Visual Arts Competition

2014 - 2020

Art Matters

Over the course of six years, Oakton Foundation held an annual competition to award the best original painting or sketch that communicates a moral truth with excellence to a wide audience. We received approximately one thousand submissions from almost every continent, and we are very pleased with the excellent works that are hosted on our site. After prayer and reflection, we have decided to bring the competition to a close. We encourage you to check out Engage Art, which runs a fantastic competition for a wide range of artistic pieces beyond just paintings.

​Potential mediums were limited to oils, acrylics, pastels, water color, charcoal, pencils, or similar mediums. Entries were judged on the basis of creativity, quality, and effectiveness in expressing the contest theme. A longer rationale for the competition can be found here.

Art today has become so individualized that ten people seeing the same piece would come away with ten different opinions about what it is communicating. Art promoted in Christian venues can lack creativity (e.g., slapping a verse on a picture of a lighthouse). We did not seek "Hallmark card" art, i.e. purely landscape scenes that may be lovely to view but do not communicate a deeper message. The tension is being able to communicate deep truths without being so obvious that the art lacks creativity, nor so obscure that most people cannot agree on its meaning.

Invisible in San Luis Obispo

Invisible in San Luis Obispo

Suzanne Garnier-Weythman

Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids

Mike Moyers

Because...

The intent of this competition was to identify emerging artists who share our vision of the arts and can produce works that communicate to both Christians and non-Christians:

  • Art is worship; artists are called to “co-create” with God.

  • Artists should produce works that lift up “the good, the true and the beautiful” -- not meaning it has to only portray happy scenes, but if it portrays suffering or tragedy, it should portray it truthfully – with God we have hope and redemption, without Him we are lost.

  • Good art tells the truth about the world, the human condition, and God (preferably without including words in the work).

  • Your craft should be done with excellence.

  • Culture would benefit from a wider range of art that advances God’s Kingdom principles and can be understood by both Christians and non-Christians.

If you would like to purchase one of the paintings or prints or simply to connect with the artist, contact information is available by each work.