2018 Theme: Our Oceans in a Changing Climate
Climate change is the biggest issue of your lifetime. Your whole life will be lived as the impacts of global climate change are taking place. Our Contest is a call for young artists, thinkers, and activists who are concerned about the future of our human and natural communities to use their creative voices to explore, express, and advocate for issues related to climate change and our oceans.
Our health is tied to ocean health, whether we live on the coast or 500 miles inland.
Human systems – social, economic, political, and cultural – are interdependent on the ocean; however, human-caused global warming is already producing substantial changes to our coastal and marine ecosystems and the communities that depend on them, including: rising sea surface temperatures, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, melting land ice, dead zones, sea level rise, fishery declines, coastal erosion, and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.
We believe that creativity is power.
You play an important role in shaping the future world. Your creative voice has the ability to: expose what is happening to our oceans and what may, or will, happen; question the societal norms that have brought us to this point; reflect and reshape what it means to be a human in the 21st century; discover and advocate for solutions; and persuade others to take action.
The Ocean Awareness Contest is open to students aged 11-18 worldwide.
Your work should explore the relationship between human systems, climate change, and our oceans. We challenge you to create a piece that not only presents issues and challenges, but also communicates a message that inspires others to act. We encourage you to connect your submission to your own life, your local community, or something else that motivates you.
- How do human systems affect the ocean? How do oceans affect life on land? How are ocean health and human health connected?
- What responsibilities do humans have to the natural world and its inhabitants?
- What will the planet look like in 2100 if we continue with “business as usual”?
- How do oceans play a role in mitigating climate change?
- Who is responsible for climate change?
- How large is your carbon footprint? How do you play a role in causing – and preventing – the impact of climate change on our oceans?
- Will climate change affect everyone equally? How will your community have to adapt?
- How does mass media play a role in shaping the stories we hear about climate change?
- What innovative solutions have been created or proposed to address the impacts of climate change on our oceans? What challenges do these solutions face to widespread implementation?
- How does meaningful change happen?
- How should scientists, designers, and policy-makers work together to address climate change issues?
- How can we communicate stories about our oceans and climate change that make an impact on others and compel them to act?
- What strategies do artists use to help us understand the impacts of climate change as well as to move us to feel something about it?
Submissions are accepted in:
- Visual Art
The deadline for this program has passed and we are no longer accepting submissions for the 2018 Ocean Awareness Contest.Contest Details
Awards will be given in each of the categories at both the Junior and Senior divisions:
Sponsor Recognition Award
Additional Awards Available in 2018
Over the course of the Contest, other awards may become available and will be listed here. The winners of these awards will be chosen and announced at the same time as the category awards.
Making Waves Award
The Making Waves Award will be awarded to one submission in each age division that demonstrates a powerful, engaging, and original voice of ocean activism. Winners receive a $250 cash prize.
Publishing, Art Exhibitions, and Special Opportunities
As a winner, you may have a special opportunity to showcase your talents worldwide while raising awareness of ocean issues to a broader community. Bow Seat organizes art exhibitions, pop up art shows, and film screenings; curates anthologies of art and poetry; and finds opportunities to publish student writing. As part of Bow Seat’s student collection, your creative piece will help to educate and inspire audiences to take action!