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Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists

The Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists is an annual art award open to Western Australian school students. The award encourages imagination and innovation, providing a great opportunity to develop youth skills in visual art. The 2016 Shaun Tan Award is celebrating its fourteenth year. 

Download the 2016 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists poster (PDF 901KB) and flyer (PDF 1.1MB).

About the award

2016 entry information 

Entry to the 2016 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists has now closed.

Finalist and exhibited artists will be announced on Tuesday 14 June. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on Monday 25 July. Competition details and announcements will be communicated with entrants via email, or please check back to this webpage for updates. 

Competition terms and conditions 

Entry requirements 
The award is open to all Western Australian school students aged between five and eighteen years. Artworks submitted must be an original drawing, painting or other two-dimensional (2D) creation, no bigger than 1 metre x 1.5 metres in size. Artworks must be the sole work of the entrant.

Entries may be accepted from individuals or teachers on behalf of students. Entrants must not include any personal identifying information such as name, age, gender or school on submitted art piece.  Entry in this award is limited to one entry per person.

Submission of artworks
Entries may be submitted in person or via post to Subiaco Library between Monday 18 April, 9.30am and Monday 9 May, 5.30pm. Artworks must be accompanied by an entry confirmation. Artworks submitted without the entry confirmation will not be accepted. Artworks submitted before or after the submission dates will not be accepted.

Entries are judged individually in the following categories:

Lower primary – school years one and two 
Middle primary – school years three and four 
Upper primary – school years five and six 
Lower secondary – school years seven, eight and nine
Upper secondary – school years ten, eleven and twelve

Entries are judged on their originality, concept, technique and choice of materials used. The judges look for pieces that stand out for one or all of these things.  Please note: due to the high number of entries received for this award each year, individual feedback cannot be provided.

Prizes from the City of Subiaco and award sponsors will be presented to the top three entries in each category at an award ceremony at Subiaco Library in late July. Finalists who live outside the Perth Metropolitan area will receive travel assistance to attend the ceremony. The top ten entries in each category will be exhibited for one month in Subiaco Library as part of the 2016 Shaun Tan Exhibition. Each exhibited artwork will be professionally framed compliments of the City of Subiaco and award sponsors.

The city would like to acknowledge the generous support of award patron Shaun Tan and our valued sponsors Janet Holmes à Court AC, One20 ProductionsKool Kreative, Prime Art Picture Framers, New Edition Bookshop, and Creative Kids Arts Club.

Collection of artworks
Entries must be collected from Subiaco Library between Tuesday 14 June and Sunday 3 July. Regional entries will be returned by post, provided the artwork fits inside a postage tube (66 centimetres long and 6 centimetres in diameter). Entries not collected during this period will become the property of the City of Subiaco, and due to storage restrictions may be destroyed.
All finalists and exhibited artists, regional or metropolitan will be required to collect their artwork at the conclusion of the exhibition in August from Subiaco Library.

The top ten entries from each category will be chosen to feature in the 2016 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists exhibtion. Pieces will be professionally framed or mounted on behalf of The City of Subiaco and award sponsors, and will be displayed at Subiaco Library for one month from July to August. 

Public use of artworks
By entering this award you acknowledge that your entry may be photographed and used in City of Subiaco publications and for future promotion of the award. Artworks will be displayed at Subiaco Library and may also be displayed at other venues around the city. The title of the artwork and artist’s name will always be acknowledged with the entry when it is used.
Insurance is the responsibility of the entrant. Whilst all care is taken when storing and exhibiting works, the City of Subiaco accepts no responsibility for any loss or damage that may inadvertently occur. 

Tips for parents and teachers

To help get the best out of your student or child please download the information for teachers and parents (PDF 310KB) to understand the judging criteria, what the judges are looking for and entry procedure. To stay up to date with information specific to teachers and parents, join the Shaun Tan Award e-newsletter.

View past exhibition entries

See the entries from past Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists exhibitions. 

Frequently asked questions

For further information on the 2016 award download the frequently asked questions document (PDF 642KB). 

About Shaun Tan

Shaun Tan is an acclaimed artist and writer who grew up in Perth.

Subiaco Library has two impressive murals by Shaun Tan on display. The Tea Party features a riotous array of strange characters and landscapes and The 100 Year Picnic is based on a photograph from the 1920s found in the archives of the Subiaco Museum.

Shaun began drawing and painting images in a small-press magazines as a teenager, and has since become best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through surreal, dream-like imagery. He has won numerous awards for his unusual and thought-provoking books, including The Red Tree, The Lost Thing, The Arrival and Tales from Outer Suburbia. Shaun's books have been translated into many languages and are enjoyed by readers of all ages. His latest book, released in October 2015 is a collection of seventy-five clay figurines inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales.

In 2011, Shaun won an Academy Award for his short film, The Lost Thing, and received the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award honouring his contribution to international children's literature. Shaun has also worked as a concept artist for the films Horton Hears a Who! and Pixar's WALL-E. Some of Shaun's stories have been adapted for the stage and he is currently working on lots of exciting new projects.

For more information about his work, visit Shaun Tan’s official website.

See Shaun's 2015 video message

Watch Shaun's video address to the all entrants in the 2015 Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists. Thank you again to all entrants for taking the time to enter. To see a photo gallery featuring the 2015 entries, visit the 2015 exhibitors page.