Albany Museum of Art Annual High School and College Essay Contest Opens This Week

Staff Report

Wednesday, August 31st, 2022

The submission period for high school and college students opens this week for the 8th annual A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words essay contest conducted by the Albany Museum of Art. The top three essayists in each category will receive cash awards at a reception in October at the AMA.

“We are always delighted by the quality of the essays that students write after seeing the artworks selected for the competition,” Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf, Ph.D., said. “This is a way to break down the artificial barriers between visual art and the written word, while also encouraging students to express themselves creatively.”

The submission period opens Thursday, Sept 1, 2022, and ends at midnight on Saturday, Oct 8, 2022. The winners in the high school and college divisions will be announced at a reception scheduled for 6 pm on Thursday, Oct 20, 2022. The first-place award in each category is $250.

“We have had as many as 80 students enter this writing competition,” Annie Vanoteghem, director of education and public programming at the AMA, said. “It’s exciting each year to see how an artwork has inspired a young person by sparking the imagination or by giving an experience a new perspective. “

There is no cost to enter the contest. To participate, a student must visit the Albany Museum of Art at 311 Meadowlark Drive and choose one of six designated artworks that can be found in the current exhibitions. Once an art object has been selected, the student must incorporate it into the essay.

“The essay may be factual, such as relating an experience that the art object brings to mind, or it may be fictional, a product of the writer’s imagination,” Vanoteghem said. “The essay may be prose or poetry. The only limits are that a student may only submit one entry, and the essay cannot exceed 1,000 words in length.”

A list of the art objects designated for the contest will be available to students at the welcome desk in the AMA lobby. The AMA is open to the public 10 am-5 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, and admission is free to everyone.

The competition is open to any college student who lives in Southwest Georgia, and to any student, regardless of hometown, who is currently enrolled at Albany State University, Albany Technical College, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Georgia Southwestern State University, Valdosta State University, Thomas University, or Andrew College.

The high school division is open to public and private high school students in Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Sumter, Terrell, Thomas, and Worth counties.

Dually enrolled students, who take both high school and college-credit classes, compete in the college division.

Entries must be emailed to by midnight on Oct 8. Guidelines frequently asked questions, and a list of winners from previous essay contests may be found at

“Individual students or whole classes can come to the museum and spend time with one of the selected works,” Vanoteghem said. “Everyone who enters this contest will be able to expand their visual thinking skills, develop their writing skills, and grow their appreciation for art. It is always a rewarding experience for students.”

Questions about the contest may be emailed to Vanoteghem at