Cave and Karst Art Contest

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About the Contest

student's painting of a person exploring a park

The National Park Service and International Year of Caves and Karst (IYCK) partners are sponsoring an art contest to celebrate the International Year of Caves and Karst in 2021. From January to December the country and the world are celebrating these wonderful natural formations. The theme for the art contest is: “Discover what's under your National Park." We would like contest participants to find a cave site or national park near them and base their artwork on the karst landscapeor caves that lie beneath.

Regional Contests

Participating cave sites and national parks will host a regional contest with the shared theme, “Discover what's under your National Park."

  • Artwork will be accepted starting February 1st and ending June 12th.
  • Find a "Participating Cave Site" in the list below and read about their contest.
  • Follow the Contest Guidelines below to enter one Regional Contest.
  • The winners of Regional Contests will be announced by the sponsoring park in June 2021. As regional results become available, they will be shared on the event homepage International Year of Caves and Karst 2021—NPS Celebrates!
drawing of a cave with a person exploring

IYCK 2021 Regional Art Contest
Winners

15 PHOTOS

Thank you to everyone who entered the IYCK 2021 Regional Art contests. Thanks also to the cave sites that sponsored a contest in their area. This album contains first place artwork from regional art contests that were forwarded to compete in the National Contest. Judging for the National contest will take place in October, 2021.


National Contest

The Regional Contest winners will automatically advance to the national level. The same piece of art will be sent to the national level and judged. The winners of the National Contest will be announced on the event homepage International Year of Caves and Karst 2021—NPS Celebrates! in September October 2021.

Participating Cave Sites

In celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst the National Park Service is hosting a regional and national art contest. Rules and a list of participating NPS sites can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/caves/nps-celebrates-2021-iyck.htm. Entries can be submitted starting on February 1st, 2021 and end on June 12th, 2021. To enter your piece of art for Carlsbad Caverns National Park, mail it to:

Carlsbad Caverns National Park Headquarters
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
3225 National Parks Highway
Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220
Celebrating the International Year of Caves and Karst through Art!
DeSoto Caverns of Alabama is participating as the regional sponsor in the IYCK national art contest! Draw, paint, sketch, or photograph your favorite karst feature in the park to participate! For more information visit our website here. You can mail your entries beginning March through June 12, 2021. Mail your entries to:

DeSoto Caverns
Attention: IYCK Regional Art Contest
5181 DeSoto Caverns Pkwy
Childersburg, AL 35044

If you have any questions, message our DeSoto Caverns Facebook page or call (256)378-7252 ext 6.

Let's celebrate the International Year of Caves and Karst through art!
Guadalupe Mountains National Park is participating in the IYCK national art contest! Draw, paint or sketch your favorite karst feature in the park to participate. For more information visit https://www.nps.gov/gumo/getinvolved/youth-poster-contest.htm You can mail your entries beginning February 1 through June 12, 2021. Mail your art entries to:

Guadalupe Mountains National Park
Attn: IYCK Poster Contest
400 Pine Canyon Drive
Salt Flat, Texas 79847

If you have questions give us a call at (915) 828-3251.

Happy International Year of Caves and Karst! Kartchner Caverns State Park will be hosting a regional art contest using the guidelines on this page!

Entries will be accepted from now until June 12th, 2021.

All entries must be mailed to:

Kartchner Caverns State Park
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
2980 S Highway 90
Benson, AZ 85602
In celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst the National Park Service is hosting a regional and national art contest. Rules and a list of participating NPS sites can be found here: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/caves/nps-celebrates-2021-iyck.htm. Entries can be submitted starting on February 1st, 2021 and end on June 12th, 2021. To enter your piece of art for Lava Beds National Monument, mail it to:

Lava Beds National Monument
ATTN: IYCK Art Contest
P.O. Box 1240
Tulelake, CA 96134
In celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst, Lincoln Caverns is hosting a regional Art Contest. The contest will use the Guidelines on this webpage.

Entries can be submitted starting on February 1st, 2021 and ending on June 12th, 2021. Regional prizes will be offered in each category.

To enter your piece of art for Lincoln Caverns, you may drop off during regular operating hours or mail it to:

Lincoln Caverns, Inc.
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
7703 William Penn Hwy.
Huntingdon, PA 16652

Feel free to e-mail us or call 814.643.0268 if you have additional questions.

Calling all artists! Mammoth Cave National Park is excited to celebrate the International Year of Caves and Karst by participating in the regional and national art contest hosted by the National Park Service! Mammoth Cave is full of amazing cave and karst features and will be sure to inspire you to “Discover what is under your National Park.”

Entries will be excepted from February 1st, 2021 until June 12th, 2021. Please follow the Contest Guidelines listed on the Cave and Karst Art Contest website when submitting your artwork to the park. 

Submit your entries to:

Mammoth Cave National Park
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
PO Box 7
Mammoth Cave, Kentucky 42259

Make sure to visit the Mammoth Cave Regional Cave and Karst Art Contest to learn more about the contest and get inspired!

In celebration of the International Year of Caves and Karst, Natural Bridge Caverns is hosting a regional Art Contest. The contest will use the Guidelines on this webpage. Entries can be submitted starting on February 1st, 2021 and ending on June 12th, 2021.

To enter your piece of art for Natural Bridge Caverns, mail it to:

Natural Bridge Caverns
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
26495 Natural Bridge Caverns Rd
San Antonio, Texas 78266
Seneca Caverns is hosting a regional Art Contest. The contest will use the Guidelines on this webpage.

To enter your artwork, mail it to:

Seneca Caverns
Attn: IYCK Art Contest
15248 Township Road 178
Bellevue, Ohio 44811

Contest Guidelines

Who Can Enter?

The contest is open to any interested person, of all ages. Entries will be judged based on originality, creativity, and how well the submission addresses the contest theme. You must be a resident of the United States to enter. NOTE: You may only submit one piece of art to one regional contest.

What Should My Artwork Include?

Your artwork should focus on the art contest theme “Discover what's under your National Park” and include some depiction of your national park's the karst landscapes, caves, cave features, or cave-related ecosystems. Some examples of features you might find are:

  • Solution caves are perhaps the most well-known type of karst landscape. They form when rock such as limestone, marble, or gypsum, dissolve along the faults and leyers. Usually, underground rivers form these caves and speleothems (stalactites and Stalagmites).
  • Karst is a type of landscape where the dissolving of the bedrock has created sinkholes, sinking streams, caves, springs, and other characteristic features. Karst is associated with soluble rock types such as limestone, marble, and gypsum.
  • Lava Tubes can form during long eruptions with lava flows that become channelized into streams. Flows that persist for many hours can solidify on the top and sides of the stream, leaving a tube for the liquid lava to flow through. The solidified lava is a good thermal insulator, so the lava flowing inside remains liquid much longer than an exposed flow. Lava tubes can transport lava several miles from an eruption site. After the lava has drained from the tube, a lava tube cave is left. These caves are often big enough for people to walk through and can cover long distances.

The artwork can be in the form of a photograph (black & white or color), a painting, a drawing, or a sketch. You may depict 3D scenes, but all submitted artwork must be 2D and flat.

Questions to Help You Get Started

What are some of the most unique features of your park’s cave/karst landscape?
What is your favorite Cave formation?
What animals live in the cave?
How does the karst affect what’s above?
How did these landscapes form?

How Large Should the Artwork be?

All artwork should be able to fit inside a 13"x 17" envelope or smaller.

What do I Need to Submit My Art?

A valid submission will contain the following information:

  1. An original copy of the artwork. Each piece must be original, authentic, unpublished, the sole property of the entrant, and not previously submitted in any other contest. Make sure to include a sentence or two on your submission form describing your artwork.
  2. Your personal information, printed on either the back of your artwork or on a separate sheet attached to your artwork:
First and last name:
Mailing address:
Phone number:
E-mail address:
  1. A completed and signed entry form. Print out the ENTRY FORM and send it to us when you send your artwork. Entries cannot be accepted without a signed entry form.

How Should I Submit My Artwork and Entry Form?

Regional Contests—Please find a park near you from the list Participating Parks, and read their individual directions for submission.
National Contest—Regional winners will automatically be forwarded to the National Contest. The same piece of art will be sent to the national level and judged.

When is the Deadline?

The deadline for submission is RECEIVED BY JUNE 12TH. Please be aware that mail to some parks can take additional time, so plan accordingly.

How will the Artwork be Judged?

The artwork will be judged by a panel on originality, creativity, quality, and relevance to the topic. Four top entries in each age group will be selected including 1st Place, 2nd Place, 3rd Place, and Honorable Mention. The age groups are:

  • 8 years old and under
  • 9 to 13 years of age
  • 14 to 18 years of age
  • 18 and older

The regional winner's artwork will appear on national park websites by the end of June, 2021.These winners will advance automatically to the national level. The same piece of art will be sent to the national level and judged. The results will appear on the homepage or International Year of Caves and Karst 2021—NPS Celebrates! on October 20, 2021.

Disclaimer

By submitting an entry, an entrant agrees to allow the National Park Service to use his or her name to post on the NPS web sites, without compensation unless prohibited. All entries and all rights of ownership in and to the entries, including all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify, edit, and distribute the same will become the exclusive property of NPS and will not be returned. NPS reserves the right to edit, modify, copyright, publish, use, and reproduce any and all entries without further compensation. The National Park Service, its agents and contractor, are not responsible for lost, late, misdirected, incomplete, or postage-due entries. Contest void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Last updated: October 13, 2021

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