Spotlighting our 2021 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Winners

Changes to the contest ... yet some things remain the same

Posted on Oct 26 2020 in Features
Evan Olingers willing artwork
Evan Olinger of Sellersburg was the “Best of Show” winner of the 2021 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Contest.

Like most everything else in 2020, the annual Cooperative Calendar of Student Art contest was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Normally held in late March or early April, the art contest judging was delayed to June because of the school closures and the closure of Indiana Connection’s office at Indiana Electric Cooperatives. IEC staff has coordinated and conducted the contest for its 23 years.

Winning works from the contest are used to illustrate the following year’s cooperative calendar that is distributed to electric cooperative consumers around the state by participating electric cooperatives.

Complimentary calendars will soon be available at participating co-ops or for $6 each through the mail from Indiana Connection. (See the list and order form on page 12.)

Because schools had been closed for in-person classes and turned to remote e-learning for the ending of the 2019-2020 school year, recognition for the art contest was altered. As usual, 13 first place winners were awarded in grades K-12. Those works will illustrate the cover and the corresponding months inside. Kindergartners were assigned the cover, and first graders were assigned January, second graders had February, and so on through 12th grade illustrating December. But this year, judges awarded 13 honorable mentions, as well, one for each grade. In past years, there were only nine at-large honorable mentions awarded. Honorable mention works will appear in a special six-page section at the back of the calendar

After first place was selected for each grade, judges gathered grade division finalists to make the honorable mention selections.

Each first-place winner received a prize of $200. The “Artist of the Year,” 12th grade division-winner Evan Olinger, won an extra $100 for having the “Best of Show.” Each honorable mention winner received $75.

The Best of Show was Evan’s third since he began winning his grade division as a sixth grader in 2015’s calendar. He won his grade division every year since. Another artist of note is Danielle Sommerman, last year’s Best of Show winner. The Crawford County High School student won the 11th grade division for the 2021 calendar which was her fifth consecutive win. She’s won her grade division six times and also won an honorable mention as a third grader in 2013’s calendar and as a sixth grader in 2016’s calendar. 

Grade division winners shown on these pages represented the grade the respective winners were in during the 2019-2020 school year.

Continuing a partnership begun in 2010 between Indiana’s electric cooperatives and the Hoosier Art Salon, Indiana’s prestigious arts organization, the student artists featured in the calendar had their works exhibited at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis. This was in conjunction with the Salon’s annual juried exhibition. 

To view a profile of our 2021 “Best of Show” winner, Evan Olinger, go to

For details on the art contest to illustrate the 2022 calendar, please go to Its deadline will be March 20, 2021.

To view the past calendar art, 1999-2020, please visit our “Gallery of Art,” also on our website at

2021 Cooperative Calendar of Student Art Winners

To view the winning 2021 artworks, please go to