2023 Imprint Competition

Imprint, our annual high school student printmaking exhibition, has been a cornerstone program for the Wharton Esherick Museum for a decade. Nearly a century ago, Wharton Esherick found his true calling through printmaking; Imprint encourages young people to explore this art form and make artistic statements through it for generations to come. We currently invite art classes from the Chester, Bucks, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh, and Philadelphia Counties to enter each year. Our aim for this program is to inspire new generations of young artists through Esherick’s prints and legacy.

2023 THEME: Storytelling

Esherick’s printmaking practice is grounded in storytelling, from the block-printed illustrations that helped tell the stories of other writers to prints centering his own life, family, and friends.


The jury will select pieces for an online exhibition at the Wharton Esherick Museum, opening on Saturday, March 18, 2023. We are excited to be joined this year by guest juror Lindsay Sparagana, Artists-in-Schools Program Coordinator at The Print Center in Philadelphia.


The competition is open to high schools in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, Berks, Lehigh, and Philadelphia Counties. Public, private, charter, and home schools may enter. All submissions must be printed or include printed components. They may be woodblock, linoleum, soft or E-Z cut, but don’t have to be! We are eager to see you get creative with your printmaking!


February 13, 2023


The works will be judged, without revealing the artist’s name or school, by a jury composed of museum staff and professional artists and/or art teachers. The jury will select First, Second, and Third Place winners, who will receive a cash prize as will their art departments. A Viewer’s Choice Award will be voted on through our Facebook page. While there is no cash prize for Viewer’s Choice, the print may already be one chosen by the judges or be voted into the show through the public’s participation.

Criteria for selection are creativity and craftsmanship. Prints this year should interpret the theme ‘Storytelling.’

Finalists’ teachers will be notified via email by March 1, 2023 of the jury’s decisions.

A virtual opening reception will be held on Sunday, March 19, 2023 at 2:00 pm.

Cheeter and Jeeter Movement, Angelina Calderone, Abington Senior High School, 1st place winner Imprint 2018

Looking to bring printmaking into your classroom?

Check out our Making an Imprint Unit Plan for high school students.

Take your students through the full five-lesson unit, covering history, criticism, and practice, or simply pick and choose those activities that best suit your needs!

We also created a companion plan, Fellow Citizen: Digital Citizenship and the Printmaker, to help guide students through the ins and outs of copyright law, ethics, and fair use in the digital landscape.


There are four awards given to selected students. They are: First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Viewer’s Choice. The first three awards come with monetary prizes of $200, $150, and $100 which are given to the student as well as the art department of their respective school. The First Place winner will also receive a free field trip to the Wharton Esherick Museum for their art class, once we are once again able to safely welcome large groups to the Museum.

Entry Guidelines

1. All submissions must be printed or include printed components. They may be woodblock, linoleum, soft or E-Z cut, but don’t have to be! We are eager to see you get creative with your printmaking! Don’t forget to tell us what you made under “Medium and Materials” on the entry form.  If you use additional materials or specific types of paper for your print, please note that as well. 

2. All submissions must interpret the central theme, Storytelling.

3. Only one print may be submitted per student. Each school may submit no more than fifteen entries. Each entry must be submitted individually using this form.

4. Photographs should be JPEG or TIFF files, at 300 dpi. Only the work should be visible in each photo.

5. Artwork should have a title – be creative!

6. Deadline for entries is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 13, 2023.

7. All entries should be submitted online, using this entry form. Please be advised that submission of this form constitutes permission given to the Wharton Esherick Museum to exhibit work online and use it in publicity material for the Imprint Competition/Exhibition.

Have questions or need more information? Please email [email protected] or give us a call at 610-644-5822.