The ArtEffect Project

Click Here to See the 2017 Winners!

Discover extraordinary individuals who changed history yet were never recognized.
Create an artistic interpretation that honors the legacy of your Unsung Hero.
Change the world for the better by inspiring, through your artwork, the hero within everyone.

Download an ArtEffect Project Flyer for Your Classroom!

Check out the 2016 Winners

  • Competition Overview

    The ArtEffect Project, with a $7,500 grand prize, gives students grades 6-12 an opportunity to generate unique, creative interpretations both literal and abstract that honor the legacies of Unsung Heroes in an array of artistic mediums. LMC’s arts initiative aims to teach students the power they have to create positive change in the world through visual storytelling. Students may choose between celebrating an already discovered Unsung Hero or discovering a new Unsung Hero to share with the world.

    Winning art projects may be chosen for display in LMC’s Hall of Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.

  • Categories

    LMC seeks high-quality art projects that celebrate extraordinary individuals who positively impacted the lives of others yet never received recognition for their actions. Students are invited to submit art projects in the following two categories:

    Category 1: Celebrating Unsung Heroes

    Choose an already discovered Unsung Hero. Immerse yourself in your chosen Unsung Hero’s story: How did she or he create positive change in the lives of others and the world? What exemplary qualities does this person demonstrate? Share your creative interpretation that celebrates the legacy of this Unsung Hero’s extraordinary life.

    Choose from these Unsung Heroes.

    Category 2: Discovering Unsung Heroes

    Discover your own Unsung Hero from history and share her or his inspiring story with the world through your artwork. An Unsung Hero is defined as a person who has positively and profoundly impacted the course of history by improving the lives of others, but has yet to be recognized for his or her actions. The impact of the Unsung Hero’s actions must have stood the test of time (we recommend going back at least two decades in history).

    In determining whether your subject is an Unsung Hero, ask yourself:

    Is your subject someone who is unknown by the general public and did not receive recognition for his/her actions?

    Did this person’s actions profoundly and positively impact the course of history?

    Has this person’s actions stood the test of time (at least 20 years)?

    Email your subject idea to by December 31, 2016 for approval.

  • Prizes

    “Best in Show”: $7,500

    Second Place: $3,000
    Junior Division Winner: $1,000
    Senior Division Winner: $1,000
    International Winner: $1,000

    In addition to monetary prizes, the 5 winning pieces will receive full consideration for display in LMC’s Hall of Unsung Heroes in Fort Scott, Kansas.

  • Eligibility & Rules

    The Unsung Heroes Art Competition is open to U.S. and international students in grades 6-12. Students may submit a maximum of two pieces of art for the competition.


    Junior Division: 6-8th grade
    Senior Division: 9-12th grade

    Artistic Mediums

    Dry media 2-D: drawing, photography, charcoal, graphite, pastels
    Wet media 2-D: painting, watercolor, acrylic, oil, printmaking
    Digital/mixed media: photography, textiles, paper collage, graphic design
    3-D media: sculpture, ceramic

  • Important Deadlines

    September 1, 2016

    Call for submissions opens.

    December 31, 2016

    Due date for topic approval if submitting art work under the “Discovering Unsung Heroes” category. (Email for topic approval.)

    February 15, 2017

    Call for submissions closes. By this date, entrants must submit their work HERE. A maximum of three jpegs (5MB limit) can be sent to support each piece of art submitted.

    March 15, 2017

    Finalists announced.

    Note: Winners will be notified directly and public notification will take place no later than April 15, 2017.
  • Requirements

    Entrants must select a category under which to submit their art: “Celebrating Unsung Heroes” or “Discovering Unsung Heroes.” For the latter, entrants must receive topic approval from LMC by emailing topic ideas to no later than December 31, 2016.

    No later than February 15, 2017, entrants must submit the following materials:

    1. A completed and signed Application Form.

    2. An artistic statement (500 – 1,000 words) that addresses the following:

    What do you find inspirational about the Unsung Hero and why?
    What is your vision behind your creative interpretation?
    What imagery and methods did you use to arrive at your final piece?

    3. High resolution jpeg photos (a maximum of three) of the art work(s). 5MB limit.

    Submit Your Artwork!

  • Judging

    LMC seeks creative and unique visual representations honoring the legacies of Unsung Heroes who have created positive change in history by improving the lives of others. In addition to LMC’s executive leadership, the art competition’s judging panel is comprised of prestigious experts in the fields of art history, design, museum education, including:

    • Veronica Alvarez: Director of School and Teacher Programs at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
    • Toni Guglielmo: Associate Director, Getty Leadership Institute
    • Professor Gloria Kondrup: Director, Archetype Press, Art Center College of Design
    • Sandra Rodriguez: Education Specialist, J. Paul Getty Museum

    The following will be weighted in the final score.

    Creative Interpretation of the Unsung Hero’s Story (40%)

    Finished work demonstrates thoughtful, self-directed and independent ideas that are personally relevant in exploring visually how the Unsung Hero created positive change in history by improving the lives of others through their actions.

    Aesthetic Value (40%)

    The mastery of image creation is apparent in the concept, composition and execution of the work (whether they are simple or complex) and reveals a sense of quality, attention to detail and time spent on the work. The final product demonstrates an understanding of the medium being used and its capabilities.

    Artistic Statement (20%)

    Artist statement clearly articulates the creative interpretation by explaining the student’s thoughts and processes in conjunction with honoring the Unsung Hero. Connections are made between the student’s concept and product, whether literal or abstract. 1,000 word maximum.

    Download Our Scoring Rubric

  • For Educators: Art Project Lesson Plan

    Make heroes of your students! Unsung Heroes art projects integrate positive role models from history into an interdisciplinary, engaging and interactive classroom environment. LMC’s art project lesson plan fulfills multiple parts of the National Art Standards, which are color coded in the lesson plan for easy reference. The lesson plan be scaled up or down according to your class’ interests and needs.

    Get the Art Lesson Plan

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