Museum of Albemarle-Icarus project

Museum of the Albemarle is sponsoring the Icarus Junior Art Competition for students in grades 5-12. Entries for the digital art contest are due Dec. 3 and the winning artworks will be displayed on a screen at the museum starting Dec. 17.

Museum of the Albemarle will celebrate the 118th anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s first flight this year by opening a digital art display on Dec. 17 that anyone can view from the comfort of their home.

Through a grant provided by the Elizabeth City Foundation, students in grades 5-12 may participate in the competition. Students attending any public, private, charter, parochial, or homeschool in the 13 counties the Museum represents (Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Hyde Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell and Washington) are eligible.

The art competition is called the Icarus Junior Art Competition, and it’s named for the character from Greek mythology who, using wings his father Daedalus constructed from feathers and wax, attempts to escape from Crete. Icarus is able to fly but he falls into the sea and drowns when the wax of his wings melts after he flies too close to the sun.

The theme of the Icarus competition encompasses all things that fly. That can be everything from animals — waterfowl, birds, insects, mammals and aquatic life — and vegetation (dandelions and other airborne seeds) to manufactured flying machines — airplanes, helicopters, satellites, rockets, drones, UFOs — and lighter-than-air aircraft like blimps and balloons.

The competition encourages school-age children to use digital art as the medium. To accomplish this art form, computer sciences, aviation, biology, and art will be required to broaden the educational opportunity.

Only one entry per student can be submitted. Entries must include the student’s name, their county, grade, and the title of their artwork. Entries must be submitted digitally to Lori Meads at no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3.

Artworks submitted for the competition will be curated by a digital artist and a visual artist, who will select winners by grade level. The submitted digital artwork will be judged based on interpretation of the subject matter/theme and overall appearance. Originality and artistic presentation will be judged, too. Cash awards and ribbons will be awarded to first-, second-, and third- place winners. Honorable mentions will also be recognized in each category. All participants will receive a certificate of participation.

All accepted entries will be presented on our YouTube channel, Facebook page, website ( and other social media platforms. In addition, the first-, second-, and third-place winning artworks as well as those gaining honorable mention at each grade level will be displayed on screens in the museum lobby.

The museum is excited to offer this opportunity to all students in the 13-county area. The competition provides students a way to be a part of the museum and, because it’s virtual, showcase their talents across the state of North Carolina, the United States and the world. In addition, the virtual competition allows the museum to reach people who typically would not be able to visit in person and see our talent here in northeastern North Carolina.

Spread the word about the contest to your family and friends! We hope to have many submissions for the judges.

Lori Meads is a museum educator at Museum of the Albemarle.