The annual Science as Art competition features student artwork inspired by and demonstrating scientific ideas and principles. Awards are given for Best in Show and a range of other categories across a wide range of media. Science as Art began in 2013 as a partnership between Arts at Michigan and the LSA Science Learning Center;  ArtsEngine joined the collaboration in 2015 and continues to work with Arts at Michigan to further develop the program. The event has typically included a public exhibit of submissions as well as a faculty panel discussion and award ceremony and reception. The 2021 exhibition and awards will be presented virtually on February 26, 2021. 

U-M undergrads are invited to submit artwork expressing a scientific principle(s), concept(s), idea(s), process(es), and/or structure(s). The artwork may be visual, literary, musical, video, or performance-based. A juried panel using criteria based on both scientific and artistic considerations will choose winning submissions and award prizes from $50 to $300.

Copyrighted materials may not be used as part of the entry unless permission has been obtained from the copyright holder(s). Submissions advertising or marketing specific companies or commercial products are ineligible.

The Science as Art organizers reserve the right to not include in exhibition any entries deemed inappropriate or in violation of university policy. Science as Art organizers are available for consultation around any submissions in question.

Creators retain right of ownership of any submission and is responsible for retrieving the entry after the award ceremony and exhibition.

Submission Deadline: February 12, 2021

Please contact scienceasart@umich.edu with any questions.

Each individual or team may submit only one artwork for consideration. An individual entrant may also be a member of a team. Each submission must be original, accurate, and the sole property and work of the individual or team. Artworks submitted in a past year’s Science as Art competitions are not eligible. 

A complete submission will include:

  • Written Explanation – A written explanation must accompany each submission detailing both the: 1) artistic components of the work and the 2) scientific principle(s), concept(s), idea(s), process(es) or structure(s) that are represented. The text accompanying the artwork should be 250-500 words in length. This explanation will be made available to the judges but will not be included in the online exhibition.
  • Abstract – A brief, self-contained descriptive abstract about your artwork must also be submitted. The abstract should be no more than 100 words in length. The abstract may be displayed with your work in the online exhibition and/or used in other publicity about the contest. 
  • Image or Documentation of Artwork – Please upload an image of your artwork through our submission form. If you want to submit additional images, or if your artwork is video, sound, or another medium that is not image-based, there will be additional instructions for submitting in the form.

Please see the form for submission file formatting.

Submission Deadline: February 12, 2021

The judging team will be composed of individuals with diverse backgrounds in science, literature, education, and art. All entries will be evaluated by judges using the following criteria: 

  • Scientific Concept – How well thought out is the scientific idea behind the artwork?
  • Artistic Execution – What is the artistic quality of the work?
  • Synthesis – How well does the artwork demonstrate or reflect the scientific concept?  
  • Creativity – How unique, original, or creative is the artwork?

Entrants grant Science as Art organizers non-exclusive web and print publication rights, while retaining copyright. Winners are selected at the sole discretion of the Science as Art organizers, and all decisions are final. By submitting, entrants agree to contest terms and conditions.

Submission Deadline: February 12, 2021