be any size and medium; however, you must create or scan and submit it as a high-resolution (minimum 300 dpi) digital file (JPG, JPEG, PDF or PNG). Your digital art must measure no less than 12.8” (325.12 mm) wide by 8.8” (223.52 mm) high, or if larger, it must contain the same proportions. All art must have a HORIZONTAL orientation, as shown below. Submissions that do not meet our technical requirements will be disqualified.

Click here to download templates for creating Embracing Our Differences artwork in the proper dimensions.

What does “horizontal” mean? Why is it important?

Horizontal means that your art is wider than it is tall. This is very important because of the way we print and display your artwork. 

What does “high resolution” and “minimum 300 dpi” mean?

The digital copy of your art should have the highest resolution possible and at a minimum no less than 300 dpi. A resolution of 600 dpi or higher is preferred. The higher the resolution, the better your art will reproduce when it is printed in a large-scale format (16 feet [5m] wide by 12.5 feet [4m] high) for display during the exhibit.

May I submit more than one art image file on a single flash drive?

Yes, if making multiple submissions by mail, you may include all digital art images on a single flash drive. You must clearly identify each file with the title of the artwork and your name – for example, “Artwork Title-Mark Smith.” A separate signed submission form, color print and artist statement will be required for each artwork submitted.

If you are making multiple submissions online, you will need to submit each work of art as a separate entry.

Will I be credited for my work?

Yes, you will receive full credit for your artistic creation. Please see our Terms and Conditions page as well as our Privacy Policy for additional information.

If selected, do I retain the rights to my art?

Yes, you retain the rights to your art. If selected for the exhibition, by your submission, you acknowledge: (1) your submission is an original concept and execution and is not a copy or reproduction of the art of another; and (2) you will agree to irrevocably grant to Embracing Our Differences and its related organizations, affiliates, licensees and assigns, in its sole and absolute discretion, without restriction or limitation, a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty free, perpetual, irrevocable license (with the right to sublicense) to use, publish, modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works, distribute and display your work and personal information, including your name, age (if a student) and city/state/country of residence, for exhibits, displays, catalogs, posters, advertising, educational, merchandising/promotional materials and other purposes throughout the world via any media now known or hereinafter devised. If your artwork is selected for display, you agree to execute additional documentation to effectuate this grant. Please see our Term and Conditions page as well as our Privacy Policy for additional information.

Do I need a quotation with my art submission?

No, our creative writing contest is a separate competition.

When will final selections be made and how will I be notified?

Judging will take place in early fall and those selected for inclusion in the exhibit will be notified by email. Due to the volume of submissions, only artists/writers with entries selected for display will be notified individually. All winning entries will be posted on our website by early January. “Like” us on Facebook to find out earlier.

How many entries will be selected for the exhibit?

50 submissions will be selected for inclusion in the exhibit.

When and where will the exhibit be displayed?

The 2025 exhibit will be displayed mid-January through mid-April at multiple locations in Southwest Florida.

As a teacher submitting student art, is there anything I need to know?

Yes! Teachers may complete and sign submission forms on behalf of their students. For a simplified process. Click here for more info.

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