Courtroom Artist Contest
Sarah Almeda, Bergen Catholic High School, New Jersey
2016 Courtroom Artist Contest National Champion
The Courtroom Artist Contest is a competition that allows artistically talented students the opportunity to participate in the Mock Trial Program. Contestants will attend NHSMTC with their state team and create a drawing of the courtroom scene during their team's Round 3 trial. Each state with a Courtroom Artist Contest is eligible to send their state champion courtroom artist to compete at the NHSMTC Courtroom Artist Contest. The top three entries will be acknowledged at the NHSMTC Awards Ceremony.
COURTROOM ARTIST CONTEST RULES
- All contestants must have participated in a Courtroom Artist Competition in their state (at any level).
- All participants must pay a $75.00 registration fee and register as a member of your state’s team and as your state’s official courtroom artist.
- All participants agree to the publication or reprinting of their artwork for educational purposes. No financial compensation will be awarded.
- All contestants must watch the courtroom artist video (a link to the webcast will be emailed to all registered participants prior to the competition).
- The official courtroom artist contest drawings will be produced in Round 3. Contestants may practice drawing in Rounds 1 and 2, in the courtroom where their team is competing.
- The sketch must depict an actual courtroom scene that you observe during your state’s Round 3 trial.
- During the trial, introduce yourself to the scorers, say your name and identify yourself as the courtroom artist. Do not say what state or school you are from.
- You may sit in the jury box away from scorers if available. You must wear your nametag.
- At the end of Round 3, give your drawing to the Presiding Judge or the Courtroom Liaison. Only drawings submitted to the Presiding Judge or the Courtroom Liaison will be entered in the contest.
- The art submission must be done in color.
- The drawing must be on paper of the dimensions 11” X 14”, in a horizontal format.
- The drawing may be done in any of the following mediums: Color pencil, pen and ink, pastel, marker. No watercolors or paint are allowed.
- The art submission must have the artist’s name and team code placed on the back of the sketch.
Tips & Ideas
- Find the most newsworthy action that occurred in the courtroom. Perhaps there is an “ah-ha” moment, an intriguing witness, a shocking development with which to capture the emotion of the trial. The artist must remember that this is true reporting, and must be the “eyes of the court”.
- Strive for accuracy in depicting the courtroom setting, but don’t focus on sketching a microphone instead of the witness on the stand.
- Let the viewer know right away that this is a courtroom. Include items that convey that setting, but remember to tell as full a story as possible, instead of focusing on minute details.