Art Challenge 2014 Challenges and Presenters


The art challenges are hands-on competitions that will take place throughout the morning of the event. Students must register for the art challenges in advance so that adequate materials will be available. The number of students allowed per challenge, per school, is limited in order to provide a quality, rewarding experience for everyone.

Art Masterpiece Chalk Mural Challenge: Each school team will have the opportunity to create an image (maximum size 3-foot by 5-foot) of an art history idea with a modern interpretation. Teams will be made up of three to five students. Participants may bring a sketch of the planned mural and art reproductions of the original artwork. Media used will be chalk on brown craft paper. LIMIT: This event will be limited to 3 teams per school. Evaluation criteria: Easily identifiable as an artwork from the past; image is updated to contemporary images, ideas or thought. Duration: Session one and two. 

3-by-3 Throwing Challenge: Participants will have three minutes and 3 pounds of clay to create a wheel piece. Evaluation criteria: Even thickness of clay body, symmetrical profile, interesting shape. (Best of two throwing sessions) Duration: Session one.

Tallest Cylinder Challenge: Participants will have 3 pounds of clay and five minutes to throw a cylinder, the taller the better. Evaluation criteria: Tallest standing cylinder (must be opened as a cylinder). (Best of two throwing sessions) Duration: Session two.

Wire Sculpture Challenge: Participants will create wire sculpture images by bending and shaping wire. The content will be assigned at the beginning of the challenge. Evaluation criteria: Strongly resembles the object depicted; made of one continuous line of wire. Duration: Session one. 

Covered Wire Armature: Participants will create a sculpture form using a wire coat hanger that is covered with nylon material and placed on a wood base. Evaluation criteria: Interesting from 360 degrees; Composition is interesting to look at through the successful use of compositional elements and principles. Duration: Session one 

Altered Cube Illusion: Participants will create the illusion of a carved relief cube by altering a cube form with value and color using paint or drawing materials. Evaluation criteria: Value and/or color are used to create the illusion of a carved relief. Composition is interesting to look at through the successful use of compositional elements and principles. Duration: Session two. 

Ad Layout Computer Challenge: Students will be provided graphics and text to build a layout for an ad using any of the following programs, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Word. Students will be given 55 minutes to construct the ad using the design principles to build visual hierarchy. Evaluation criteria: Size, placement and boldness of text establishes a visual hierarchy. Arrangement of text and graphics demonstrates successful use of compositional elements and principles. Duration: Session one or two. 

Quick Draw Challenge: Participants will draw five gesture drawings from a model in 10 minutes. Using one of these as a reference, the participants will have the rest of the session in which to elaborate upon the image, which might include a setting, details, etc. Participants will have a choice of drawing media. Evaluation criteria: Complete image developed from the initial pose. Composition is interesting to look at through the successful use of compositional elements and principles. Duration: Session two.

Theme Mural Relay: Teams will be given a theme for their mural at the beginning of the competition. Teams will be made up of three to five students. Team members will take turns drawing portions of the composition as directed by card instructions. Media: Colored chalk. Evaluation criteria: Most organized composition; separate parts fit together as a cohesive whole. Duration: Session one or two.

Monster Mashup: Participants will work as a team of three to collaborate on three separate drawings of a monster. Without being able to see the other team members’ contributions, each person will draw the head on one paper, the midsection on another, and the legs on a third, for a combined effort of three complete drawings. For reference, click here and scroll down to Mini Exercise #2 – Monster Doodles. The team will select one of the three collaborative drawings for evaluation. Evaluation Criteria: Originality (not a typical response); Craftsmanship (carefully drawn). Duration: Session one.

Presenter: Stephen T. Johnson
Stephen T. Johnson is a highly versatile American artist whose virtually arresting and conceptually rich body of work forges connections between words, objects and ideas. His art spans a broad range of concepts, contexts and mediums including painting, collage, drawing, sculpture and installations, and can be seen in museum and gallery exhibitions, site-specific public art commissions, and through his original award-winning children's books.

To see more of Johnson's bio, please visit his website:

Session One
Stephen T. Johnson – “2D Art”

Session Two
Stephen T. Johnson – "3D Art"