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N.C. Museum of Art Teen Fabric Contest

Frank Philip Stella, Raqqa II

Frank Philip Stella, Raqqa II, American, 1970, synthetic polymer and graphite on canvas, 120 x 300 in., Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hanes, © 2009 Frank Stella/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

N.C. Museum of Art Partners with Spoonflower for First-Ever Teen Fabric Contest

Contest designs are inspired by artist Frank Stella’s Protractor Series

Raleigh, N.C.—The North Carolina Museum of Art (NCMA) announces a partnership with Durham-based textile and design company Spoonflower to offer the first-ever teen fabric design contest. The Teens Inspired by Stella Fabric Design Contest was created to celebrate the Museum’s fall Art of Fashion online high school course. The contest invites teens ages 13–19 to submit designs inspired by Frank Stella’s Protractor series, which includes the Museum’s Raqqa II (pictured below). The top 10 designs will be printed on linen cotton canvas and featured in a spring teen exhibition and a spring teen event at the NCMA. The deadline for entries is October 1, 2013.

“The geometric shapes and bold colors in Stella’s Protractor series are ideal for inspiring a fabric design,” says Michelle Harrell, coordinator of teen and college programs at the NCMA. “Stella’s geometric paintings have influenced both artists and designers for decades, and this was a perfect opportunity to both showcase our Art of Fashion online course and allow teens around the globe to learn about art and experiment with creativity.”

Allie Tate, marketing specialist at Spoonflower, agrees. “In the NCMA’s Art of Fashion high school online course, students learn how the elements of art, such as line, shape, value, color, space, and texture, are like words that an artist or designer can use to ‘speak’ to the viewer. If you look at what’s popular in fashion magazines, you’ll see that fashion designers are ‘speaking’ through bold, saturated colors and geometric cuts and prints—much like the work of American artist Frank Stella.”

Contest guidelines. Teens Inspired by Stella is a color-limited contest based on the shapes and colors of Stella’s Protractor series of paintings, which uses bright colors and interlocking circles. Designs entered into this contest can use no more than three colors (with black, white, or gray as additional colors). High school students can scan hand-painted designs or work in photo-editing programs, such as PhotoShop or GIMP. To enter the contest, participants should visit

Contest tips and suggestions. To help contest participants with technical issues, design theory, and submission inspiration, the Teen Arts Council’s Teens, Inspired blog features a series of blog posts on Stella and the contest. One post suggests that participants experiment with a protractor to make concentric circles or make geometric shapes through a computer graphics program, while other posts delve into the history of the Protractor series, Raqqa II, and Stella’s life as an artist. Blog posts and background information are available at

Spoonflower and Art of Fashion. To further demonstrate how Spoonflower and the NCMA’s Art of Fashion online high school course are connected, the NCMA interviewed Marissa Hyel, who founded Symbology Clothing to fuse the latest fashions with an ethical approach to fair trade that supports traditional artisans across the world. Hyel, one of three local fashion designers interviewed for the online Art of Fashion course, uses Spoonflower to create prototypes of patterns to send to her artisans in India. “I have a lot of flexibility in easily creating different swatches or images with Spoonflower. It’s been a very integral part of my design process—and it’s great that they’re local, too,” she says. To view the interview about her design process and use of Spoonflower, visit

For more information about the Art of Fashion and other online courses, visit

Timeline of contest and exhibition

  • October 1, 2013: Deadline for entries
  • October 3, 2013: Voting opens on Spoonflower’s Web site
  • October 9, 2013: Voting ends
  • October 10, 2013: Announce top 10 and winner
  • January 11, 2014: Installation of top 10 designs opens at the NCMA
  • April 26, 2014: Winner recognized at ArtScene Teen Event
  • April 28, 2014: Exhibition closes

Related events

Teen Spoonflower Help Session
Tuesday, September 17, 3 pm
East Building, Studio 1

Artists and educators will be on hand to give participants in the Spoonflower Teens Inspired by Stella Fabric Design Contest both creative and technical assistance. Teens can also view Stella’s Raqqa II in the NCMA galleries for inspiration.

ArtScene 2014 Spring Teen Event
Saturday, April 26, Noon

Join teens from across the state at the NCMA’s annual spring teen event. ArtScene features Enloe High School’s dance ensemble, teen musicians, teen-produced films, image slams, and art activities. ArtScene also celebrates winners of this year’s Teens, Inspired art competition and students in our online high school courses. ArtScene is planned by the NCMA’s Teen Arts Council.

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