Auxiliary’s Art Contest Celebrates 40th Anniversary

This competition continues to recognize talented up-and-coming artists while encouraging patriotism in youth

This article is featured in the November/December issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Amanda Cook, editor-in-chief of the VFW Auxiliary Magazine

 The VFW Auxiliary’s Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest was established in 1979 to give high school students a platform and venue for expressing patriotism not only through their words, but also their art.   

Any student in grades 9-12 who is enrolled in a public, private or parochial high school or home-study program and is a U.S. citizen or U.S. national is eligible. The first-place winner from each state competes for national awards totaling $31,000. First-place winning entries from each state are displayed and judged annually at the VFW Auxiliary’s national convention in July.

For more information about eligibility, deadlines and other criteria, find the Young American Creative Patriotic Art Contest brochure at Click on the “Scholarships” tab and then “Young American Creative Patriotic Art” in the drop-down menu.

Here is a look at the top three winners in 2019.


First Place

Title: “Coming Home”
Artist: Silver Abbott, 11th Grade
Media: Charcoal
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 5658 in Elberta, Ala.

Charcoal drawing of daughter holding a flag hugging her father in uniform

Second Place

Title: “Untitled”
Artist: Alyse Stewart, 11th Grade
Media: Charcoal and oil paint
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 10950 in Nags Head, N.C.

Charcoal and oil painting of a young girl and her grandfather surrounded by portraits from war

Third Place

Title: “What They Have Left Behind”
Artist: Karina Yang, 11th Grade
Media: Oil paint
Sponsored by VFW Auxiliary 720, Phoenix, Ariz.

Oil painting showing a senior female veteran holding a picture from her time in the service in front of military service memorabilia