CONEXPO-CON/AGG’s first-ever children’s art contest celebrates creativity and construction

By Jenny LescohierOctober 26, 2022

Construction is pretty cool, and it’s important to get that message across to the people who hold the future of our world in their hands: Kids.

What better way to showcase the wonder of building and big machines while providing an outlet for young creativity than an art contest celebrating construction? With that in mind, CONEXPO-CON/AGG is hosting a creative competition, with prizes sponsored by Sherwin Williams, open now through January 8, 2023.

Winning artwork and selected pieces representing various age categories will be part of an art installation at CONEXPO-CON/AGG, North America’s largest construction trade show, March 14-18, 2023 in Las Vegas. The works of art will be displayed in the education area on the 2nd floor of West Hall Las Vegas Convention Center for viewing throughout the event that takes place every three years.

Youth up to age 15 (by January 8th) are encouraged to enter one original drawing or painting that includes a piece of construction equipment. The top three winners in each age category will receive a cash prize.

“This is a fun new feature at CONEXPO-CON/AGG that will encourage children who love art and just might be enamored with construction equipment to participate,” said Dana Wuesthoff, show director for CONEXPO-CON/AGG. “If you think about it, art and construction are very similar. The artist, architect or engineer’s intentions are present and the space is full of possibilities.”

According to Kiki Redhead, global CMF and trend manager at Sherwin Williams, “Color is a language in and of itself in the construction world. I know how important that is because I come from a big construction family, and they inspired me to study the art and science of color and design.”

Redhead continued, “To all the kids entering this contest, I encourage you to play with color, dream big and have fun. Together, we can create a more colorful world.”

The contest will be judged by a committee made up of CONEXPO-CON/AGG representatives, a Sherwin Williams employee, and children whose families are in the construction industry.

Young artists highlight the importance of construction

One could argue that construction is the oldest industry, responsible for everything from the simplest dwellings to the grandest monuments throughout the history of civilization. What theme could be more worthy of artistic expression?

Longtime CONEXPO-CON/AGG attendees from Bob Dietz & Sons Inc. understand this, as well as the culture of being a family in construction. Together, the Dietz family and CONEXPO-CON/AGG created the art contest.

12-year-old committee member Sienna shared that being raised in a construction family has made her realize how important it is.

“Without construction, we would not have a lot of the stuff we have today,” she said. “I like this art contest because we get to see the fun and creative side of construction and machines. It’s also fun to see what kids think construction is.”

The committee included the children from the start in planning and developing the competition.

“I am so excited to be a part of this project because I love both art and construction,” said Charlotte, age 9. “My favorite machine is the Excavator, so I hope to see some really cool drawings with Excavators in them. Just be creative, use lots of color, and have fun.”

Children who love construction drive the industry of tomorrow

It’s well established that construction needs an infusion of young minds and bodies to build the world of tomorrow. The challenge is and has been in getting the message across to young people that construction is a meaningful, gratifying and lucrative profession to pursue. The old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words applies here, as contest participants and viewers alike will see construction in a new and positive light. And who knows, it might even spark future innovations. 

“I hope to see pictures of machines I’ve never seen before or being used in ways I’ve never thought of,” said committee member Jackson, age 15.

To Logan, 13, it’s all about being original and creative. “That’s what I like about construction, you can be an artist and create beautiful and unique places,” he said.

Sienna, Charlotte, Logan and Jackson (left to right) are looking forward to seeing what contestants create!

For more info, visit https://www.conexpoconagg.com/art-contest

How to enter the contest

To participate, contestants should email a digital copy of their artwork (acceptable digital forms are listed in the guidelines document) and completed submission form to ArtContest@conexpoconagg.com.

Alternatively, contestants may also mail their artwork and completed submission form by post to:

CONEXPO-CON/AGG Art Contest at 6737 West Washington St., Suite 2400, Milwaukee, WI 53214-5650.

Age categories:

  • Under 7
  • 8-11
  • 12-15

The following cash prizes will be awarded in each age category, for a total of nine winners:

  • 1st place - $600
  • 2nd place - $450
  • 3rd place - $250

Questions should be directed to ArtContest@conexpoconagg.com.

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