The Kentucky Center and The Louisville Orchestra


Musical Inspirations Art Contest

Announcing a unique art contest for Kentucky students in grades 8-12 for 2-D artwork inspired by a musical composition (one of five movements listed below from Pictures at an Exhibit by Modest Mussorgsky orchestrated by Maurice Ravel). Numerous recordings are easily available. Five prizes will be awarded, one for each of the movements. Artwork from five prize winners will be projected on a large screen during a live performance of Pictures at an Exhibition by the Louisville Orchestra and Louisville Youth Orchestra on Wednesday, February 7, 2018, at 6:30 PM in Whitney Hall at The Kentucky Center for the Arts in Louisville. The winning artworks and honorable mention pieces will be exhibited at The Kentucky Center along with a reception in the Mary Anderson Room following the concert.  The Kentucky Center will also produce a limited-edition exhibit catalog and all artists receiving prizes and honorable mentions will receive copies of the catalog.

Musical Inspirations WINNERS Press Release

Note that all artwork may be featured by the Kentucky Center for the Arts and the Louisville Orchestra in publications and/or promotions.


Musical Inspirations Art Contest Poster

Eligibility: original works by Kentucky students in grades 8-12. Artwork must be in 2-D: drawing, painting, collage, mixed-media (no relief), or printmaking. Works may be representational or non-representational. Students may submit only one work of art inspired by the one following movements.  Please note that the titles of these movements below are hyperlinked to a YouTube recording.

  • The Gnome (“A sketch depicting a little gnome, clumsily running with crooked legs.”)
  • The Old Castle (A medieval castle before which a troubadour sings a song.”)
  • Tuileries (Children’s Quarrel after Games)
  • Byldo (Polish cart on enormous wheels, drawn by oxen)
  • Limoges: The Market (The Great News) (French women quarrelling violently in the market)

Minimum Size: 11 X 14 inches
Maximum Size: 36 inches in either direction
Unmatted and unframed

Originality: All entries must be original and not a copy of another work. Do not submit any work copied from a published photograph, magazine, book illustration, or any other artwork.

Judging Criteria will include

  • Creativity and originality
  • Quality of artistic composition and overall design inspired by the music
  • Overall impression of the artwork and its representation of the music
  • Artistic skills demonstrated that help convey the connection to the music

Prizes: Each of the five First Prize Winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to Preston Art Center and four copies of the exhibit catalog. The Honorable Mention recipients will have the opportunity for their works to be featured in the exhibit printed catalog and online gallery and to be featured in the exhibit at The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts on February 7th.

How to Submit:
Submissions will be accepted beginning 12pm on Friday, November 10, 2017 through Wednesday, January 10, 2018. Submissions will be taken through the online platform Acceptd
PLEASE NOTE: You will need to create a new account on Acceptd. 

If your work is not already digital, digitize it by taking a digital photo or scanning it. Upload the file into the application. Use the highest quality setting on your camera. Make sure the artwork is well lit and free of glare and unnecessary shadows. The image must fill the frame have no visual distractions in the background.

Note that poor image quality and incomplete submission materials can prevent an artwork from being selected.


  • January 10 – DEADLINE to submit artwork through the online platform, Acceptd
  • January 24 – NOTIFICATION of Prize Winners and Honorable Mention Recipients
  • February 2 – Winners & Honorable Mentions will be responsible for mailing or delivering original pieces to The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts c/o Cecilia Reyna (501 W. Main St., Louisville, KY 40202). The Kentucky Center will reimburse finalists for shipping costs.
  • February 7 – Projection of images at the Gheens Great Expectations Concert in Whitney Hall at The Kentucky Center at 6:30 PM and exhibit reception at 7:30 PM

This Art Contest was made possible with generous support from The Gheens Foundation.

Questions? Please email Cecilia Reyna