Third Annual Trail Mail Art Contest Open

Attention 5th – 12th Grade Artists,  Teachers, & Parents

We have a special art contest just for you & your students!

We are thrilled to announce a student art contest to create the 2023 Iditarod Trail Mail envelope design judged by official Iditarod artist Jon Van Zyle and artist Jona Van Zyle.

What is Trail Mail?

To honor the Historic Iditarod Trail’s use as a mail trail, each musher will carry a cachet of mail down the trail as a part of our Educational Trail Mail project. 

What is the Educational Trail Mail Project?

The Educational Trail Mail project will give classrooms the chance to send a piece of mail in a musher’s sled during this year’s race. Details on how to get your class involved in sending mail on a sled will be announced in early November…. stay tuned!

What are the Trail Mail Art Contest details?

  1. We are looking for student artwork to print on the envelopes that will carry the Educational Trail Mail down the trail. The theme for the artwork this year is “Return to the Southern Route.”  The race hasn’t run the Southern Route since 2019 and we are excited to include the southern route checkpoints, especially the villages we have missed.
  2. Any visual medium is acceptable. A clear, high res scan or photo of the artwork will need to be submitted along with the student’s name and age and the teacher or parent contact information. 
  3. Artwork will be printed on the left side of each envelope. The total printable space for the artwork is approximately 5”x4”. Please take into consideration that the artwork will need to be scaled down to fit this space.
  4. Entries will be narrowed down to several finalists by Iditarod EDU staff. The winning piece of art and two runner ups will be chosen by Jon and Jona Van Zyle. 
  5. The winner will receive a prize package featuring a copy of the official Trail Mail that has traveled down the trail, a 2023 Iditarod T-shirt, a race guide, and other treats.
  6. The top three finalists will have their designs published in the 2023 race guide. Finalists may also be requested to send the originals of their work to Alaska to be displayed at Iditarod events.

A Note About Copyright:

While it is certainly acceptable to be inspired by a piece of artwork or photograph you have seen, it is not appropriate to sketch directly from another source. Many artists, when they are learning, trace images or copy famous works of art. Many times, students go to museums and sketch in art galleries. However, in a situation like this contest, it is not appropriate to submit copied artwork as your own. Even if the student hand draws it, but it is directly copied from another source, copyright concerns would not allow us to choose the design for the Trail Mail. Instead, let your imagination be the inspiration for your work!

Deadline for Submissions: November 1, 2022

Trail Mail Sales will start November 3, 2022

Email submissions or questions to: trailmail@iditarod.com