Calling All Student Visual Artists!

 Society for the Performing Arts (SPA), Houston’s leading performing arts presenter, is pleased to announce that entries are now being accepted for its 17th Annual Student Art Contest sponsored by Wells Fargo. SPA’s Art Contest offers ALLkindergarten through 12th grade students in the greater Houston area and beyond a chance to showcase their talents and win prizes, while learning more about the performing arts. The deadline for entries is Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015.


The title for this year’s contest is “My Caravanserai,” inspired by SPA’s 2014-2015 education residency, Caravanserai: Malaysia. This three-part residency introduces American audiences to exciting and dynamic artists from the Muslim world and the culture of Malaysia. 


Caravanserais were roadside inns located upon trade routes in Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, especially along the Silk Road. Travelers along these routes used the caravanserais as safe‐havens where they could rest, restock their supplies, converse with other travelers and enjoy entertainment, no matter where they were from or what language they spoke. The exchange of ideas along these trade routes, facilitated by caravanserais, led to a great cultural exchange between the East and West and was a significant factor in the development of many countries, including Malaysia.


Students are encouraged to create artwork inspired by the spirit of Malaysia and the caravanserai: inclusiveness, diversity and the exchange of ideas. Students should consider their own journeys and the story they want to tell about who and what has influenced their life. Artwork with a distinctive Asian or Malaysian quality or characteristic is not required. Successful entries will incorporate this year’s theme and the design element of wayang, a Javanese word for shadow, which plays a vital role in the traditional shadow puppetry of Malaysia, Wayang Kulit. Shadow will serve as the motif for this year’s art contest.


All submitted artwork will be judged on creativity, skill and interpretation of the theme “My Caravanserai.” Works on paper, including photography, are permitted. SPA allows only one entry per student and one artist per entry. For rules and submission guidelines, including more information regarding this year’s theme, please visit


Visual Art Contest entries may be delivered in person or mailed to Society for the Performing Arts; Attention: Education Department; Jesse H. Jones Hall; 615 Louisiana St.; Suite 100; Houston, TX 77002.


Winning entries and honorable mentions will be displayed in the Wells Fargo Student Art Contest Exhibit at the Glassell Junior School from early April through early May 2015. The recognized contestants, along with their teachers, will be invited to an awards ceremony to celebrate with family and friends on February 28, 2015.


Winners will be notified by Feb. 20, 2015. Senior contest winners will be awarded scholarships in various amounts. One “Best of Show” award will be given to a graduating high school senior and includes a $1,500 scholarship in loving memory of Viola Davis Rosson, sponsored by Mary and Miguel Espinosa. A “Special Merit” award will also be given to a graduating high school senior and includes a $500 scholarship in loving memory of K.E. “Jake” Jacob, sponsored by Dinah and H. Michael Sultanik.


First place winners for each division will receive a scholarship to the Glassell Junior School, MFAH. All winners, including the honorable mention recipients, will receive tickets to a performance provided by SPA. Those with questions regarding SPA’s 17th Annual Student Art Contest sponsored by Wells Fargo may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


About Caravanserai: Malaysia

Three Malaysian artists touring as part of this year’s Caravanserai program embody this spirit of diversity: the Diplomats of Drum, a 16‐piece ensemble which performs a “global fusion” of music from around the world on a variety of traditional and modern instruments; Pete Teo, a Malaysian filmmaker who produced 15Malaysia, a series of short films directed by 15 independent directors, each examining a different socio‐political aspect of life in Malaysia; and Wayang Kulit: The Shadow Play of Kelantan, a traditional shadow puppetry performance based on a Hindu epic poem adapted for Muslim villages. Caravanserai: A place where cultures meet is produced by Arts Midwest on behalf of the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations with leadership support from the Building Bridges Program of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art. Caravanserai’s film and media programming is coordinated on behalf of the program by South Arts.


About Society for the Performing Arts

Founded in 1966, Society for the Performing Arts (SPA) is the largest independent non-profit presenting organization in the Southwest. Since its inception, SPA has sponsored more than 1000 performances of the world’s finest music, dance and theater events, in adherence to the belief that the arts are fundamental to the overall enrichment and quality of life within the community. In addition to presenting artists, SPA seeks to provide a variety of learning experiences for adults and children through master classes, lectures and special student performances, as well as build relationships between the performing arts and other interests within the greater Houston area and throughout the state of Texas.

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