Student artwork, girl with blue hair and morphed face

Student Surrealist Art Exhibit

The Dalí Museum’s Student Surrealist Art Exhibit: “Fears and Fascinations of the Fantastic”

Initiated in 1985, this annual juried art exhibition presents work by Pinellas middle and high school students that explores ideas and visions similar to those of Salvador Dalí and the surrealists. This year’s theme, “Fears and Fascinations of the Fantastic,” encourages students to explore the irrational, the spontaneous, the marvelous, the enigmatic and the dreamlike.

The Fantastic is not a style but a genre that is characterized as unusual, surprising and disorienting; it challenges the rational and traditional. Artists associated with the Fantastic stretch back to the 1500s and include such diverse figures as Hieronymus Bosch, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Francisco Goya, Paul Klee and Salvador Dalí.

Several key themes of the Fantastic are monsters and demons, dreams and temptations, the fragmented body, the supernatural and the sense of place. The Fantastic creates a moment of doubt or confusion for the viewer, making one unsure about what is being seen; it is the familiar made strange.

Dalí once said, “…I try to create fantastical things, magical things, things like in a dream. The world needs more fantasy. Our civilization is too mechanical. We can make the fantastic real, and then it is more real than that which actually exists.”

“Fears and Fascinations of the Fantastic” invites students to reflect on their own Fantastic ideas, creating images that surprise, shock and delight. The work size is strictly limited to 8×10 because of the frame size, but all 2D media types are welcomed and encouraged as submissions. We look forward to seeing your students’ work in 2024!

Check out The Dalí’s video resources for the Student Surrealist Art Exhibit:

“Surrealism: The Big Ideas”
View closed caption version
“How to Make Surrealist Art”
View closed caption version
“Why Teach Surrealist Art”

Please read the guidelines carefully; some information has changed.

2024 Pinellas Guidelines
Digital submissions due to Pinellas Art Office: November 10, 2023

2024 Hillsborough Guidelines
Digital submissions due to Hillsborough Art Office: February 9, 2024

2024 Statewide Guidelines 
Digital submissions due to EntryThingy: March 29, 2024

Note: Students may not submit their own artwork. Art teachers should submit artwork on their students’ behalf. If a student is not enrolled in an art class during the current semester, any art teacher at the same school may submit on the student’s behalf.

view past student surrealist art exhibits online:


2023 Statewide Exhibition Online
2023 Pinellas County Exhibition Online
2023 Hillsborough County Exhibition Online


2022 Statewide Exhibition Online
2022 Pinellas County Exhibition Online
2022 Hillsborough County Exhibition Online


2021 Statewide Exhibition Online
2021 Pinellas County Exhibition Online
2021 Hillsborough County Exhibition Online


2020 Statewide Exhibition Online
2020 Hillsborough County Exhibition Online

view photos of past student surrealist art exhibits:

2019 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2018 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2017 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2016 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2015 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2014 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2013 Statewide Exhibition Photos
2012 Statewide Exhibition Photos

Thank you to our sponsor:

The Student Surrealist Art Exhibitions, Competition and Receptions are funded by a generous gift from an anonymous donor and in part from a program endowment fund established by the Craig and Jan Sher Philanthropic Fund. Additional support for this educational program comes from our Museum corporate partner, Bloomin’ Brands.

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