Words on Canvas is a writing competition at the Harn Museum of Art for college students interested in engaging museumgoers by writing poetry or prose inspired by works of art. All currently enrolled students from the University of Florida or Santa Fe College are eligible to submit.


How to Participate 

Choose your Words on Canvas subject from this selection of works that will be on view throughout the competition. 


Featured Art Works 

Come see the 29 featured works below on your next visit to the Harn to gain an edge on the competition. 

Justine Kurland, "Sheep Wranglers" (2002.21)

"Garuda" (1990.8.6)

George Grosz, "Manhattan"


  • Prose submissions should be no longer than 1,000 words and may be fiction or non-fiction.
  • Poetry submissions may be up to 30 lines long and need not be rhyming or metered.
  • Each submission should relate to the art that inspired it and should be appropriate for a broad museum-going audience.

Do not forget to revise your work before submitting.


Important Dates:

March 17, 2017 – All works must be submitted by 11:59 PM
April 7, 2017 – Winning submissions will be announced by email
April 13, 2017 – Awards showcase will be held at the museum 


Writing Tips:  

Give your chosen work a close look: What story lies behind the image? What feelings does the piece awaken in you? What do you see that no one may have seen before? Let the art speak to you, and then let your ideas flow onto the page! Please remember to revise before submitting so that your writing shines. 

Through your writing, Words on Canvas will offer new ways of seeing and reading the Harn’s collections. We’re looking forward to your art-inspired words! For more information, contact wordsoncanvas@harn.ufl.edu.



Select ONE work of art below that your submission is based on.

Contemporary + Photography 



Latin American 



Place your writing submission below. It is a plain text form.

Returns will be captured and lines may be indented using spaces. Tabs will not work. Please add any formatting instructions using pointed brackets. For instance, you might wish to <start italics>italicize<stop> or <start bold>bold<stop> a word.