Do you want to express yourself, be creative, or make an impression? Visual Arts is for you! It may be messy, fun, strange, or unique. You will get to work with paint, chalk, metal, wood, food, scrapbooking, paper, computers and much, much more. Be yourself, explore visual arts!
Choose the Visual Arts Level appropriate for your interests. Here are the project levels you can choose... Below find out more about each different medium.
4-H Visual Arts Member Manual
Publication # MF0115 (2005)
Suggested for Grades 3–12
- learn the basics of design
- make paper and use papier-mâché
- weave a wall hanging
- learn embroidery
- create art from wood, leather, paper, or clay
- draw or paint with various mediums (chalk, charcoal, paint)
- etch glass or metal
Advanced Visual Arts: Draw/Fiber/Sculpt
Sketchbook Crossroads: Drawing, Fiber, and Sculpture Activity Guide
Publication # BU-08140 (2005)
Suggested for Grades 7–12
- use color and space in artwork to create balance
- create calligraphy and cartoons
- appliqué with felt wool
- learn batik
- learn about weaving
- experiment with dyes
- sculpt with clay, cardboard, and wire
Advanced Visual Arts: Paint/Print/Graphics
Portfolio Pathways: Painting, Printing, and Graphic Design
Publication # BU-08141 (2005)
Suggested for Grades 7–12
- explore techniques with acrylics, watercolors, and colored sand
- experiment with oil painting
- create dry point etching
- make a wood block stamp
- try melted wax resists
- personalize and market a CD/DVD
Additional Project Support Available to members
4-H Visual Arts Creative Sketchbook, also referred to as Art 4 You
State Fair Exhibit Rules
Each county may submit one entry in each class of the following classes: Paper, Fiber, Clay, Wood, Glass/Plastic, Metal, Nature, Computer-Generated Art, Three-Dimensional Design/Mixed Media, Heritage Arts, Scrapbooking, Food Decorating, and Clover Challenge. Each county may submit two entries in Chalk/Carbon/Pigment. Each county may also submit one entry in the Visual Arts Ready4Life Challenge Class.
Exhibitors are encouraged to date the project when it is made. Exhibitors must be able to carry or cart their exhibits across the fairgrounds from the parking lots.All visual arts exhibits are evaluated using a visual arts rubric which takes into account correct use of design elements; craftsmanship; and creativity.
Articles exhibited must be an original design created by the exhibitor (except in heritage arts which may follow a pattern). Copyrighted or trademarked designs are not acceptable; this includes Team or School logos.Kits and preformed molds are not considered original and are not acceptable in any Visual Arts Class. Combining parts of different patterns (pictures, photographs, images from the internet or a magazine) with the member's own ideas can result in an original design, but simply changing the color, pattern and/or size of a pattern does NOT make the design original. This also applies for ideas found on a site such as Pinterest. The exhibit must combine parts of different patterns and/or ideas with the concepts of the member will work, however changing the color or changing the size of the item or pattern used does NOT make it original. If you create a replica of what you see somewhere else, it is not your original design. If a photo, sketch, or other idea source was used, submit it with your entry, firmly attached to your exhibit. Be prepared to explain how and where you got the idea for this project.
Members wishing to exhibit quilts made from a pattern may enter it in Heritage Arts. Quilts exhibited in the Visual Arts – Heritage Arts area will be evaluated using a visual arts rubric which takes into account correct use of design elements; craftsmanship; and creativity. All work on the quilt MUST be completed by the 4-H member. You cannot exhibit a quilt that was quilted by someone else.
50332 Visual Arts Food Decorating Beginning
Exhibit one of the following:
- Exhibit four decorated cupcakes, using a minimum of four different techniques. Exhibit may use cupcakes OR cupcake forms.
- Exhibit a single layer decorated cake, using a minimum of four different techniques. Exhibit may use cake OR cake form.
50333 Visual Arts Food Decorating Intermediate
Exhibit one of the following:
- Exhibit four decorated cupcakes, using a minimum of five Level 2 techniques. Exhibit may use cupcakes OR cupcake forms.
- Exhibit a single layer or two-layer cakes, using a minimum of five Level 2 techniques. Exhibit may use cake OR cake form.
50334 Visual Arts Food Decorating Advanced
Exhibit the following:
Exhibit a decorated, stacked and/or tiered cake, using a minimum of four Level 3 techniques. Exhibit may use cake OR cake form.
50335 Visual Arts Food Decorating Master
Exhibit the following:
Exhibit to include a one-page written description of your project, including goals, plans, accomplishments, and evaluation of results. Include up to four pictures of your accomplishments AND exhibit an original design decorated cake using more than five techniques. Exhibit may use cake OR cake form.
50336 Visual Arts Chalk/Carbon/Pigment
Any original art work done with pencils, chalk, pens, ink, paint, charcoal, dyes, etc. on canvas, paper, or glass. This would include all painting, sketching, drawing, cartooning, printing, etc. Note: Please enter painting on wood, metal, or textiles in Heritage Arts. Painted and/or glazed pre-formed ceramics and painted porcelain dolls are not eligible for State Fair exhibit. Drawings and paintings should be matted or framed under glass. (Exceptions: Oil and acrylic paintings do not require glass and are not required to be matted.) Water color, chalk, pen & ink, computer-generated art, etc. do require some protective covering. Gallery frames are acceptable. Canvas paintings that continue “over the edges” are acceptable without frames; however the piece must still be prepared for hanging. Matted pieces without frames are acceptable, however the piece must be prepared for hanging OR it must include a photo of the artwork being displayed in a non-hanging manner. There is no specific requirement for the type of mat used. Page 34 of the Illinois 4-H Arts Visual Arts Member’s Manual gives basic directions for a mat, but purchased, pre-cut mats are acceptable.
50337 Visual Arts Clay
Any original item made of clay; may be fired or unfired, hand formed or thrown on a wheel. Self-hardening clays are fine. Fire/oven-cured and cornstarch clay could be accepted. Items can include, but are not limited to, clay statues, bowls, jewelry, etc. Pre-formed ceramics are not eligible for State Fair exhibit.
50338 Visual Arts Computer-Generated Art
Any original art created in any software package. Exhibit may not include scanned work, clip art, downloaded images from the internet, any imported image, or photographs. All pixels must be original. Photo mosaics are NOT allowed. Exhibitors in this class (like all other classes in this sub-section) must be enrolled in Visual Arts; Computer project enrollment is not required. NOTE: Wood and metal exhibits created through the use of laser cutting programs/devices should be entered in this class. If the art created is designed to hang, then the entry should have some protective covering, such as a glass frame, and prepared for hanging. If the art is something that has been created with a laser cutting program/device and is NOT designed to hand, it does not require protective covering nor does it need to be prepared to hang.
50339 Visual Arts Fiber
Any original item made of fiber. Examples are quilts, fabric collage, soft sculpture, stitchery, weaving, embroidery, cross-stitch, wearable art, and duct tape artistry. All baskets and decorated textiles (such as painted shirts or stenciled clothing) should be entered in Heritage Arts. Original cross-stitched, knitted, crocheted or quilted items belong in this Fiber class. Non-original cross-stitched, knitted, crocheted or quilted items should be entered in Heritage Arts. Machine knitted items are not appropriate for this class.
50340 Visual Arts Glass/Plastic
Any original item made of glass or plastic. Possible items to exhibit include stained glass, etched glass (original design), mosaics made of glass, glass beading, plastic jewelry (friendly plastic). Interlocking building block creations (i.e. LEGOS) are not suitable for State Fair entry. Stepping stones or wall hangings that include cement decorated with glass or plastic items are not suitable for this class.
50341 Visual Arts Heritage Arts
Exhibit an item of traditional art learned from another person or from a pattern (NO KITS) may be entered in this class. Cross-stitched, knitted and crocheted items by pattern must be entered in this class. (Machine knitted items ARE NOT acceptable for this class.) Other possibilities include: needlepoint, counted cross-stitch, crewel, embroidery, cut work, hardanger (embroidery openwork), macramé, baskets, candles, pysanki (decorated eggs), leather, quilts from a traditional pattern, traditional handmade dolls with handmade costumes, decorative painting on wood, metal, fiber, or candles. ALL baskets should be entered in Heritage Arts.
50342 Visual Arts Metal
Any original item made of metal such as sculpture, tin punch, engraved metal, and jewelry. Items intended for industrial use (as tools and/or shop items) are not considered part of this Visual Arts project and are not eligible for entry. Metal items that have been partially or totally created through the use of laser cutting programs/devices should be entered in Computer-Generated Art.
50343 Visual Arts Nature
Any original item made of natural material such as wreaths, cornhusk dolls, etc. Items should be made of natural materials (which may be purchased) but securing elements such as glue and wire may be used in the inner construction as long as they do not detract from the overall "natural" appearance. Articles such as dried pressed flowers may be displayed under glass since it is necessary for protection/preservation of the natural materials. Candles are not suitable as entries. All baskets should be entered in Heritage Arts.
50344 Visual Arts Paper
Any original item made of paper. Examples could include origami; greeting cards; paper-cut designs, paper mache, hand-made paper, paper collage, paper models of architecture, quilling, etc. Paper twist articles, made from directions in craft books and stores ARE NOT original and are not appropriate for this class. Scrapbooks should be exhibited in Visual Arts Scrapbooking.
50345 Visual Arts Scrapbooking, Beginning
Exhibit one album or notebook, either 8 ½” x 11” or 12”x12”, with a front and back cover. The album/notebook must have a minimum of 4 pages (front and back, 8 sides), exhibited in page protectors. “Embellishments” are defined as the decorations or special details and features that add to a page and make it more visually appealing. Embellishments may include, but are not limited to, ribbon, clips, special lettering, etc. Beginners must use a minimum of four embellishments and tell a story with pictures.
50346 Visual Arts Scrapbooking, Intermediate
Exhibit one album or notebook, either 8 ½” x 11” or 12”x12”, with a front and back cover. The album/notebook must have a minimum of 4 pages (front and back, 8 sides), exhibited in page protectors. “Embellishments” are defined as the decorations or special details and features that add to a page and make it more visually appealing. Embellishments may include, but are not limited to, ribbon, clips, special lettering, etc. Intermediate level exhibitors must use a minimum of eight embellishments and tell a story with pictures and journaling.
50347 Visual Arts Scrapbooking, Advanced
Exhibit one album or notebook, either 8 ½” x 11” or 12”x12”, with a front and back cover. The album/notebook must have a minimum of 4 pages (front and back, 8 sides), exhibited in page protectors. “Embellishments” are defined as the decorations or special details and features that add to a page and make it more visually appealing. Embellishments may include, but are not limited to, ribbon, clips, special lettering, etc. Advance level exhibitors must use a minimum of 12 embellishments and tell a compelling story with pictures, journaling, and other media.
50348 Visual Arts Three-Dimensional Design/Mixed Media
Art pieces in this class must be comprised of at least three different media. No one medium can make up more than 40% of a piece. The piece should be free-standing (not meant to be hung) that is observable on at least three different sides. Originality and design are important concepts. Craft and preformed or assembled projects are not acceptable.
50349 Visual Arts Wood
Any original item made of wood (wood carving, sculpture, collage, wood burning, etc.). Utilitarian wood items made from patterns or kits (e.g. outdoor or indoor furniture, shelves) should be entered in woodworking, not in visual arts. Popsicle stick crafts are not acceptable for State Fair entry. Wood items that have been partially or totally created through the use of laser cutting programs/devices should be entered in Computer-Generated Art.
50350 Visual Arts Clover Challenge
Open to 15- to 18-year-olds enrolled in the Visual Arts Clover Challenge Project who have completed all previous levels of Visual Arts.
Exhibits in this category should go “above and beyond” what the 4-H project books cover and should represent an accumulation of years of project study. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. All exhibits must include something visual, such as a printed copy of a digital presentation, which will remain on display during the exhibition. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. The completed Illinois 4-H Clover Challenge Agreement must be presented with the exhibit.
50351 Visual Arts Ready4Life Challenge
Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Visual Arts project
Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.