Key DatesOctober 22, 2019: Submission deadline
November 4-13, 2019: People's Choice voting on Facebook
November 20, 2019: Winners announced
New for 2019
- The contest is now OPEN TO ALL! Pieces can be submitted to 1 of 3 categories, each with its own eligibility criteria and prizes (see Contest Details for full information):
- Unlike previous years, each credited artist can be listed on a maximum of 2 submitted pieces.
Questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bring Microbiology to Your CommunityIn 2015, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) launched the ASM Agar Art Contest to share the beautiful and diverse world of microbes with the public. Our participants have shown us time and again that you don't need to be an expert microbiologist to make beautiful agar art - it's something anyone can create with access to a basic laboratory.
Although our official partners have already been chosen for 2019, we encourage you to host your own Agar Art workshop in your community using our Facilitator's Guide (linked below). To host a workshop, you need:
- a space that is BSL-1 compliant, such as a high school or college biology laboratory
- materials and equipment for cultivating microbes (complete list is in the guide)
- someone with the appropriate experience to lead the workshop
How to Create Agar Art: Video Tutorial
What is 'agar art'?
Have you ever seen art created in a petri dish using living, growing microorganisms? That's agar art! Creators use either naturally colorful microbes, like the red bacteria Serratia marcescens, or genetically modified microbes, like the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae transformed with violacein genes, as 'paint' and various types, shapes and sizes of agar as a 'canvas.' In fact, the original agar artist was none other than Alexander Fleming himself!
In 2015, ASM launched the ASM Agar Art Contest to share the beautiful and diverse world of microbes with the public. Submissions from past years of the contest have been featured in:
- 200+ media outlets worldwide.
- art curricula for Danish schoolchildren.
- the "Microbes Rule!" exhibit at the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City, NJ.