Our mission statement
The Illinois High School Art Exhibition believes the visual arts are a powerful force in culture and education, enriching the lives and endeavors of humankind. Our mission is to advance art education for young people by providing art exhibition and education opportunities that celebrate students' artistic achievement, promote mastery and ingenuity in learning, and facilitate post-secondary opportunities.
We enhance the creative educational landscape, giving student and teacher artists agency to succeed through 5 major missions:
Amplify Student Artwork: Expose and celebrate the creativity, beauty, expression, and technical mastery of student artists on a platform worthy of their efforts. We also seek opportunities to inspire further growth and excitement through creation in addition to the annual $50,000 in cash and prizes awarded to students.
The Art of Recruitment: We work with over 150 high schools and 40+ universities across the country connecting nearly 1,000 seniors to over $124 million in tuition scholarship offers, and underclassmen to over $500,000 in Early College Scholarships in just 5 years. This includes many students who were not previously college bound.
Advocacy Through Exhibitions: Beyond recognizing and rewarding the top art students from schools across IL, we go beyond and advocates for the importance of the art programs that enhance student lives through workshops and presentations.
Building Creative Capital: We forge connections to the industry and outside organizations in order to support meaningful student learning opportunities and internships that promote creative futures.
Teacher/Curricular Inspiration: Whether it be through our Educator Exhibition or innovative program support, we invigorate teachers and practice across IL while supporting their programs and curriculum.
In 2018, the IHSAE facilitated over $43 Million in tuition scholarship offers to 312 seniors by forging bridges that had not existed for student artists. This was an 860% increase from our first-year totals of $5 million. Many of these recipients include students and parents who did not think college was a possibility for their family situation. Started and managed by 2 teachers in 2013, the IHSAE has grown to include over 13 teacher directors and 20+ regular volunteers implementing programming that has impacted 150 high school visual art programs, and over 1,200 students annually. Demographics bridge city, suburban, public, and private schools across the Chicagoland area and all of Illinois.
Actualizing our 5-year plan in 3 with minimal supports and teachers donating much of their time to our work, we have since become uniquely positioned and staffed to support educational programming and creation from a multifaceted approach. The IHSAE continues to grow, and we now support teachers with innovative projects, offer workshops for teachers, arts organization leaders, and national postsecondary institutions, provide venues for teacher creation and curation, host advocacy exhibitions for policy leaders, developed various art-making competitions, are working to generate community art projects, and are committed to supporting the visual arts in new and innovative ways.
IHSAE Board of Directors
Senior Scholarship Exhibition Team Members
General Exhibition Team Members