Fifth annual art contest and exhibition to showcase West Virginia artists with disabilities

Charleston, W.Va. (May 21, 2018) – The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) invites West Virginia artists with disabilities to enter the 2018 West Virginia Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition. This fifth annual event will feature original artwork created by people with disabilities.

To enter, you must be at least 18 years old, be a West Virginia resident and have a disability. There is no entry fee.

"This annual event has been a huge success," said DRS Director Marijane K. Waldron. "This event serves as an important tool to promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month to West Virginia businesses during the month of October. We are proud to have the opportunity to showcase the creative and diverse abilities and contributions of people with disabilities."

All entry materials and artwork may be submitted starting June 1 and must be received no later than June 29, 2018. Complete submission guidelines and an entry form are available here.

A juried artist will select the winning entries based on criteria including originality, imagination, visual interest, presentation and skillful use of materials.

The awards include:
Grand Exhibitor – The winning artwork selected as the Grand Exhibitor will be incorporated into and prominently featured in a poster promoting National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is celebrated annually in October. The poster will be distributed to businesses throughout West Virginia and will include an image of the winning artwork, a biographical statement about the artist and his or her disability, a photograph of the artist and the annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme established by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

The artwork selected as the Grand Exhibitor will be purchased (at a maximum cost of no more than $1,000).

Awards of Excellence – Up to three $100 awards. These are not purchase awards.

The 2018 exhibition will open Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Culture Center in Charleston and will remain on display through Nov. 2, 2018.

DRS proudly presents this contest and exhibition in partnership with the West Virginia Division of Culture and History.

DRS is the state agency responsible for the federal vocational rehabilitation program in West Virginia. Each year, DRS helps thousands of West Virginia residents with disabilities meet their employment goals by providing individualized work-related counseling, training, job placement and other vocational rehabilitation services through its 30 field offices across the state.

The Division of Culture and History brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

For more information on the Diversifying Perspectives Art Contest and Exhibition, including rules and entry guidelines, visit or call 1-800-642-8207.