Youth Art Month

About YAM





Welcome to the Illinois YAM homepage, established to link art educators across the great state of Illinois as we plan for, observe, and celebrate Youth Art Month.

This website provides information on how to get involved with art advocacy through Youth Art Month observations, and how to submit information regarding your YAM activities and events.

This web resource is meant to be ever-changing, under constant development. We are seeking input from art educators throughout the state. We hope that our fellow art teachers will participate by contacting us with suggestions, documenting advocacy efforts, asking questions and sharing ideas.

Sixteen Illinois student finalists were chosen to represent Illinois on this year’s 2016 YAM poster. To see the poster preview click on the YAM winners 2016 link.

Congratulations to Savanna Bell from Bureau Valley High School for winning the 2016 YAM poster grand prize trip to NYC, sponsored by our generous partners Sargent Art.

Savanna Bell


What is Youth Art Month?

Council for Art Education (CFAE) administers Youth Art Month at the national level. Festivities take place annually, traditionally culminating each March, to celebrate visual arts for grades K – 12. The Youth Art Month Program emphasizes the value of art education for all children, encourages support for quality school art programs, and promotes art material safety. Youth Art Month also provides a forum for recognizing skills developed through visual arts experiences that are not possible in other curriculum subjects. Started in 1961 through The Art & Creative Materials Institute, Inc. (ACMI) and in cooperation with the National Art Education Association (NAEA), Youth Art Month exists to

  • Recognize art education as a viable factor in the total education curricula that develops citizens of a global society.
  • Recognize art is a necessity for the full development of better quality of life for all.
  • Direct attention to the value of art education for divergent and critical thinking.
  • Expand art programs in schools and stimulate new art programs.
  • Encourage commitment to the arts by students, community organizations, and individuals everywhere.
  • Provide additional opportunities for individuals of all ages to participate in creative art learning.
  • Increase community, business and governmental support for art education.
  • Increase community understanding and interest in art and art education through involvement in art exhibits, workshops, and other creative ventures.
  • Reflect and demonstrate the goals of the National Art Education Association that work toward the improvement of art education at all levels.

Please note that Council for Art Education is the national sponsor of Youth Art Month

If you have any questions about what to include on your website please contact youthart@ilaea.org


Lead a celebration at your school, community, or learning environment!

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Display the downloadable Youth Art Month logo located on the YAM Homepage , along with student artwork.
  • Invite local artists to come to school and share their artwork and art-making processes with students.
  • Ask your administrators and school board to endorse March as Youth Art Month ; declare it in school-wide publications.YAMendorsement2013
  • Host an afternoon or weekend student-led art-making festival for the community.
  • Partner with a local business or the local government to use student artwork for publicity purposes.
  • Contact local newspapers, radio stations, and television stations to cover your event!
  • Host a potluck breakfast before school for parents and students to recognize outstanding student artists in your school.
  • Create a bulletin board based on the state theme.
  • Get local businesses to support your efforts and keep track of who donates anything whether it’s money or time. We need to report who is supporting our programs.
  • Follow YOUTH ART MONTH board on Pinterest to see and share ideas.
  • Be sure to check out these useful letters for your principal, Superintendent, and library services.

Each Year, IAEA submits a statewide report to the national youth art month chairperson. Please help strengthen Illinois’ portfolio by documenting your efforts in celebrating YAM in your own community.

Please send any publicity, newspaper articles, or printed YAM documentation you produce during the Month of March. You can use this form or email any photos, press clippings, sample items, or video documentation to youthart@ilaea.org

sargentart-logo-rgb-2IAEA Youth Art Month Flag and Poster Art Contest Entry Instructions

Win a trip to New York City from Sargent Art!

All current IAEA members are invited to submit K-12 student artwork to be considered for the Youth Art Month Flag and Poster. This year’s theme is Illinois’ Eyes Are On Art.” Please submit artwork that fits this theme. Consider lessons that inspire your students to explore and use the concept of eyes in art and create realistic or abstract, 2D or 3D artworks that reflect anything related to Illinois. Also submit any artworks from current or past lessons that represent this theme. All work will be submitted electronically.

Sargent Art Prizes:

One Top Prize: A trip to visit New York Art Museums for one overall winner along with the art teacher and one parent of the winning student.

One Prize in each Category: Elementary, Middle and High School: Winner’s Certificate as well as Sargent Art supplies for the winning students and their art teachers.

Details of the Top Prize – The trip to visit New York Art Museums includes the following:

  • Airline ticket from a USA airport nearest to the school to a New York area airport and back for the winning student, one parent and Art teacher booked and paid by Sargent Art
  • Hotel in the New York area for the winner and one parent in one room; and for Art teacher in a separate room – both rooms paid by Sargent Art
  • Transportation from New York area airport to the hotel and back to the airport arranged by Sargent Art
  • All meals arranged and paid by Sargent Art.
  • Transportation and entries to the pre-decided Art Museums in New York arranged and paid by Sargent Art.
  • Possibility of including a sightseeing trip to see a famous monument like the Statue of Liberty at the discretion of Sargent Art.
  • Please see terms and conditions of the New York Trip prize on the Sargent Art Website.

IAEA members may submit up to 6 original artworks. All submissions will be done electronically via the IAEA website:

1. Fill out the entry form below for each artwork you are submitting and submit digital jpeg images as an attachment (approximately 4 mega-pixels is ideal). Please save the image with the artist’s first and last name and grade level. (Example: Bobby Smith 09.jpg)

Students whose work is selected will appear on the current year’s Illinois YAM Flag, displayed at the National Conference, as well as the YAM Poster in Spring. Students who are featured as winners also will receive a copy of the poster and a certificate of participation recognizing their achievement.

Please be sure that the parent is informed and consents to the following 4 criteria and check the parent consent box below:

• will be appropriate for school and public display.

• may be used for reproduction in a statewide poster and/or promotion of IAEA and Youth Art Month.

• will be reproduced in reduced size format to accommodate the layout design of the poster if selected.

• may be retained by IAEA until the posters have been printed and distributed.

New this year: To be considered for the prizes offered by Sargent Art, a waiver MUST be signed by the parent.

  • Teacher is responsible for submitting completed parent consent form. You can upload a pdf or jpeg of the convent form here.
  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg.
    Upload your digital image for YAM contest here. You may upload up to 5 files in a jpg format. The maximum file size 8MB.

 Congratulations to the 2016 YAM winners!

IAEA Poster 2016

Carissa Silet Grade 9 Adlai E. Stevenson High School
Lincolnshire, IL
Savanna Bell


Grade 11 Bureau Valley
High School
Manilus, IL
Rithik Thekiniath Grade 4 Fry Elementary School
Naperville, IL
Heather Cox Grade 7 Glenn Westlake Middle School
Lombard, IL
Kaiden Shofstall Grade 8 Glenn Westlake
Middle School
Lombard, IL
Janelle Butler Grade 12 Homewood-Flossmoor
High School
Flossmoor, IL
Emma Novak


Grade 11 Homewood-Flossmoor
High School
Flossmoor, IL
Heidi Fischer Grade 10 Johnsburg
High School
Johnsburg, IL
Kendall McMahon Grade 12 Johnsburg
High School
Johnsburg, IL
Madison Bazilewich Grade 12 Lake County High School
Technology Campus
Grayslake, IL 
Andrew Steele Grade 8 Liberty Junior
High School 
Daniel Galush Grade 11 Marmion Academy
Aurora, IL
Bart Czechyra Grade 3 Meadow Ridge School
Orland Park, IL
Bianca Olson Grade 7 Westfield
Middle School
Jenny Petrova Grade 7 Westfield
Middle School
Haley Sullivan Grade 12 The Willows Academy
Des Plaines, IL

 Congratulations to the 2015 YAM winners!

IAEA Poster 2015

Breonna Balensiefen

Grade 11

Bureau Valley High School Sheila Heth


Mia Guzynski

Grade 12


Homewood-Flossmoor High School Jackie Wargo


Mick Delea

Grade 3

Dryden Elementary Tricia Fuglestad


Haley Wierzbicki

Grade 12

Bureau Valley High School Sheila Heth


Maggie Palcom

Grade 12

Jefferson High School Lynn Stockton


Elizabeth Erickson

Grade 12

Carmel Catholic High School Sheela Gladwell


Amanda Im

Grade 11

Carmel Catholic High School Sheela Gladwell


Cole Fisher

Grade 12

Yorkville High School Christine Glenn


Emily Lange

Grade 8

Martino Junior High School Brooke Nicholson


Jane Sieg

Grade 2

St. Peter Lutheran School Nancy Gilles


Casey Darre

Grade 8

Westfield Middle School Deyana Matt


Allison Greager

Grade 11

Hinsdale Central High School Laura Milas


Miranda Pikus

Grade 8

Still Middle School Donna Davis


Vanessa Bello

Grade 12

Lake County High School Technology Campus Heidi Stachulak


Katherine Doyle

Grade 4

Dryen Elementary School Tricia Fuglestad


YAM Endorsement

  • I hereby sign this form in agreement with the above statements. Writing my name on this form signifies my electronic signature. I authorize this action to be made public at the discretion of the IAEA organization.
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