General Exhibition Information

Zhou B. Art Center|   1029 W 35th Street, Chicago, IL, 60609   |    Sunday, February 26th 2017 (12-6pm)

For more information, please contact our General Exhibition Coordinator, Jackie Wargo, at

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Welcome to the IHSAE, a 501(c)(3) organization. The General Exhibition is one of Illinois’ premier high school art exhibitions featuring some of the top city, suburban, public and private high school Visual Arts talent. The General Exhibition is a “Best of the Best” competition developed by teachers to recognize high school students for their artistic excellence.

Each year, over 100 high schools register to participate in the IHSAE’s General Exhibition from across the state of Illinois. The show is held each year at the Zhou B. Art Center located in Chicago’s Bridgeport neighborhood. Schools enter by digitally submitting up to 25 artwork into 8 categories: Drawing, Painting, Mixed Media, Design, Photography, Ceramics, Sculpture, and Time Arts for consideration via SlideRoom.

The IHSAE receives well over 2500 submissions for consideration for the General Exhibition. All entries are curated by the IHSAE Board of Directors. Over 500 student artists are selected to participate in this one of kind art exhibition. Students will have an opportunity to compete against their peers for over $15,000 in IHSAE awards and scholarships. The IHSAE awards students in all 8 categories: Best of Show, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable Mention, as well as, a Visionary Award. Students also have an opportunity to be chosen by College Admissions Representatives to receive Early College/Summer Intensive scholarships to select art schools, colleges and universities across the country.

Registration Information

The IHSAE is open to all Illinois city, suburban, public and private high schools. Registration begins on September 1, 2016. The IHSAE does require a participation fee and complete the registration process.

Submission Process

The IHSAE organization uses SlideRoom for all participating schools to upload their images. SlideRoom is a fantastic resource to have and is extremely easy to use. The SlideRoom service is paid for using your school's registration cost. Submissions may include any combination that equals 25 artworks. If your school does not produce artwork in a particular category, then additional submission may be made to the other categories. The IHSAE understands that not every school produces artwork in all 8 categories. However, we maintain that schools can and do produce artwork in at least 5 of our 8 established categories.

Each school can submit up to a total of 25 artworks, in any combination, for consideration into those 8 categories. Submissions should represent the very best artwork in each category a school has to offer.

    For example, a school may submit (6) drawings, (4) paintings, (3) photos, (5) graphic designs, (2) time arts, (5) sculptures because it still meets the maximum (25) artworks by one school.


The IHSAE has identified 8 categories for submission to the General Exhibition: Sculpture, Photography, Drawing, Mixed Media, Design, Painting, Time Arts, Ceramics.

    Original three-dimensional art objects that exist in the round and can be seen from all sides created by carving, casting, modeled, carved, cast, constructed, assembled objects or other shaping techniques. Materials may include, but are not limited to: clay, cardboard, metal, acrylic, wood, glass, stone, marble, textiles, plastics, and found objects.

    Original images captured by either a traditional or nontraditional camera that may be digitally and/or physically collaged, cloned, layered, merged, distorted, or images that have been lightly manipulated.

    Original artwork that is manually drawn on a two-dimensional surface consisting of “dry” media: graphite, ink, charcoal, pastel, color pencil, marker, scratchboard, conte crayon, printmaking or any other drawing materials completed on a flat 2D surface that range from the highly rendered and stylized, to the observational and gestural. *May include printmaking

    Mixed Media
    Art made from two or more artistic media, such as ink and pastel or painting and collage, that are combined in a single composition. *Includes but is not limited to Collage, assemblage, cut paper, handmade paper, batik, fiber-based art, fine art books, etc

    Art created for commercial or applied purposes that has a “functional” use, such as advertising, communications or product design.
    Examples: Magazine layouts, book covers, greeting cards, fonts, letterhead, business cards, calendars, signage, as well as proposals for products such as electronic devices, cars, bicycles, skateboards, furniture, toys, comic strips, comic books, storyboards, web comics, or selections from graphic novels, building designs, landscape designs, interior designs, urban plans. Fully-realized articles and outfits, sketches, tech packs. Jackets, dresses, shirts, gowns, scarves, hats, bags, belts, shoes, etc. as well as experimental designs, wearable art, and work made from found materials. Can include 2D work such as hand-drawn sketches, computer-aided designs, blueprints, and floor plans.

    Original artwork consisting of “wet” media: oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, tempera, ink, encaustic, fresco, spray paint, collage, printmaking, etc. applied on canvas, canvas board, paper or any non-traditional flat surface. *May include printmaking

    Time Arts
    Original artworks in video, animation, sound, and performance under 10 minutes in duration. Documentary films, narrative films, commercials, experimental video, as well as hand-drawn, computer-generated, or stop-motion animations.*Submit works in this category as video or audio files. Files are restricted to 500mb or smaller in size. Selected works will be displayed as video/audio projections at the exhibition.

    The art or technique of making objects of ceramic, such as earthenware, stoneware or porcelain, treated by firing, such as, vases, teapots, bowls, plates, cups, tiles, tableware or other vessels.

Curation Process

The General Exhibition seeks to develop the highest quality, most diverse presentation of high school artwork. To meet those demands, the IHSAE has established the following submission guidelines to help schools meet our expectations and maximize artwork acceptance. The IHSAE will guarantee each participating high school:

  • (5) Two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks and (1) Time Arts submission, totaling 6 artworks in all to represent each high school. However, schools must meet the submission criteria for that consideration.

  • Schools must submit into at least 5 of the 8 categories for this consideration. The IHSAE will not select multiple artworks from any categories. Only (1) artwork per category will be chosen, for a total of (5) Two-dimensional and three-dimensional artworks. It is in your school's best interest to submit into as many categories as possible. Having more submissions in a particular category does not translate to more artworks selected for exhibition in that category for exhibition.
  • For example, if your school only submitted into 3 categories; Drawing, Painting and Mixed Media, your school will only have 3 artworks from those categories selected to represent your school for exhibition. Again, the IHSAE will not select multiple artworks from any categories.

Notification Process

The IHSAE utilizes email to communicate with participating schools. School Liaisons will be notified via email of the specific artworks accepted into the General Exhibition, held at the Zhou B. Art Center on Sunday, February 26th 2017. All selected artworks will need to be delivered to the Zhou B. Art Center per the IHSAE guidelines for exhibition on the drop-off day, or to the various high school drop-off locations throughout the exhibition’s vicinity. From here, all accepted artworks will be juried for IHSAE Awards, Early College/Summer Intensive Awards/Scholarships, IHSAE Visionary Award and any additional honors/awards available.

The IHSAE also utilizes Mailchimp, a web-based email service, to send marketing emails, automated messages, and targeted campaigns associated with all IHSAE activities and events. Please check with your school IT department regarding this service.

Artwork Labeling and Dropoff

Artwork Labeling
Artwork selected for exhibition must be properly hang ready and labeled according to the IHSAE Guidelines or your school's artwork may not be displayed. Participating schools will receive a packet containing all IHSAE Guidelines, labels and your school's IHSAE number. It is the responsibility of each school’s Liaison to oversee that all artwork meet the IHSAE guidelines for exhibition. The IHSAE has set expectations for its participants and it is essential that all labeling be uniform and consist.

Artwork Dropoff
Artwork accepted for the IHSAE’s General Exhibition should be delivered according to the IHSAE Guidelines. Participating schools have two options for artwork drop-off.

  • IHSAE Drop-off Centers- Schools can utilize drop-off centers located at local participating high schools around the area. Contact the IHSAE Drop-off Coordinator at the selected school to arrange a delivery time.

  • Zhou B. Art Center-Schools can drop-off artwork directly to the gallery on Sunday, February 12, 2017 from 8am - 11am. Artwork will be delivered to the 2nd Floor Gallery. Remember, this is also the General Exhibitions installation day. Artwork arriving after 11am may not be exhibited.

Opening Reception

The General Exhibition’s doors are open to the public. It is a day dedicated to celebrating visual arts education and honoring artistic excellence. The IHSAE has scheduled a variety of art related activities throughout the day for our students, their families and guests of the show. Blick Art Materials will be on site to showcase the latest in art materials and free giveaways. The studio doors of many Zhou B. Art Center artist’s will be open on all 4 floors. Stop in, visit with these amazing artists who . Arrive early to meet with over 30 college Admissions Representatives from local, state and nationally recognized art schools, colleges and universities.

IHSAE Awards

General Exhibition Juried Awards: The IHSAE’s General Exhibition offers participating students a wide range of awards aimed at recognizing artistic excellence. The IHSAE will award in all 8 categories for Best in Show, Gold, Silver, Bronze and Honorable mention, as well as, the selection of a Visionary Award(s).

    *Note: Teachers should only submit students for award consideration if students are able to attend the award ceremony. If a student is chosen for an award and is not present at the ceremony, that student will forfeit the award. The student, not a proxy, must accept the award.

Early College Program Scholarships

Early College Program (ECP)/ Summer Intensive Awards
The IHSAE will also recognize students selected for Early College Program/Summer Intensive Scholarships chosen by College Admissions Representatives to attend art schools, colleges and universities across the country. Annually, the IHSAE hands out over $10,000 in awards and prizes to competing students.

    *Please be aware that some of these ECP awards may have specific criteria and/or expenses associated with them. The sponsoring schools and the IHSAE will not be responsible for any of these additional expenses.


The Zhou B. Art Center
1029 W 35th St.
Chicago, IL 60609
(773) 523-0200
Gallery Hours: 10am - 5pm

Important Dates

  • Registration Opens - Thursday, September 1, 2016
  • Submissions Open - Wednesday, October 5, 2016
  • Submissions Close - Friday, January 13 , 2017
  • Notification of Acceptance - January 20-23
  • Drop-off Day - Sunday, February 12, 2017 (8-11am)
  • Installation Day - Sunday, February 12, 2017 (11am-8pm)
  • 3rd Friday - Friday, February 13. 2017 (7-10pm)
  • Visual Arts College Fair - Sunday, February 26, 2017 (10am - 1pm)
  • Opening Reception - Sunday, February 26, 2017
  • Awards Presentation - Sunday, February 26, 2017 (TBD)
  • Strike - March 6th & March 7th
  • Pick-up - March 7-11