Words on Canvas, 2021–2022 Writing Competition


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. 


How to Participate 

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




  • 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. 

  • You can write in any language but must provide an accompanying English language translation. 

Do not forget to revise your work before submitting.

Important Dates:

Friday, March 11, 2022 – All works must be submitted by 11:59 pm

Friday, April 1, 2022 – Winning submissions will be announced by email

Thursday, April 14, 2022 – Awards showcase will be held during Museum Nights 

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 then post your submission here!


Indian Artist, Elephant on wheels, 20th Century


Ogoni Artist, Antelope Mask (karikpo), Mid 20th Century


Bamileke Artist, Buffalo Mask, Mid 20th Century


Elie Nadelman, Classical Female Head, c. 1910


Gaston Lachaise, Woman on a Couch, 1928 (cast 1999)

Yvonne Jacquette, Chelsea Composite II, 1995




Yasuko Sakurai, Croissant, 2006

Shen Wei, James, 2007 (from the Almost Naked Portfolio), 2009



Ellis Wilson, Pulling Turpentine, c. 1944



Ekpeye Artist, Water Spirit Mask, c. 1970

Jeremiah Quarshie, Obiribea, 2016



Satoru Hoshino, Frozen Cloud II-7, 2004



Gosette Lubondo, Ballon d’or, 2017


Franz Josef Bolinger, Hurricane in Miami, 1927



Louis Comfort Tiffany, Castillo de San Marcos, 1885




William Morris Hunt, View of the St. Johns River, 1874

George Inness Jr., Golden Sunset, c.1883–1886




Ralston Crawford, Overseas Highway #2, 1941


Anthony Thieme, Circus at Night, undated


William McCloskey, Florida Lemons, 1889


Chinese Artist, Ritual Disc (Bi), 2009


Kehinde Wiley, Margaret, Countess of Blessington, 2018

Myrna Báez, Visión, 1988



Roberto "Yiyo" Tirado, Untitled, n.d.


Raymond Jonson, Transparencies with Blue Movement, 1937

Ernest Lawson, Florida River Scene with Seminoles, 1920