Jointly organised by the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) and the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR), this competition encourages children to have a closer look at their local river, to reflect on what the environment means to them, and to create original artworks to celebrate the region.
Children from all schools, NGOs, clubs, day care centres or associations for children in the Danube Basin are invited to create a piece of art and take part in the Danube Art Master competition, which has been uniting thousands of children throughout the Danube River Basin since 2004. The competition doesn’t only bring children of the Danube region together, but also educates them about the river’s intrinsic value and importance, and gives them a voice to comment on the future of their environment.
Participants must be from a country in the Danube Basin (Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine).
Participants are divided based on their age at the time of submitting the entries:
- Juniors: Age 6-11
- Teens: Age 12-18
Participants can join as individuals, as a class, or as a group of max. 4 people.
The competition will run at two levels: national and international. Once selected at the national level, national winners will then compete at the international level. The competition will take place between 1 September - 30 October. The participants are encouraged to check the submission deadline with their national organizer.
Children should go to a riverbank (ideally Danube river or a Danube tributary) and create their environmental art.
As this year the motto is “Discover Danube”, we introduce a new category – Map. Participants can explore the riverbank and create a map that can mark various points of interest (e.g. castle), significant places highlighting biodiversity, places for recreation (beaches, parks, bike lanes, etc.), and also places that might need more attention (e.g., places in a bad condition, places that require a clean-up, flooded zones, etc.). The map can also reveal some curious or less known facts about the river.
After creating their artwork, children or teachers should take a color photo or video of the artwork and send it to the national organizer. It is necessary to be sure that files are in high resolution, not crooked, ready for printing, and can be easily viewed.
- Artworks - should be created with natural materials found by the river. E.g. sculpture, collage, fashion & jewelry, etc. Drawings and paintings are NOT accepted. The minimum size of digital photos is 150 DPI and 3 megabytes.
- Videos - should not be longer than 1 minute. They can be recorded by camera or phone. Animations will not be accepted. Students could make a film, play a song or perform.
- Maps - should be created on an A3 format page. The map should include compass directions, distance or scale, a legend, symbols to represent different objects. Students are encouraged to unleash their creativity and present any interesting facts and spots on the map. High-resolution photos or scans of the map should be sent to the national organizers. The minimum size of the files is 150 DPI and 3 megabytes
At the national level, the national organizers will judge different forms of art. National prizes vary from country to country, and participants are encouraged to contact their country’s organizer for details. The top 10 national artworks will be posted on the official DAM Instagram account.
At the international level, one national winner in Juniors and one in Teens, in all three categories, will be judged by an international jury, comprising of the national representatives of all ICPDR countries. For the judging, text or other hints of the national artwork’s nation of origin will be redacted to facilitate neutral assessment. The judges’ decision is final, and the creator(s) of the chosen artwork will be crowned ‘Danube Art Master’.
After the competition, an exhibition will be organized with the photos of the best artworks from each country connected with an international event organized by the ICPDR.
Employees and officers of GWP CEE and ICPDR, as well as the immediate family (defined as parents, spouses, children, siblings and grandparents) are not eligible to take part in the competition.
The story behind the artwork (required only at international level):
All submissions on international level must include a written story in English (artist’s statement) of up to 250 words. The story can describe: 1) the creative process and 2) what the participant has learned through the river-basin exploration.
Here are some guiding questions for the reflection:
- What is your message to the audience?
- What inspired your work?
- While creating your artwork, what have you learned?
Participation in the competition constitutes the winner’s consent for their name and contribution picture to be made public in publications of GWP CEE and the ICPDR. GWP CEE and ICPDR reserves the right to use the photographs/videos taken without the expressed written permission of those included within the photographs/videos.
Apart from the main competition, the Top 10 works from all countries will participate in an online competition. There will be a special prize for the Most Liked Art on Danube Art Master’s Facebook page. Only the artworks submitted officially by the national organizers can compete for the most liked prize.
16 Years of Danube Art Master in 14 countries
Each year, the Danube Art Master contest challenges children living in the Danube Basin to create sustainable works of art dedicated to their rivers. New in 2017 was a special category for young film-makers: create a 1 minute video capturing your hopes and dreams for your river. National Art Masters were selected in each country, and then went through to the international round of the competition in Vienna.
Video showcasing the Danube Art Master at the 2016 ICPDR Ministerial Meeting.
Jointly overseen by the Global Water Partnership Central and Eastern Europe (GWP CEE) and the ICPDR, this ambitious contest encourages children to visit their local rivers and create art reflecting what the Danube means to them. By entering the competition, they not only have a great time making their creations but are motivated to consider the future of the rivers and the people and wildlife that rely on them. The result is a visual representation of young people's vision for the Danube Basin.
Running since 2004, the competition has resulted in tens of thousands of artworks lining rivers across all 14 countries. Each creation is an expression of children's passion for their local river: whether demonstrating their Danube solidarity, environmental concern, hopes for the future, or the simple pleasures to be had from spending time near rivers.
Organisers of the international competition took a break in 2016 to focus efforts on relaunching the contest in 2017. Nonetheless, Slovenia, Serbia and Moldova ran national rounds: see Review 2016.
2015 saw Iman Maljić from Bosnia-Herzegovina scoop the International Danube Art Master crown. Over 1300 children from 11 countries rose to the 2015 challenge to design gowns fit for a Grand Danube Masquerade, made only from materials found by their rivers. To browse more of the 600 marvellous creations, see Flickr and Facebook.
Browse the gallery below to get a taste of how the Danube rivers have inspired the region's children. For further information on the competition see Facebook and view previous years' entries on Flickr 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.