Call for entries for the M.V. Drawing Prize

The M.V. Drawing Prize, sponsored by Elizabeth Whelan, is an art competition with a yearly theme. — Elizabeth Whelan

Artist Elizabeth R. Whelan announces the call for artists for the fourth annual Martha’s Vineyard Drawing Prize. The competition is open to artists and illustrators 18 years or older in the U.S. and Canada, and encourages “the pursuit of excellence in drawing,” according to a press release.

The competition has grown in popularity over the years since its inception in 2019, with many repeat entrants submitting creative work on the ever-changing themes. This year’s theme to inspire the artists is “Home.” How that phrase is interpreted is entirely up to the artist, the release says. “The Martha’s Vineyard Drawing Prize seeks creative responses and encourages experimentation. New work developed for the competition is encouraged,” Whelan says in the release.

She hopes artists will “flex their drawing ability and develop a concept with personal meaning.” For entries to the Martha’s Vineyard Drawing Prize, the type and style of drawing is completely up to the artist.

Whelan has been conducting a series of free intermediate drawing classes this summer via Zoom, co-hosted by the Vineyard Haven Public Library, following the same theme of “Home” in 19 different interpretations. The class videos to date are available on her YouTube channel ( and may give some inspiration for the scope of personal interpretation possible.

Drawings may be created using graphite, charcoal, Conté, silverpoint, pen and ink, or other suitable drawing media, as well as colored drawing media such as colored pencil or chalk.

This is an online-only competition so there is no size restriction, and no need to frame and ship the artwork. The artists will upload high-resolution photographs of their artwork to the entry website, and the jurors will use those images to pick the winners.

Cash prizes total $1,200, and other prizes and recognition will also be awarded.

All finalists’ artwork will be displayed on the website for the following year, with a bio and social media links for the artist. The 2021 finalists can be seen on the website home page until the 2022 finalists are announced. Finalist work is also displayed on Instagram @mvdrawingprize, and in recent years all the art entered into the competition is posted to @mvdrawingprize_showcase, with the artist’s permission.

Whelan will select three jurors for the 2022 competition: one art collector, one artist, and one gallery director. The jurors change each year, with the variety of jurors encouraging participation by artists working in all styles.

The deadline for entry is Monday, Sept. 12. There is a $10 entry fee per artist, and up to three drawings can be submitted for that fee. Prizes and awards will be announced Saturday, Sept. 17.

To learn more about the competition including guidelines and how to enter your finished drawing, visit and follow the competition on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @mvdrawingprize.