Illinois Department of Natural Resources seeking entries for cicada-themed art show

Cicada singing on a plant.

SPRINGFIELD Ill. — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) will host a cicada-themed art show during the Illinois State Fair from Aug. 8-18.

Illinois is the epicenter of a rare double cicada brood emergence this summer, and IDNR wants to commemorate the occasion with a public art show in Conservation World.

Anyone can participate in either a junior exhibit for youths 17 and younger or an adult show for everyone 18 and older. The deadline to enter is Sunday, June 16.

“There’s a tremendous amount of interest in cicadas this year in Illinois. They’re fascinating insects, and I’m excited to see what artists from all over Illinois come up with,” IDNR director Natalie Phelps Finnie said in a press release. “Artists can be as serious or as silly as they want with this challenge. Realistic, creative, wacky, whimsical or kitsch — we’re here for it all. We think the cicadas would want it that way.”

Original artwork should depict the artist’s best interpretation of a cicada or a cicada brood. No AI-generated artwork will be accepted. Acceptable materials and mediums include paper, canvas, charcoal, pencil, colored pencil, markers, alcohol markers, ink, acrylic paint, oil paint, oil pastels or watercolor paint. Photography also is accepted.

Artwork should be no larger than 18 by 24 inches. Entries will be accepted digitally at first. Complete the entry form online and upload a clear, well-lit digital photo of the artwork. The artist’s name should be included in the file name of the photo.

Entries will be reviewed by panelists from IDNR and the Illinois State Museum. Finalists will be selected to have their work displayed during the fair. Finalists will be contacted and asked to submit their original artwork by mailing it to IDNR headquarters in Springfield. Entrants are responsible for the cost of postage. Artwork also can be dropped off at IDNR headquarters or at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

Fairgoers will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite cicada artwork from their phones during the fair. The winning People’s Choice entry will win a prize from IDNR.

Go online to IDNR’s Division of Education to learn more about the 13- and 17-year cicada broods emerging this year in Illinois.

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