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Your Art, Our Elevators! 2023 Elevator Art Contest at Mann & Olin Libraries

Cornell University Library is calling for submissions of original artwork to adorn the first-floor elevator doors in Mann Library and Olin Library. Winners will each also receive a Cornell Store prize, valued at $100 (with gift receipt).


Our theme and prompt this year is “backstory,” which Merriam-Webster dictionary defines as “a story that tells what led up to the main story or plot (as of a film).” What backstory has defined your life, or what backstory reveals an important aspect of the world?


Entries will be judged both by visual appeal and by how creatively they’ve explored the prompt. Winning artworks will be installed starting in April 2023.


Who’s eligible: Currently enrolled undergraduate, graduate, or professional school students at Cornell.

Deadline: 11:59 p.m., E.T., March 14, 2023. The winners will be chosen by March 20.

How to submit: Use the submission form below to provide basic information about you and a paragraph describing how your entry supports the theme. Upload a high-resolution, digital file of your artwork. You must also attest that your work (including all images contained in it) is original and solely made and owned by you. Any inaccurate information could disqualify your submission. Multiple submissions are allowed.

Image file requirements and recommendations:

  • File name must include your NetID, for example “cd58_TitleOfWork.jpg”.
  • Final size of decal is 88 inches high x 42 inches wide (split down the middle to allow doors to open).
  • Portrait orientation works best.
  • File format must be vector (e.g. PDF, EPS, AI or SVG), or high-resolution raster, larger than 20MB (e.g. JPEG, TIFF, PSD).

If your image is a photograph, please provide the location where your photograph was taken (city, country, and landmark). Consideration will be given, in part, to the location where the photograph was taken and any legal restrictions on the use of images of individuals from that location.


Submit your entry!