artworks expo high school pastel mural competition 2019

“North Scott students were proud to be part of a community activity that showed their commitment to art. We have proudly posted on twitter the great work that was accomplished on that weekend. Students are also proud to help support their art department with the winnings that goes back to purchasing more pastels to practice and commit to next year's event and paint for their art projects and school murals that we have been working on. With small school budgets every extra amount helps to get those supplies needed. We appreciate all the hard work everyone puts into the pastel weekend to make it happen. The pastel competition is an event all our students get excited about every year to come together and plan out ideas. The art students work as a team and get to meet other art students and see their ideas come to life. There are so many wonderful outcomes to this event. My students and I hope to participate it in for many years to come.” - Michelle Mess, North Scott art teacher

Open to all high schools within a 90-mile radius of the Quad Cities, 63 participants from nine area high schools competed in the annual challenge for high school student teams who completed an eight by eight-foot pastel mural during one day. Each team that competed received a cash award to fund and improve education in the participants’ art departments. We thank Eastern Iowa Community Colleges for hosting the pastel competition day since Bucktown was closed due to the spring flood.


The 2019 juror was Zaiga Thorson, art professor and assistant to the chair in Communication and Fine Arts at Black Hawk College, where she has taught since 1999. Participating schools received over $2,300 in awards, an increase from 2018:


First Place: North Scott High School (pictured above and below)

Second Place: Davenport North High School

Third Place: Davenport Central High School

Six Honorable Mentions: Alleman High School, Assumption High School, Moline High School, Rock Island High School, Pleasant Valley High School, West High School.

People’s Choice Award: North Scott High School



Funding was generously provided by the Rock Island Art Guild. Drawing supplies were provided by Blick Art Materials and friends of the Left Bank Art League. The Home Depot discounted drawing boards.

"This is the only live art competition in our area for high school students and it is a huge competition. The students have created a tradition of taking this very seriously. Not only is this an amazing show of talent, but it allows the students to create a voice and a statement each year for their school. It is fantastic way to get our kids talents displayed to our community. The show is judged and the students take it very seriously for how they place. Even bigger than the bragging rights of how they did, MidCoast finds a way each year to continue to find money to award to the teams. With a continuing public schools and arts program budget cuts, this is a fantastic way to compensate for some of those awesome extra things to keep inspiring our art students. We have used these award winnings to help support such initiatives such as starting 3-D printing at North High School, airbrush materials, and even digital drawing tablets." - David Schaeffer, DCSD K-12 Art Innovator and  Iowa Art All-State Chair

pictured below, 2019 North High School mural