Art From The Heart: Young Artist Contest

About The Event

Calling all young artists between the ages of 7–18! In celebration of Anti-Cruelty's 125th anniversary we are hosting a city-wide art competition. Review the details below for important dates, regulations, and more. We hope to see you (and your art) soon!  

Theme: The Human-Animal Bond

This year’s Art from the Heart challenges artists to capture the complex and special relationship we have with our animal friends. Our relationship with pets is one of the most unique in the animal kingdom: having evolved over thousands of years, what began as a working relationship surrounding protection or service has for many grown into a familial-like bond. Our pets provide us with companionship, service, enrich our lives, and even contribute to our health; just the same, our furry family members benefit from being around us as well.  Looking for some animal inspiration to get started? Check out some of the available animals on our Adoption Page!


Artist age range: students ages 7–18

Registrations and Submissions Open: Monday January 22, 2024

Submission Deadline: Saturday April 13, 2024

Art reception gallery: Saturday May 4, 2024

How to Participate:

  1.  Register as an Art from the Heart artist
  2. Create your masterpiece
  3. Submit your artwork using the guidelines below before the deadline


Artwork Size Guide

Size limits: Minimum: 6x8"

Maximum: 9x12" 


You can create in any medium that you like except sculpture such as:

  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Crayons
  • Markers
  • Chalk or charcoal
  • Paint
  • Digital illustration (e.g. Photoshop, Procreate, Krita, Autodesk SketchBook, etc.)  


Submission Instructions:

Physical Media

If the art is physical (created on paper or canvas), artists can either mail or drop off at the River North location. Please include a note with your full name, email address, the title of your piece, and a brief description of your work (medium used, summary of content) along with your art. Email with the same information to confirm that you dropped off your piece.


Attn: Experiential Learning Team

157 W. Grand Ave.

Chicago, IL 60654  

Digital Media

If the art is digitally created, please email the file to in one of the following formats: JPEG, PNG, or PDF. In the body of your email, please include your full name, email address, the title of your piece, and a brief description of your work. Our staff will make a print of the art to be displayed.


Art Exhibition and Contest

All registered artists who have submitted their work before the deadline will be invited to attend a gallery and reception. This event will be a chance for participants to meet the other artists and see other submissions. This will also be when the submitted pieces are reviewed by the judges, and when prizes will be awarded!  

Age brackets and prizes: 

  • Elementary school age bracket (ages 7 – 10): $200
  • Middle school age bracket (ages 11 – 13): $200
  • High school age bracket (ages 14 – 18): $200
  • Best in Show: $300  

Disclaimer and restrictions for artists and artwork

Anti-Cruelty reserves the right to use photos and depictions of submitted artwork for promotional and marketing purposes. After the conclusion of the Art from the Heart reception, any unclaimed artwork will be determined property of Anti-Cruelty.  

Submitted art will be disqualified if it:  

  • Depicts violence and/or profanity of any kind
  • Depicts content which may appropriate or exploit a people or culture
  • Depicts content clearly irrelevant to the theme
  • Is submitted without any way to identify the artist (no name, email address)
  • If the artist resides outside of the Chicagoland Community

Interested in becoming a sponsor for Art from the Heart? To learn more about sponsoring this event, view our Sponsorship Packet.

Event Details

Next Event Dates
Experiential Learning Team