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Don't mess with Texas

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2017 Art Contest

Entries Accepted January 11 through April 7, 2017


Texas students enrolled in kindergarten through 12th grade are invited to participate in the Don't mess with Texas® K-12 Art Contest, presented by the Texas Department of Transportation and Keep Texas Beautiful, to create artwork for the 2018 Don't mess with Texas Calendar.

Entries should promote the Don't mess with Texas and/or Keep Texas Beautiful litter prevention messages in order to encourage the protection of our Texas roadways and environment. The purpose of the contest is to inspire our future leaders to refrain from littering, advocate for litter prevention, and take action to keep Texas beautiful.

Artwork will be judged based on creativity and uniqueness, inclusion of a litter prevention message, and interpretation of the Don't mess with Texas/Keep Texas Beautiful mission, and/or overall visual appeal, and composition. Winners will be announced online in May 2017.

Front view of a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0

Students who create the top 13 winning designs will have their artwork assigned to a month or placed on the cover of the 2018 Don't mess with Texas Calendar. Each will also win a Samsung Galaxy Tab A 7.0 tablet donated by H-E-B and Central Market. All student winners and runners-up may be showcased on the Don't mess with Texas and Keep Texas Beautiful websites and social media sites, at the 2017 Keep Texas Beautiful annual conference, in media announcements, and through other channels.

Teachers representing students who produce the top 13 designs will win a $100 H-E-B/Central Market gift card. See Official Official Contest Rules (PDF, 653kb) for details.


The contest begins January 11, 2017. All entries must be submitted or postmarked by April 7, 2017. Winners will be announced in early May 2017.


Teachers across Texas are encouraged to set aside class time for their students to create artwork for the 2018 Don't mess with Texas Calendar. This project can be completed in one day or over several days to give students enough time to finish their design. After the students' entries are submitted, artwork will be judged by Keep Texas Beautiful and graphic design professionals.

Download the full Official Official Contest Rules (PDF, 653kb) and Contest Entry Form and Agreement (PDF, 329kb) for students and parents/guardians, and display a flyer (PDF, 361kb) in your classroom or school hallway to create buzz!


Did you know that Texans ages 16 to 34 are the most likely to litter? We need to do all we can to motivate young Texans to keep our environment free of trash. This contest is a great way to share the Don't mess with Texas and Keep Texas Beautiful messages with your students so that they learn good habits from an early age.

The purpose of the contest is to encourage our future leaders to prevent littering, protect our roadways, and keep Texas beautiful. Download a Litter Fact Sheet (PDF, 667kb) to use during class discussion.

Last year we received more than 6,460 student entries! Below are the 2016 winners. Congratulations to all!



Call Keep Texas Beautiful at 1 (800) CLEAN-TX or email

Visit the Keep Texas Beautiful website.

2016 Art Contest Winners

A Texas-sized “thank you!” goes to the elementary school students and teachers that participated in the Don’t mess with Texas Art Contest. We received more than 6,460 entries and 154 communities from students who illustrated their passion for protecting the environment. Congratulations to our 2016 winners!

Mihika Gupta, Kindergartener (cover image)
McCoy Elementary in Carrollton

Sofia Haynes, Kindergartener
Eleanor Kolitz Hebrew Language Academy in San Antonio

Avery Nisbet, First Grader
Windsor Park Elementary in Corpus Christi

Jacob Esquilin, First Grader
Windsor Park Elementary in Corpus Christi

Eric Zhang, Second Grader
Roosevelt Alexander Elementary in Katy

Syrus Gupta, Second Grader
Greenhill School in Addison

Jaycee Esters, Third Grader
North Zulch Elementary/Secondary in North Zulch

Sophia Young, Third Grader
Armstrong Elementary in Dallas

Adam Roth, Fourth Grader
White Rock Montessori in Dallas

Brandy Quiroga, Fourth Grader
PFC Mario Ybarra Elementary in Weslaco

Kristin Madison, Fourth Grader
Hillcrest Elementary in Nederland

Fernanda Nuñez-Flores, Fifth Grader
Pattison Elementary in Katy

Hannah Choi, Fifth Grader
Dallas Arts Studio in Dallas