Illinois Tollway opens annual map cover art contest for students

DOWNERS GROVE, IL – The Illinois Tollway, in partnership with Blick Art Materials and MB Real Estate (MBRE), is inviting high school art students to participate in the 2019 Tollway Map Cover Art Contest for a shot to land on the cover art of the official 2019 Illinois Tollway Map.   
Recognizing the Illinois Tollway’s commitment to diversity, the theme for the 2019 contest calls on student artists to submit artwork that illustrates the importance of diversity and inclusion.  Areas of focus for the 2019 Tollway Map Cover Art Contest may include, but are not limited to, the following themes:
  • Diversity as it pertains to employees and the businesses and individuals that work for the Tollway  
  • Diversity as it pertains to the communities and customers the Tollway system serves
  • Diversification of skilled and construction trades via workforce development and training
The Illinois Tollway’s Board of Directors has invested heavily on diversity programs, issues and policies aimed at diversifying the Illinois Tollway’s engineering, design, construction and support services.  The Tollway’s ultimate goal is to create access to sustainable jobs and foster increased opportunities for firms of all sizes and types.  
“Diversity and inclusion can help increase access to more qualified worker and businesses, which in turn fosters creativity and innovation and a competitive economy,” said Illinois Tollway Executive Director Elizabeth Gorman. “The Tollway remains focused on promoting, assisting and ensuring diverse participation in our Move Illinois Program and all aspects of our operations, including contracting, consulting and the supply of goods and services.”
More than 300 high schools in the 12 counties served by the Illinois Tollway have been sent information about this year’s contest. Art contest entries will be accepted beginning September 14, 2018, and must be postmarked no later than October 12, 2018.
Artwork created by the grand prize winner will be featured on the cover of the Tollway’s 2019 map, which is distributed at no cost to more than 75,000 customers. The grand prize winner and three runners-up will be featured in the Tollway’s annual report. Awards include: 
  • Grand prize winner: $400 gift certificate from Blick Art Materials and $200 in gift certificates from MBRE to use at oases retail shops and restaurants
  • Runners-up: $200 gift certificate from Blick Art Materials and $100 in gift certificates from MBRE 
  • A certificate of appreciation for all students who participate in the contest
  • Acknowledgment of winners at the Illinois Tollway Board of Directors meeting on November 29, 2018
An Illinois Tollway committee will initially judge all contest entries to determine the top 10. Those top 10 entries will be featured on the Illinois Tollway’s website and displayed in galleries at each of the five Tollway oases pavilions during the last week of October. The public will be invited to view the artwork and cast their votes online to choose the top four entries. The grand prize winner and three runners-up will be selected by a panel of judges, including members of the Tollway Board of Directors and representatives from MBRE. 
The 2019 Tollway Map Cover Art Contest rules and all required entry forms are posted on the Tollway’s website at
The Illinois Tollway launched the Map Cover Art Contest in 2011 to highlight the work of talented art students from the communities served by the Illinois Tollway. Last year, nearly 90 entries from student artists were submitted and nearly 40,000 votes were cast by the general public to determine the four contest finalists. The 2018 Tollway map features cover artwork from last year’s contest winner, Lindley Wiesner a junior at Lake Forest High School.