Student Art Contest

Across the Untied States, single-use plastic debris is accumulating in freshwater and marine environments at an alarming rate, and New York State’s revered waterways are no exception. Items such as plastic bags, plastic bottles, polystyrene take-out containers, cigarette butts, and microplastics are impeding watersheds, harming aquatic life, posing human health issues, and diminishing New York’s natural beauty. Learn more about this topic from the USEPA.

Through the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute’s Community Grants Program, the SU-EFC is coordinating a statewide contest for college and university students to create works of art in various media that illuminate the issue of water pollution caused by single-use plastics, and that inspire the use of sustainable alternatives. The contest and submitted art pieces will be promoted around the state as an engaging and thought-provoking means for raising awareness.

If you are currently a student in a New York State college or university, use your artistic talents to help with this pressing issue and compete to win a cash prize! Contest details are below:

  1. To Enter: email SU-EFC Project Assistant, Jesse Kerns (
  2. Facebook: “like” the Facebook page PlasticFreeH2OinNYS and invite your friends to as well
  3. Webinar: view a webinar about single-use plastics pollution: View Here
  4. Subjects: art works must focus on water, single-use plastic pollution, and/or reusable alternatives
  5. Formats: all visual, audio, and written formats are encouraged (e.g., painting, poetry, sculpture, music, etc.)
  6. Deadline: completed artworks are due by 11:59 p.m. on 3/4/2018
  7. Judging: judging via social media will be conducted from 3/12/2018 – 4/1/2018
  8. Cash Prizes: the first place winner will receive $500 and the second place winner will receive $300
  9. Gallery Event: a gallery event for all submitted works will be held on 5/4/2018 at SUNY Orange

Download the promotional flyer for the contest HERE. If you have any additional questions, feel free to email SU-EFC Project Assistant, Jesse Kerns, at



Funding provided by the Environmental Protection Fund as administered by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Any opinions, findings, and/or interpretations of data contained herein are the responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the opinions, interpretations or policy of Rochester Institute of Technology and its NYS Pollution Prevention Institute or the State.

Additional support provided by the New York State Association for Reduction, Reuse and Recycling.