Texas State Parks

Arts in the Parks - header image

Artwork showing man's torso decorated with desert images
Habitat by Kailee M., 18, Palo Duro Canyon State Park, 2016 Grand Prize winner.


Artists have always drawn inspiration from nature. Think of Ansel Adams’s photos, Henry David Thoreau’s essays, Aaron Copland’s music or Walt Whitman’s poetry.

You, too, can be inspired by nature.

Take a photograph, paint a scene, craft a haiku or poem, film a tribute, or compose a song based on your experience at a state park.

Photo of boy standing by water from aboveGet outside, use your imag­i­na­tion, and create!

Download a 2017 Calendar, featuring winning entries from the 2016 Get To Know Contest.


My blue eyed brother by Joy C., 13, Blanco State Park, First Place in the 10-13 age category for 2016.


Visit a Park:  Art Events

Painting of heron on a bank next to waterFrom kids’ ac­ti­vi­ties to pho­tog­ra­phy work­shops, you can find an art event that in­ter­ests you at a nearby state park!

Visit our Arts & Crafts Events page or our Photography Events page to find a program near you.

Learn about how the Arts in the Parks program began.


 Heron by the Water by Sophia M, 9, Brazos Bend State Park, First Place in the Under 10 category for 2016.


How to Start:  Ideas

For kids

For all

Other arts organizations and information


2016 Youth Arts Contest Winning Entries

Ages 14-19 Category

Three winning entries: a line drawing of a rabbit and two sunset photos.

From left: (Un)Natural by Elizabeth G., age 15, 2nd place (Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site); Sunset Over Lake Bob Sandlin by Annabell M., age 16, 3rd place (Lake Bob Sandlin State Park); Purple Majesty by Andrew M., age 16, 4th place (Daingerfield State Park)


Ages 10-13 category

Panorama of 10-13 winning entries: drawing of oil, sunset photo, and bee photo

From left: Magic Forest Owl by Alia N., age 12, 2nd place (Garner State Park); A Day's End by Catarina G., age 11, 3rd place (Falcon State Park); Furry Bee by Joaquin G., age 13, 4th place (Falcon State Park)


Under age 10 category

Panorama of winning entries: artwork of lake, artwork of campfire, photo of duck at sunset

From left: Eisenhower Imagined by Cami C., age 8, 2nd place (Eisenhower State Park); Campfire Dreams by Austin B., age 4, 3rd place (Mission Tejas State Park); A Sunset with a Duck by Gabriela G., age 8, 4th place (Falcon State Park)