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SD Aviation Art Contest

The SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit and South Dakota Pilots Association are sponsors of the annual South Dakota Aviation Art Contest for children aged 6 to 17. The contest has been held in South Dakota in past years, but has not been widely publicized in the past. Soooooo, tell your kids, your grandkids, your neighbor kids, and school teachers!!

Each year a different theme is selected for the Art Contest and in 2016 the theme is “Air Sports In Harmony With Nature.”  More information about the contest and links to the other web sites can be found at the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit web site: This web site also has images of the top three South Dakota winners in each age category for past years.

Artwork of winners will be published in the SDPA newsletter and SDPA web site.


Flying SavesThe theme of the 2016 Aviation Art Contest is “Air Sports In Harmony With Nature.”  The beauty of the earth is never clearer than when seen from the air.  Every day, thousands of people flying in airliners look at the earth with a new perspective from above.  Another group of boys, girls, men and women involved in air sports are fortunate to have a special view of the grandeur below them as they soar in gliders or float through the air in balloons.  Others feel the rush of air as they parachute down to a beautiful field or cross the sky in an ultralight or helicopter.

From above, the fullness of nature is seen in ways unknowable from the ground.  Helicopters give tours of the inaccessible rivers and canyons as balloons float across home towns, each giving new insight into how land, water, animals, and people share their environments.  From the air, one is able to take pictures and film land that would otherwise never be seen.  Aircraft do this without the need for roads.  An airport or open field will do for the intrepid aviator.

While the air sport participants enjoy this freedom, they also must be very good neighbors to all the people and animals and the environment.  This “good neighbor attitude” is especially important as they take-off and land.  Air sports enthusiasts are happy to do this because the beauty of the earth is one of the reasons they love flying so much.

So grab your favorite pen or brush capture the connection between the land and the air.  Create a work of art that shows air sports and nature in harmony.  Good luck!


Contest Information

This Year’s Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by January 22, 2016, and must be sent to the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit (700 East Broadway Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501-2586).

This Year’s Theme: This year’s theme is “Air Sports in Harmony With Nature.” Artwork will be judged, at least in part, for its creative use of this year’s theme in relation to the aviation world.

Eligibility: All children in the age groups shown below are encouraged to participate in the Contest, even if they are related to officials or employees of the FAI or any of its member organizations including the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit.

Age Groups: Entries will be judged in three classes:

  • Group I – Junior Category
    • Date of birth between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2009.
  • Group II – Intermediate Category
    • Date of birth between January 1, 2002 and December 31, 2005.
  • Group III – Senior Category
    • Date of birth between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2001.

State Awards: Entries in each age group will be judged and state winners and runners-up will be selected (typically Jennifer Boehm, SD Department of Transportation, is the contest judge). Winners will receive a first, second, or third place certificate and recognition from the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit. The SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit and the SDPA also give winners either art supplies, or aviation-related items such as model rockets or model airplanes (Legos kits that can be made into airplanes for the younger kids). The top three winners in each age category will be published in the SDPA newsletter & SDPA web site and presented on the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit web site. The top three entries in each age group from South Dakota will be forwarded to Washington, DC, to participate in the national competition.

National Awards:  A first, second, and third place national winner will be selected from each age group.  All national winners will receive a certificate, ribbon, and a framed reproduction of their artwork.  

International Awards:  The first, second, and third place national winners in each age group will be forwarded to FAI (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) headquarters for international judging.  Winners of the international competition will receive certificates and gold, silver, or bronze medals. 

Contest Rules

Artwork Dimensions: Artwork size should be 11-3/4x16.5 inches(A3), or if this is unobtainable, the nearest possible equivalent. 8.5x11 inches entries are NOT eligible. Artwork must NOT be framed, or outlined with borders.

Medium: All artwork must be hand (or, in the case of physically challenged children, by foot or mouth) made. Any of the following media are permitted:  watercolor, acrylic, oil paints, indelible markers, felt-tip pens, soft ball-point pens, indelible ink, Crayola, or similar indelible mediums. The following media are NOT permitted: Pencil, charcoal or other nonpermanent medium, computer generated artwork, no collage work involving the use of photocopies.

Certification: The following information should be clearly shown on the back of the art:  title, family name, given name, address, date of birth, country of residence, name and address of school which child attends, and certificate of authenticity.  (this certificate is part of the Contest Brochure – obtainable for Jennifer Boehm). 

Reproduction Rights: Once received, entries will become and remain the property of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale or SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit and may be used for a variety of purposes.

Sponsors: The SD Aviation Art Contest is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and the South Dakota Pilots Association. For more information and a copy of the official brochure containing the Certificate of Authenticity, contact Jennifer Boehm at the SD Office of Air, Rail & Transit, Pierre, SD (phone 605-773-4430 or email

2016 SD Aviation Art Contest Winners

There were 104 submissions in the 2016 South Dakota Aviation Art Contest – with the theme “Air Sports in Harmony with Nature.”  Nine teachers / schools submitted their artwork for the Aviation Art Contest.  There were 35 submissions in the 6-9 year old group, 67 submission in the 10-13 year old group, and 2 submissions in the 14-17 year old group.  The South Dakota Pilots Association provided $150 for the first place winners, and advertised the contest in the Nov-Dec 2015 and Jan-Feb 2016 newsletters, sent a news release to 47 SD media outlets, and provided art contest information to the SD Air & Space Museum to hand out to visiting school groups.

Thank you Jennifer Boehm, Aeronautics Program Assistant, SD DOT Office of Air, Rail & Transit, for coordinating and judging the South Dakota Aviation Art Contest.

Click here for winners. (PDF)

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