What is Progressive Art?

What does it mean to be progressive? For generations, progressive was an indifferent word that simply meant, "moving forward or onward: advancing." At some point in the word’s evolution, it became associated with innovation and the making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, and opportunities.  In the early 20th century it began to have political connotations. It was a period that saw significant social and political change. Today, all these definitions still remain true. Simply put, to progress is to set out to better one’s self or others.  To move forward mentally, physically and politically without implying an end. PYAA believes that everyone gets a fair shot at fulfilling a secure life. As progressives, we believe that people should do their equal share through hard work and an active participation in public life. Whether through personal progression, gender issues, LGBTQ, equal rights, or political, we all should do our part to move forward.



PYAA is all about expressing and celebrating progressive values. There are many avenues to explore but PYAA focuses on the following:
Gender Rights: we are looking for work that highlights or gives insight to gender inequality. Inequalities can be expressed along economic, political, cultural and personal dynamics.
LGBTQ: there is nothing more fundamental to preserving freedom and equality than protecting individuals' identities. At PYAA, we believe this identity includes one's sexual identity.
Equal Rights: we believe the way forward is to build a society where one's family background or racial/ethnic identity is not a hindrance to participation in society. PYAA looks for work that celebrates our differences as well as work that explores the problems of racism and discrimination.
Sustainability: protecting the environment is but a step towards our ultimate goal of creating a happy and healthy society and world. PYAA is looking for work that highlights problems and solutions to building a sustainable world.
Personal Progression: it all starts with getting comfortable with the uncomfortable. We believe art is the greatest tool for helping us get to this place. Breaking out of our comfort zone is something we all need and we celebrate individuals who can help us become our better selves.


Category Description: Art that is made on a two-dimensional surface.

Examples (including but not limited to): Pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, crayon, scratchboard, marker, etc.

Special Instructions: Drawing made from published photographs are not accepted.

Submissions: You can upload one image for each Drawing.


Examples (including but not limited to) : Oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache, tempera, ink, encaustic, fresco, spray paint, etc. applied on canvas, canvas board, paper or any flat surface.

Special Instructions: Drawing made from published photographs are not accepted.

Submissions: You can upload one image for each Painting submission.

Mixed Media

Category Description: Art made using more than one medium.

Examples (including but not limited to): Collage, assemblage, cut paper, fabric, fiber-based art, etc.

Special Instructions: Mixed media of just painting and drawing should be submitted to the painting or drawing category. Mixed media work meant to be viewed from multiple angles should be submitted to the Sculpture category.

Submissions: You can upload four images for each Mixed Media submission.


Category Description: Images captured by any type of camera.

Special Instructions: Submitting multiple similar images conveying the same theme is not recommended. The best photograph from a series should be selected for submission.

Submissions: Students may enter up to 10 individual photo submissions.


Example (including but not limited to): clay, metal, wood, found material etc.

Special Instructions: For sculptural pieces, multiple photos from different angles may be submitted.