Art Education Of Russia And The Competition Movement


The article provides an overview of the competition movement in the light of the Russian Federation state policy implementation to identify and support talented young people in the field of art. Three lists of competitions, contests and festivals for the period from 2016 - 2019 were analyzed. The composition of competitions in nominations, the composition of participants by age, the conditions for participation in competitions, the criteria for selection and evaluation of works and the determination of winners and laureates were analyzed. The results are correlated with the age psychology requirements of children's creativity, the modern understanding of creative activity definition and its results. It is concluded that the proportion of art contests remains consistently low compared with other areas of knowledge. It is noted that the traditional system of "selection approach" in the selection of students is difficult to change. Especially great difficulties arise in organizing competitions to identify early talent of children from 7 to 12 years. The algorithms of the academic school prevail in the competitive criteria for the visual arts. It is noted that the most advanced in the field of orientation to the finished artistic product, showing more clearly the signs of the creative process novelty and freedom, are such areas as design and research activities. It is concluded that the competitive-festival movement as an alternative to traditional education, the form of gifted and talented children and adolescents selection encounters great difficulties in their development.

Keywords: Arteducationcontestsfestivalstalentgiftedness


Human resource and, above all, young people, who have shown their talents in various fields, including art, have been recognized as a significant resource for the modernization and development of Russia.

The following documents are a landmark in this regard: the concept of a nationwide system for identifying and developing young talents, approved by the President of the Russian Federation on 03.04.2012, Presidential Decree of 07.12. 2015 No. 607 "On measures of state support for persons who have shown outstanding ability", Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation of 17.11. 2015 No. 1239 "On approval of the Rules for the identification of children who have shown outstanding ability, support and monitoring of their future development”.

On the basis of the above documents, a database was created in the Russian Federation - the National Registry of Talented Youth. The main method of selecting young talents was the organization of a large-scale competitive festival movement. Identifying gifted and talented children and adolescents through Olympiads, contests and festivals can be viewed as an alternative mechanism, whose function is not so much to supplement the already existing selection system for artistic educational institutions, but to create new and more perfect conditions for wider coverage of artistically gifted children and adolescents

Problem Statement

In the Russian Federation there is a well-established three-level system of art education focused on early professionalization: children's art schools, including studios (clubs) of cultural and educational institutions system; schools and colleges of arts, secondary special educational institutions that implement integrative educational programs of secondary (complete) general education and secondary special education; higher educational institutions of arts. At all levels, a rigorous "selection based on competition" is carried out, which is not bad in Russian education. However, among teachers and psychologists persistently sounds opinion about the shortcomings or even immorality "selection approach", especially in the early stages of artistic development (Bogoyavlenskaya & Bogoyavlenskaya, 2018), the use of which leads to the loss of many potentially talented children. Ideally, the selection mechanisms of the competition movement are designed to compensate for these losses and create more favorable conditions for talented children. The problem of compliance of the real selection practice at the events of the competitive movement with the new expectations and requirements of the time is the main one in our study.

Research Questions

Research of competitive movement realities as the aggregator of artistically gifted children selection provides the solution of the following questions.

First, there is the question of taking into account the features of the children's artistic abilities and age characteristics formation and development during the competitions, according to the theory of crisis during the transition from "syncretic thinking" to analytical (Vygotsky, 2018; Ribo, 2018).

Secondly, it is necessary to investigate the conditions of competition on their conformity to modern, from the standpoint of postmodernism, notions of the creative expression nature of the creativity will and the product/outcome. In the first case we are talking about the priority of expression freedom/ self-realization of the creator and the processes of total experiment (Baudrillard, 1997; Hartman, 2015; Volkov, 2017; Deleze, 1969). In the second case, it is necessary to focus on the finished product in the form of an artifact/art object (Jencks, 1991).

Thirdly, it is necessary to find out the correlation of competitive tasks and their presentation methods with modern ideas about giftedness (Bogoyavlenskaya & Bogoyavlenskaya, 2018; De Angelis, 2017; Fomina, 2015; Guilford, 1986; Hu, 2019; McBee, Makel, Peters, & Matthews, 2018; Renzulli, 1986) and the criteria of the "creativityconcept", which can be characterized by "the novelty of the product, its objective value, non-algorithm of the process" (Savenkov, 2019, p.114).

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the study is to determine the main characteristics of the competitive movement at the present stage, their correlation with the realities of Russian art education, the modern requirements of children's age psychology of creative development, the requirements for a creative product in the practice of modern art.

Research Methods

Research methods include quantitative and qualitative analysis of documents (conditions of competitions, requirements for contestants, the nature of the creative product) of competitions, Olympiads and festivals for the period from 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19, according to the Lists approved by the Orders of the Ministry of education and science of Russia from 31.05.2016 (N 645), from 05.10.2017 (N 1002) and from 09.11.2018 (N 197).


The count showed that over the period of 2016/2017 it was held 102 events, including in art-aesthetic sphere – 6, which is 5.9 %. Two Olympiads (all-Russian Olympiad of school students, Moscow Olympiad of school students) had a theoretical direction (art criticism). Nominees were determined by the results of solving tasks. Three events on fine arts were designed for students of secondary art schools, art lyceums and art schools (all-Russian educational and competitive program in the field of science, art and sports "Big challenges"), graduates of secondary general education with in-depth study of subjects in the field of painting, sculpture and architecture in art lyceums, as well as secondary vocational education in educational institutions of vocational education and universities of the cultural sector (all-Russian competition of professional skills in the field of culture and art, The all-Russian competition "Young talents of Russia"). They can be considered "closed", internal competitions of art education system, with age restriction from 12 years. In competitive tasks there was a full range of academic disciplines. All of the above competitions and contests provided for the winners of the benefits for admission to the profile university or participation in educational programs that increase the chances of admission to the art university (center "Sirius" in the program "Big challenges"). Only one event, a large all-Russian festival of children and youth creativity, including for children with disabilities, had no restrictions on preliminary training and was designed for a wider coverage of children from the standpoint of age restrictions (7-18 years). It also featured the widest range of arts, materials, and styles. In the category "Arts and crafts" were provided materials such as natural material, fabric, wood, bone, metal, painting, knitting, weaving. In the category "Fine arts" -academic drawing, decorative mosaic, graphics, design, computer graphics, architectonics of three-dimensional structures, installation, art object, sculpture, ceramics, paper modeling, floristry. However, this competition did not imply any preferences for the finalists. Analysis of the organizers list showed that 5 out of six events organized by the Federal ministries, the Ministry of culture of the Russian Federation (2) and the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation (3). The organizer of only one event was a public organization - the educational Fund "Talent and success". In the competition tasks in the categories of fine arts absolutely prevailed the requirements of the academic school in the form of educational tasks performance.

During the period of 2017/2018, only 204 events were held, 15 of them in the artistic and aesthetic sphere, which amounted to 7.35 %. It can be stated that four events have been preserved from the list of the previous year: the Moscow school Olympiad, the all-Russian school Olympiad, the educational and competitive program "Big challenges" and the Big all-Russian festival of children and youth creativity, including for children with disabilities.

On the theoretical direction (art history) added the following events: "all-Russian competition of scientific-research, design and creative works of students "the Found generation - science, creativity, spirituality"," the all-Russian competition of research, inventive and creative works "Youth, science, culture". As a test, it was assumed the presence and protection of a ready scientific project on art history, cultural studies and contemporary art. The contestants list was limited to high school students, senior students, researchers, members of scientific societies (14-25 years).

As a bonus, the publication in the collection of competitive works abstracts was meant, which was considered as the beginning of a scientific career. Two events were added to the two practical activities of the previous year with the nomination "Fine arts": the all-Russian competition of fine arts dedicated to the year of ecology in Russia, "the Landscape of the native land" and the Olympiad in the complex of subjects "Culture and art". Tasks on drawing, painting and composition were academic in nature. Both competitions had no limitations on prior expertise of the contestants. The age in the first case was limited from 9 years, in the second – from 12 years. The promotion of the laureates in the first case was enrolled in school named after B. Johanson at the Russian Academy of arts", in the second - entering into the Federal information system of providing the State final exam holding.

There was a new direction in competitive events – design. "Russian state University named after A. N. Kosygin» announced two competitions: the Moscow competition of professional educational organizations "Arts and crafts and design" students creative works (for students from 1st to 10th grade) and the all-Russian Olympiad for higher education educational institutions students.

In the first case contest program has meant competition on a wide range of art forms. These are decorative painting, decorative panels, dolls and toys, Souvenirs, ceramics, mosaic, 3D modeling, costume design. In the second case, involves the presentation and defense of the finished product item 262200.62 "Designing products of light industry" and 262000.62 "Technology of products of light industry". Reward in the first competition was the accrual of competitive points for admission to the University.

In the second - inclusion into the lists for receiving the award allocated within the framework of the project "State support of talented youth". The presentation of the finished product was provided in the III all-Russian design competition among school students "Point of attention", and in the VI National Art Project "School – competition of skills of young designers, fashion designers, fashion theaters and costume "Youth Fashion – a New style of Relations", and In the international competition of young designers "Admiralty needle".

The last event is a professional competition for designers from 16 to 40 years, giving a real way to the profession. The victory in the final competition gives the right to present their collections of clothing at international exhibitions and show. VI national Art Project "school-competition of skills of young designers, designers, fashion theaters and costume Youth Fashion-a New style of Relations" in addition to students in professional educational organizations captured children 12-13 years and adolescents 14-17 years. The competition "Point of attention" was also designed for children's audience and provides prizes in the form of valuable gifts.

A new direction was the nomination "folk culture", presented by the II all-Russian children's festival of folk culture "Heirs of traditions". Everyone from 7 to 17 years old could participate in the festival. The ideology of the festival is open to all available types and directions of art. Nomination "Arts and crafts" included products made of natural material, fabric, wood, bone, metal, painting, knitting, weaving. "Fine arts" included academic drawing (drawing, painting, composition), decorative mosaics, all kinds of easel and applied graphics. "Virtual space" included design and formal composition. Architectonics-three-dimensional structures, art objects, installations. Plastic-sculpture, ceramics, paper plastics. Children's toy assumed the style of folk crafts. Valuable gifts and participation in profile changes on the basis of the all-Russian children's centers became encouragement.

Analysis of the organizers showed that four of the 15 events were organized by the Ministry of education and science of the Russian Federation. The organizer of 5 events were public organizations-educational Fund "Talent and success", Charity Fund "Bureau Firebird", all-Russian public organization "National system of development of scientific, creative and innovative activity of youth of Russia "Integration". The initiators of 6 events were six educational organizations, including 2 schools and 4 institutions of higher education.

The requirements of the academic school and the corresponding educational tasks prevailed in the competition tasks in the categories of fine arts. The tasks of the direction "Design" and "Folk art" assumed presentation of the finished aesthetic product.

For the period 2018/2019, only 224 events have been announced, of which in the artistic and aesthetic sphere - 18, which is 8%.

From the list of the previous year, 9 events are saved (4 from the list of 2016/17).9 new events were added to the permanent competitions, 3 of them in a new direction - architecture. Initiator of the Interregional School Olympiad named after V.E. Tatlin delivered FSBEI HE "Penza State University of Architecture and Construction". The positive points in the competition are the absence of filters of preliminary classes at art schools for the participants and a reorientation towards the avant-garde traditions in the competitive tasks formation.

The remaining 6 contests were distributed as follows.

Two events are added to the theoretical direction (art history): the competition of students’ research projects “Man in the world of culture” and the IX International Olympiad-competition of scientific works of schools, gymnasiums and lyceums students “Chemistry: science and art” named after V.Ya. Kurbatov.

A special feature of the latter is an integrative theme, connecting art and chemistry, which can be used in restoration and other artistic practices. Competitive testing is the writing and protection of research work. The list of the contestants in the first case is limited to high school students (the corresponding points for entering university).In the second, wide coverage of children from the age of 12 and encouragement in the form of a publication in a collection of theses, which is considered to be the beginning of a scientific career, is assumed.

Three new events strengthened the practical direction in the nomination "Visual Arts": Interregional subject Olympiad for students "Language, literature, art", Eurasian Olympiad in drawing, painting and composition, IV Interregional competition in academic drawing and painting "Academic still life”. Tasks on drawing, painting and composition in these competitions are academic in nature. The first and the third competition have no restrictions on the preliminary specialization of the contestants. The second is intended for students of 9-10 grades, mastering additional general educational programs in the field of visual arts.

The direction of "Folk Culture" in 2018/19 represents the All-Russian Festival of Children's and Youth Creativity "Round Dance of Traditions - 2019" with the following nominations: visual arts, decorative, applied and technical creativity. The festival is open to everyone from 10 to 18 years.

The status of the event is increasing compared to the same festival last year due to the fact that winners, by decision of the jury, may be nominated for awards to support talented youth in the framework of the project Education.

An analysis of the composition of the organizers showed that of the 18 events, the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation of Education organized three events. The organizers of the events are public organizations - the Educational Foundation "Talent and Success", the All-Russian Children's Public Organization the Public Small Academy of Sciences "Intellect of the Future", the Autonomous non-profit organization for work with talented and gifted children "INSITE".

Twelve educational organizations have declared themselves as organizers of competitions. Of these, nine institutions of higher education: the Penza State University of Architecture and Construction initiated three events, the St. Petersburg State University of Industrial Technology and Design — two. One by one, they organized the Ural State Pedagogical University, Orenburg State University, Saint Petersburg State Institute of Technology, Kazan Federal University.

Among the initiators of the three competitions were institutions of secondary education. Educational institutions with the advanced study of "School of Design "Tochka (Point) " for the second time organized a competition of young designers “Point of Attention", and the Saint-Petersburg art school named after B. Ioganson at the Russian Academy of Arts" for the second time announced a competition in fine arts on the topic of year. “Cheboksary Art School” initiated an inter-regional competition “Academic drawing”.

In competitive assignments in the visual arts nominations, the requirements of the academic school still prevail. However, a significant sector of architectural competitions appeared in which tasks and criteria were formulated on the basis of the avant-garde art tradition. The direction of "Design" has retained its position in the orientation of the finished product, which includes the entire production chain.


The analysis of quantitative indicators of the competitions as a whole showed an increase in the total number of events by 2018/19 more than 2 times. The absolute figures of the contests number in the artistic and aesthetic sphere gave an increase of 3 times. However, the percentage is an increase of 1% each year, which indicates that the proportion of art contests does not change in relation to the total number of contests.

An analysis of the organizers’ list (Table 1 ) indicates a decrease in the share of central federal government bodies in organizing the competitive movement and a significant increase in the educational institutions of higher education role in this process.

The latter indicates the growing interest of universities in the process of finding and supporting talents in the field of art through alternative forms in addition to examinations.

The appearance among the initiators of specialized art schools of secondary education lowered the age bar for identifying talented children. The participation of public organizations and foundations in the competitive movement is unstable. An exception is the Educational Foundation "Talent and Success", which is consistently presented in all three annual lists.

Table 1 -
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Analysis of the competitive movement in areas of activity (Table 2 ) showed that, traditionally, its substantive core is the visual arts and research activities in art history and cultural studies. The increase in diversity comes at the expense of the appearance in the second year of competitions in design and folk culture, and in the third - in architecture. It should be noted that there is no separate competition for such an important art form in society as sculpture.

Table 2 -
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Analysis of competitive programs for orientation on educational tasks or for a ready-made creative product (Table 3 ) showed that the only event of 2016/17 focused on a creative product was the “Big Challenges” competitive program.

In 2017/18 there was a sharp increase in contests focused on the completed creative product at the expense of 5 design contests (clothing collection, designer item), 3 contests in the field of cultural science and art criticism (completed research paper or article) and 1 festival on folk culture (defense of art object). In 2018/19 due to the growth in the number of competitions in the visual arts and the emergence of the “Architecture” nomination, there has been an increase in activities focused on educational tasks (drawing, painting, composition).

It can be said that contests in the field of fine arts provide the bulk of the traditional orientation to study assignments along the academic paradigm of learning lines, in the framework of which it is difficult for contestants to display originality and novelty. The paradigm of art education, based on the principles of modern art, in particular the avant-garde, is presented very poorly in three competitions in the direction of "Architecture", which holds from 2018/19 "Penza State University of Architecture and Construction".

The bulk of contests focused on a ready-made creative product are given by contests of a theoretical plan, as well as design contests. Perhaps the reason lies in the first case in the greater popularity of the research ideasand development project activities in educational institutions, and in the second - in a closer connection of the design direction with modern art.

As for the festivals of folk art, they are distinguished by the widest range of nominations for the used art and materials types, as well as great tolerance for new types of modern art.

Table 3 -
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With regard to age restrictions (Table 4 ), it can be said that two boundary age points are identified, which, in the opinion of the competitions organizers, are significant for the talented children selection- 12/13 years and 16 years. In the first case, the age coincides with the selection of students in specialized art educational institutions. In the second, we are talking about 9/10 graduation classes, in which the selection to art colleges is determined. This scheme corresponds to the traditional structure of art education organization in Russia. There are very few contests to identify talented children under the age of 12.

Table 4 -
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The big problem is the filters that require preliminary preparation of the contestants in the of vocational educational institutions education, children's art schools, art schools. The most tolerant in this case are contests of theoretical research character in cultural studies/ art history - students of secondary schools can participate in them. Of all the competitions in art and design without filters, only 2 are functioning: the Big All-Russian Festival of Children's and Youth Creativity, including for children with disabilities (Ministry of Education of the Russian Federation) and the All-Russian Design Competition among school students "Point of Attention" ("Design School "Point", Perm).

Summarizing the results of the study, we can say that:

the proportion of art contests remains consistently low;

the inclusion of secondary and higher art education institutions in the competition is generally a positive development, but at the same time leads to the reproduction in the competition movement of art education old structure and the “selection approach” in the choice of students;

at the moment, it is impossible to talk about creating a system for identifying gifted and talented children at earlier stages, followed by their accompaniment;

also, cannot talk about supporting the elements of “syncretic thinking”, that is, about preserving the “child” in the structure of the creative personality, which is especially important in further activities to find our own author’s handwriting and vision of the world;

in the competitive criteria for the visual arts, the pre-set algorithms of the academic school prevail, which hinders the creative expression freedom in the choice of material, style and the author's position formation;

in the field of orientation to the finished product (artifact / art object), in which the creative process novelty and de-authorization is more clearly indicated, a significant shift in design and research activities is outlined.

In general, it can be said that the competitive and festival movement as a new form of identifying and supporting talented young people is at the stage of new grounds formation.


The study was carried out within the framework of the State Task No. 073-00088-19-01 - the Project "Scientific and methodological support for the examination of competitions and competitive events (directions" Science "," Art "," Sport ")".


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30 September 2019

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Medkova*, E. S. (2019). Art Education Of Russia And The Competition Movement. In S. K. Lo (Ed.), Education Environment for the Information Age, vol 69. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 552-561). Future Academy.