“The gift of an artist is to transform our vision of reality. These works present concrete testimony of this, as many of the paintings, collages, pop art examples and sculpture show the far-reaching effects of contemporary art and art education.”

– Howard E. Wooden, Director 1966-1976


The role of the arts in education has been a subject of discussion for years, and was no less the case in 1966, when Director Howard E. Wooden suggested that the Swope, in cooperation with the Vigo County School Corporation, hold a student exhibition to showcase the excellence of both the area’s young artists and the area’s art teachers. It was Mr. Wooden’s feeling that the perspectives of young talent revealed the health and cultural awareness of a community, as well as the success created when teachers encourage self-expression along with technical disciplines.

The inaugural show opened May 16, 1967, to an audience of 300, and today, Mr. Wooden’s tradition of celebrating students and teachers alike continues. The exhibition features student artwork from each school in the Vigo County School Corporation, as well as several other area private schools. Additionally, at the high school level, the show is open to surrounding counties and home-schools and functions as a juried exhibition.

Historical information provided by the Swope’s Exhibition archives.


53rd Annual Student Art Exhibition

April 4 – May 17, 2020
Schell, Hulman and Second Floor Lobby Galleries
Reception April 4, 2020, 3-5 p.m., High School awards at 4 p.m.

Sponsored by:ONBANK

High School Juror Selections


For Teachers

High School (9th – 12th grades) will be juried for exhibition by a non-partisan juror. Every school that enters work into the competition will be guaranteed at least one work included in the exhibition. However, award distribution will be at the juror’s discretion. The high school level is open to surrounding counties (Indiana: Vermillion, Parke, Putnam, Clay, Owen, Greene, and Sullivan; Edgar and Clark in Illinois) and home-schools in addition to the schools of Vigo County. After judging, the Swope will post notice of the juror’s selections to our web site.


The 2020 submission deadline for high school entries is Friday, February 28th.

2020 High School Prospectus and Guidelines

High School Entry Checklist

High School Entry Label


Elementary and middle school entries are not juried for exhibition or judged for awards. Selections are limited to elementary and middle schools in Vigo County with an art program run by an art teacher. All artworks entered according to the included guidelines will be shown.


The 2020 submission deadline for middle and elementary school entries is Friday, March 13th.

2020 Elementary and Middle School Prospectus and Guidelines

Elementary and Middle School Entry Checklist

Elementary and Middle School Entry Label


In all levels, each participating student will receive mention in the exhibition catalogue and a personal invitation to the opening from the Swope Director.