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To Be Honest is a program of Momentum for Health.


  • The contest is open to all young adults aged 14 to 25 who currently live in Santa Clara County.

  • All art submitted to the contest must be original and created with the sole intent to submit to this contest.

  • Only one piece of artwork per artist will be accepted.

  • Art will be separated into four categories: 2D, 3D, 4D art and Short films. All art forms are accepted.

  • Each category will have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner. Winners will receive a $300, $200 or $100 art supply or new media (photo/video/digital art) gift card.

  • Pieces are judged by a panel of 8 passionate community members on originality (8 points), creativity (12 points) and how the piece was inspired by the theme (20 points).

  • The theme, "Where I draw my strength from" should be the inspiration for each piece. Reflect on your mental and emotional strength/resilience over the years and share how you get through your hardest moments.


We asked each member of our judges panel to tell us how art and mental health are connected!

  • Yilan Liu (she/her) - I am a school teacher. I love drawing, painting, designing, and traveling in my spare time. Reading and watching movies provide a lot of inspiration for my art-making.

    • Where do you draw your strength from?  When I feel weak, I would like to express my feelings in art because art can help me explore my innermost self better than words. I gain an abundance of strength through art creation.

  • Yesenia Macias Diaz (she/her) - Passion: interior design

    • Where do you draw your strength from?  My nephews and my goals that I hope to achieve.

  • Marika Heinrichs (they/she) - Occupation: Non-profit wizard. Passion: healing together

    • Where do you draw your strength from?  I draw my strength from the idea of a better future, as well as any interaction I have with a non-human (pets, bugs, plants, fish, anything not human)

  • Jennifer Lee - Thuresson (she/her) - Board member at Project Safety Net, passionate about advocacy.

    • Where do you draw your strength from? I draw my strength from my relationships and from being alone in nature.

  • Dominique Nelson (she/her) - Freelance painter

    • Where do you draw your strength from? I draw my strength from my cat and close friendships. ​

  • Erin Fitzgerald (she/they) - Associate Communications Officer at the County of Santa Clara Division of Equity and Social Justice

    • Where do you draw your strength from? I draw strength from creative expression, nature, humor, and remembering how resilient we can be.​

  • Carol Toppel - Volunteer a a Docent at the Cantor Arts Center & with NAMI fundraising walks

    • Where do you draw your strength from? I draw strength from my faith and my wonderful, supportive family and friends.

  • Elise B. (she/they) - Youth Services Librarian (City of Palo Alto) and Artist

    • Where do you draw your strength from? I draw strength from my mama, she died about 5 years ago, and her persistence throughout her battle with cancer continues to motivate me to stay strong and resilient, and has helped me to grow and learn from loss. I also draw strength from listening to the stories of others (which is one reason why I love zines) - learning about what people face and what they overcome helps me recognize I am not alone and that we are all facing something in life.  ​


The To Be Honest Art Contest accepts ALL forms of art. Here are a few examples of the types of art you can create by category:

  • 2D Art: drawings, paintings, watercolor, mixed media, and poetry

  • 3D Art: ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, woodcarving, and papier-mâché 

  • 4D Art: graphic design, photography, music, and animation

  • Short Films: any genre, one to 10 minutes in length


The Top 3 pieces in each category will receive gift cards that will encourage artists to continue their crafts:

  • 2D & 3D Winners will receive BLICK Art Materials Gift Cards ($300, $200 and $100 respectively)

  • 4D & Short Film Winners will receive B&H Photo & Video Gift Cards ($300, $200 and $100 respectively)


Use the links below to download and the art contest flyers with your networks.


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