Words on Canvas

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. Prizes will be awarded for winning submissions.

This year, Words on Canvas is partnering with the School of Architecture for a special thematic competition we call Walks on Canvas. The Walking Station is a creative research project led by Assistant Professor Sarah Gamble that dispenses walking prompts and short literature about walking from a physical kiosk on demand. Winning writing competition entries in Walks on Canvas will be dispensed by the Walking Station while it is installed at the Harn in Spring 2024. Visitors can print, and then be guided and/or inspired to explore the museum and its collection. The Walking Station offers accessible experiences, with ‘walking’ used as an inclusive term for human-powered travel at slow speeds, such as rolling via wheelchair or stroller.

How to Participate

Choose your Words Walks on Canvas subject from the selection of works that will be on view at the Harn Museum throughout the competition. All eligible works are reproduced below.

Important Dates:

  • Sunday, February 25, 2024 – All works must be submitted by 11:59 pm
  • Monday, April 1, 2024 – Winning submissions will be announced by email
  • Thursday, April 11, 2024 – Awards showcase will be held during Museum Nights

Select ONE work of art below that your submission is based on then post your submission!


  • Competition Rules

    • Engage the theme! The Walks on Canvas theme invites you to imagine walking in or with an artwork or to connect your chosen artwork with walking in some significant way. Walking may be on foot, with a wheelchair or by another means.
    • Prose submissions should be no longer than 1,000 words and may be fiction or non-fiction.
    • Poetry submissions need not be rhymed or metered.
    • Each submission should relate to the art that inspired it and should be appropriate for a broad museum-going audience.
    • You can write in any language but must provide an accompanying English language translation.
    • Do not forget to revise your work before submitting.
  • 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 of the works of art below to inspire your words.

Have Questions?

For more information, contact wordsoncanvas@harn.ufl.edu.