Environmental-Themed Student Art Competition Will Offer More Than $5,000 in Prizes for the Fifth Consecutive Year

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Sooper Yooper is once again teaming with the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) to raise the environmental awareness of budding artists.

Sooper Art 2014, which runs Sept. 20 through Nov. 29, is a student art competition with an environmental slant. All entries, which will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity and theme, must be related to the natural world or ecological issues.

Students ages 5-17 are invited to participate by creating and submitting an original work of art. More than $5,000 in prizes will be awarded in the contest which is sponsored by the Wege Foundation. Judges will present a $100 cash prize to the top 15 entries in each of three categories: ages 5-8, 9-12, and 13-17. One additional entry in each age group will be honored with a $250 Mark Heckman Special Merit Award. New this year, an honorary teacher award of $100 for art supplies will be presented to the schools of the three Special Merit Award winners.

The fifth annual contest is inspired by
Sooper Yooper: Environmental Defender, the children’s book created by the late artist Mark Heckman and writer Mark Newman about a Great Lakes superhero who battles invasive species from his headquarters in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Newman also wrote and illustrated the sequel, Sooper Yooper: The Quest of the Blue Crew.

“Education and the environment were very important to Mark Heckman and Peter Wege, both of whom loved seeing the smiles of students whenever they talked passionately about protecting the earth,” Newman said. “I am very pleased that this competition will continue to encourage the creativity and artistic expression of students, while also promoting a greater interest in our environment and the many important issues that lie ahead.”

Young artists can submit their 2-dimensional entries (no larger than 11” x 17”) to either:

GRAMStudio of the Grand Rapids Art Museum (Louis Street entrance):
Beginning Day: Saturday, Sept. 20, 1-4 p.m.
Saturdays during ArtPrize 2014 (Sept. 27, Oct. 4, Oct. 11): 1 -4 p.m.
Sundays during ArtPrize 2014 (Sept. 28, Oct. 5, Oct. 12): 1 -4 p.m.

GRAM Main Lobby (101 Monroe Center NW):
Tuesday-Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Students and schools from outside Kent County may mail their entries to: Mark Newman, P.O. Box 1368, Grand Rapids, MI 49501.

All artwork must be include a completed entry form, which is available at the GRAMStudio or by downloading the rules below. If you have questions, please contact Katie Williams, GRAMStudio Programs Coordinator, at

Winners will be honored at a special reception on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 in GRAM’s Cook Auditorium. All winning artwork will be posted on the website.

In addition, a 5-Year Anniversary Exhibition of Sooper Art will be on display in GRAM’s Education Center Gallery, from February 16, 2015 to May 8, 2015. The exhibition will showcase a retrospective of 30 works of art from Sooper Art 2010-2014.

Click here to download Sooper Art 2014 Rules and Entry Form.

Click here to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum website and learn more about GRAM programs.

Click here to “Like” and follow Sooper Yooper on Facebook.

Click here to read MLive’s news article about Sooper Art 2013.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2013 entries.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2012 entries.

Click here to view a gallery of the winning 2011 entries.