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Inspiring Young Creativity in Grande Prairie Through Photography: The Story of Young at Art

Have you ever stumbled upon something truly special that makes you want to shout it from the rooftops? That's exactly how I feel about Young at Art, a photo contest that showcases local artists and gives back to our community in the most incredible ways.


The story of Young at Art began when a group of friends, including me, came up with an idea to encourage children to explore their creativity through photography. It's been nine years since then, and the contest has become larger than life, inspiring countless young people in our community to pick up a camera and discover the world through their own unique lens.


What I love about Young at Art is that it's not just a contest, but a movement. It's a way to support our local artists, invest in our community's future, and most importantly, encourage our children to explore their own creativity. As someone who's passionate about art and photography, I can't help but feel excited about the endless possibilities that Young at Art opens up for our youth.


In this blog post, I'll be sharing with you all the amazing things you need to know about Young at Art, from the photo contest itself to the Young at Art by T.Sedore Photography Fund that supports local youth art initiatives. I'll also be sharing some of the incredible success stories that have come out of this initiative and why I believe it's so important for us to invest in the creativity of our community's young people.


So buckle up, friend, and get ready to be inspired by the power of art and community!


A lego man lifting his foot to step on a mosquito photograph by Leigha Haynes, Former two-time Young At Art Photo Contest Winner & Student Photographer at T.Sedore Photography
Lego Man 1-Mosquito 0 by Leigha Haynes, Former two-time Young At Art Photo Contest Winner & Student Photographer at T.Sedore Photography

Grande Prairie’s Annual Young At Art Photo Contest


Now that you know a little bit about the backstory of Young at Art, let's dive into the exciting details of the photo contest itself! This contest is all about encouraging young people to express their creativity and explore the world of photography. Whether your child is an experienced photographer or just starting out, this contest is a great opportunity to showcase their skills and have some fun.




To enter the contest, students must follow a few simple rules:


The photo must have been taken no earlier than January 1st, 2022.


This ensures that all entries are fresh and current, allowing students to showcase their most recent work.


Any editing must be done by the student.


This is an important rule as it allows us to see the student's individual artistic vision and creativity.


No watermarks or text can be included on the image entry.


This ensures that the focus is on the photograph itself and not any additional elements that could influence the judging.


Entries must be submitted by 4:00 pm May 31, 2023.


Images should be sent in JPG format in the highest resolution possible.


If you're submitting from a phone, make sure to check the settings to ensure that the image size is not being reduced. This is important because small file sizes may not be printable and can affect the quality of judging.


One entry per student.


This encourages students to focus on creating one great photo rather than submitting multiple, lower-quality entries.


Winning students must be in town the week of June 6th to accept their prize.


By following these rules, students can enter their photos into one of two categories: 12 and under, or 13-18.


As someone who loves the energy and creativity of young people, I'm especially excited about the 12 and under category. It's amazing to see what young children can come up with when given the chance to express themselves through photography.


And the prizes? Let me tell you, they're pretty incredible! The winner of each category will receive a DSLR camera along with many other items, thanks to the generous support of our sponsors! It's truly heartwarming to see so many local businesses come together to support our community's young artists.


So what are you waiting for? If you have a budding young photographer in your life, be sure to encourage them to enter the Young at Art photo contest. Who knows, they just might be the next winner!



The Young at Art Fund and the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta


a boat in a dock, photo titled Night on the dock by Damien Levebre, former Young At Art Photo Contest winner
Night on the dock by Damien Levebre, former Young At Art Photo Contest Winner

The impact of the Young at Art initiative extends far beyond just the contest. I’m proud to share more about the Young at Art by T.Sedore Photography Fund, which is an endowment fund with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta. This fund is dedicated to supporting arts and culture among young people in our community and has already made a difference by supporting programs and schools like Parkside Montessori, the Creative Arts Centre's HAPI Program, and the Clairmont Community School Art Program.


With my vision and dedication, the Young at Art initiative has lit a spark in our young creative community, inspiring them to shine brighter and reach for the stars. By partnering with the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta, I've ensured that the Young at Art Fund will continue to make a positive impact in our community for years to come.


Moreover, all funds donated are invested, and the interest generated from the fund is granted back into the community to support local youth art initiatives, while the principle of the fund is never spent. This allows for a consistent flow through the fund, creating a legacy in our community that will last for years to come.


Since its inception, the fund has distributed more than $35000 into the local Grande Prairie community.


I’m proud to have hosted the Young at Art photo contest for the past nine years, and we look forward to continuing to inspire creativity and provide opportunities for young people to showcase their talents. I want to express so much gratitude to our sponsors and participants for their ongoing support of this important initiative.


A Message to Young Artists in the Peace Country


Mango by Safari Novosol, former Young At Art Photo Contest Winner

As someone who has always loved photography, I can relate to the excitement and joy that comes with capturing a beautiful moment or scene. There's something special about the way a photograph can freeze time and evoke emotions, and I think it's incredible that this contest gives young people the chance to share their own unique perspectives with the world.


When I was younger, I always felt like my creativity was something to be kept hidden, a hobby to enjoy in private but not something to be shared with others. But as I grew older, I began to realize how important it is to embrace our creative sides and let our passions shine through. And that's exactly what this contest is all about - giving young photographers the chance to showcase their talents and be celebrated for their creativity.


So if you're a young photographer in the City of Grande Prairie or the County of Grande Prairie, I encourage you to take a chance and enter the contest. Who knows, your photo might just be the one that inspires someone else to pick up a camera and explore their own creative passions.


Remember, creativity knows no bounds - it's up to us to let it shine. Good luck!



Seeking Inspiration for Your Young At Art Photo Contest Entry?


A Thousand Wishes by Maddy, former Young At Art Photo Contest Winner

As someone who's always been fascinated by photography, I can't express how excited I am for this contest every year! Whether you're a seasoned pro like me or an amateur just starting out, this is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your skills and creativity.


There's something truly magical about capturing a moment in time through the lens of a camera. A photo can tell a story, evoke an emotion, and transport you to another place entirely. And that's why I believe that photography is such an important art form.


I know that putting yourself out there can be scary, but I encourage you to take a leap of faith and enter this contest. Whether your photo is selected or not, the act of putting your work out there is a victory in itself. It takes courage to share your art with the world, and I believe that every single one of you has something special to offer.


So, I urge you to grab your camera (or your phone!) and start snapping away. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself with what you come up with. And most importantly, have fun with it! Remember, the joy is in the journey, not just the destination.


I can't wait to see all the incredible entries that come in, and I wish each and every one of you the best of luck. Let's make this contest one to remember!



Back to You Parents! What if Your Child Has a Creative Block?


Have you ever noticed how kids see the world differently than adults? They have a unique perspective, one that's unencumbered by the stress and worries of adulthood. When we give kids the opportunity to express themselves through photography, we're not only encouraging creativity, but we're also opening up a world of possibility.


Photography can be a powerful tool for self-expression, helping children to explore and communicate their ideas and emotions. It's not just about taking pretty pictures - it's about capturing a moment, a feeling, a message. And the beauty of it is that there are no rules. Kids can explore different concepts, experiment with ideas, and find inspiration in the world around them.


But sometimes, we can get caught up in overthinking and overplanning. We worry about the technicalities of taking a good photo, or whether our ideas are "good enough". This is where kids have an advantage. They don't worry about the "right" way to do things - they just go out there and do it. And in doing so, they often come up with the most unique and interesting perspectives.


But if your kiddo is getting in their own way, here are some tips to help them through their creative block:


  • Take a break: Sometimes, taking a break from the project can help to refresh the mind and come up with new ideas. Encourage your child to do something fun or relaxing, like taking a walk or reading a book.

  • Get inspired: Look for inspiration in everyday life. Encourage your child to explore their surroundings and take notice of things that catch their eye. They can also look for inspiration online, in books, or in art galleries.

  • Try something new: Encourage your child to experiment with different angles or techniques. For example, if they're used to drawing with pencils, encourage them to try painting or collage.

  • Don't overthink it: Sometimes, overthinking a project can lead to a creative block. Encourage your child to go with their gut instinct and not worry too much about the end result.

  • Break it down: If the project feels overwhelming, encourage your child to break it down into smaller, more manageable tasks.

  • Embrace mistakes: Remind your child that making mistakes is a natural part of the creative process. Encourage them to learn from their mistakes and keep moving forward.

  • Have fun: Above all, remind your child that creativity should be fun and enjoyable. Encourage them to let loose, have fun, and enjoy the process.


By providing opportunities for children to express themselves through photography, we're not just helping them to develop their creativity and technical skills. We're also helping them to develop confidence, self-expression, and communication skills. We're giving them a voice, a way to share their unique perspective with the world.


So, let's encourage our children to pick up a camera and start capturing their world. You never know what amazing things they might create. It’s not about planning and structure, it’s about capturing the beauty that’s already in front of us!


Now Get Out There and Make Some Art!


Dead At Prom, past winning Young At Art Photo Contest Submission

The Young at Art Photo Contest provides a wonderful opportunity for children to express themselves and showcase their unique perspectives through photography. By investing in the creativity of our community's youth, we can help them to develop important skills, gain confidence, and ultimately, contribute to a brighter future for all of us.


I’m so passionate about photography and giving back to the community. I aim to create a lasting legacy with the Young at Art Fund. This endowment fund ensures that future generations of children will continue to have the opportunity to explore their creativity through photography and other artistic endeavors.


By participating in the photo contest or donating to the Young at Art Fund, we can help inspire the next generation of photographers and artists and contribute to the growth and vibrancy of our community. Let's all come together to celebrate creativity and empower our youth!


I can’t wait to review all the entries!





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