86th Annual McKee Student Art Contest & Exhibition

This event has already taken place, but here is the past event information

The Haggin Museum continues the longest-running student art competition in the United States!

February 2 - April 2, 2017

The Haggin Museum continues the longest-running student art competition in the United States. The exhibition was first envisioned by the museum’s founding patron, Robert T. McKee, whose goal was to encourage students by providing a public venue for their artworks.

All schools in San Joaquin County—public, private, charter and homeschools—receive invitations to submit their work. Every year we receive on average 1,000 pieces of art chosen by teachers as the best of their class. The arts – visual arts, music, dance, poetry and stories – connect us to the world and each other. The critical thinking skills the arts teach our children are as important as the pleasure they bring to the classroom and museum. Celebrate the arts in education with us during the McKee Student Art Exhibit, the longest running student art exhibition in the country! The Haggin Museum is proud to feature the work of student artists from kindergarten through grade 12 in the Annual McKee Student Art Contest and Exhibition. 

“Art is a nation’s most precious heritage. For it is in our works of art that we reveal to ourselves and to others the inner vision which guides us as a nation. And where there is no vision, the people perish.” –Lyndon Johnson, on signing into existence the National Endowment on the Arts.

Johnson’s powerful words reinforce the importance as an engine of understanding, change, and hope. Students who are denied access to the arts lose connections to cultural heritage, both their own, and that of others from whom they may learn. They are robbed of the potential to find their own voices, and miss out on the skills of creativity, communication, collaboration and critical thinking essential to success in the 21st century. For 86 years the Haggin Museum has been proud to celebrate arts in education by showcasing the creative efforts of students and their teachers in San Joaquin County.  

Community artist and arts advocate Joy Dibble Neas has been selected to judge the 86th Annual Robert T. McKee Student Art Exhibition. Neas came into her own as an artist in Stockton sharing her chalk work on the city streets, and in exhibitions at the San Joaquin County Arts Council Office, Tidewater Gallery, and since 1997 the Mexican Heritage Center. In addition to making her own work, she spends considerable time providing others with art making opportunities and promoting other artists and in 2012 Neas received the Mayor’s Art Award for her efforts. She served as Visual Arts Coordinator for First Night, Program Chair for the University Neighborhood Renaissance Committee and currently coordinates the ArtSplash. This year she co-curated the Imagination Station, an interactive week-long exhibit at the Haggin Museum, and curated A World Without Art? at the Mexican Heritage Center. Both shows invited the public to consider the essential role that art plays in our community. She is a community blogger on the Stockton art scene for the Record’s online journal eSanJoaquin.com which is published in the Record on Saturdays. 

Opening Reception: Join us for a big party to celebrate the 86th McKee Student Art Contest & Exhibition — this year we welcome students, their families and teachers onSaturday, February 4th, 1:30 – 3:00 AND Sunday, February 5th, 1:30 – 3:00. This event is FREE to everyone and sponsored by the Junior Women’s Group of the Haggin Museum who will provide punch and cookies for guests. For more information, call (209) 940-6315 or e-mail education@hagginmuseum.org.


  • Adults (ages 18-64): $5
  • Seniors (ages 65+): $5
  • Youth (ages 10-17) and Students (with valid school ID): Free
  • Museum Members, Children under age 10 accompanied by an adult: Free

The Haggin Museum
1201 N Pershing Ave
Stockton, California

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Haggin Museum

Haggin Museum

Note: The Haggin Museum is under renovation until this Fall. You can still experience the local history and temporary… More Info

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