First Art

Just as First Music commissions the nation’s best young composing talent, First Art seeks to reward emerging artists and illustrators. Each season, a young American artist receives a juried prize of $1,000 for a new visual illustration celebrating the spirit of music as exemplified by the New York Youth Symphony.

The applicant must be a US citizen (or non-citizen lawfully and permanently residing in the United States) who is between the ages of 12 and 25 on the application deadline date.


The following styles will be considered:

  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Graphic art
  • Photography


To apply for the 2015/16 season, applicants must be able to provide two original samples of their work.  These works may have been publicy viewed or published.  The selected winner will create an original piece of art for the New York Youth Symphony.

The winning piece will become the property of the New York Youth Symphony. The size, nature and frequency with which the winning artwork is used, including the use of details from the work, will be determined by the Symphony. Acknowledgment of the artist will be made whenever the artwork is used and the artist will be given copies of each production in which it is used.

This season's winner is Miso Kim, a senior at Montgomery Academy in Montgomery, Alabama. Her work is above.

Applications for the 2015/16 season are now closed.  Please stay tuned for announcements about our 2016/17 season.

First Art is graciously underwritten by the Milton and Sally Avery Arts Foundation.