Virtual Building Challenge

Author: Sarah Clowe, Director of Art Programs

Submit images of your own creative towers & arches to be shared with our audiences!

Today we are kicking off our first Virtual Building Challenge! Inspired by our annual LEGO Building Challenge, we have developed an event that you can participate in from the comfort of your home, using building materials that you have on hand (blocks, recycled materials, etc). The theme? Towers and arches. We're asking participants to take their inspiration from two Thomas Cole paintings in our collection: Ruined Tower and Interior of the Colosseum Rome. To learn more about them watch the video tour of Junior Interpreter, Eva introducing the works.  We will accept submissions today through October 19. Then, we will display entries on our website and social media on Friday, October 23.

-Entries will be accepted until the end of October 19, 2020.

-Artists of all ages are welcome to participate and if enough entries are received separate galleries will feature the different age ranges.

-Creations may be built out of any media desired (recyclables, natural stones, commercial building blocks etc.)

-Please only submit original designs rather than those created from purchased kits.

-Please title your entry file with the name of the person or group that created it so we can be sure to properly credit you.

Submit Your Artwork Here: Virtual Building Challenge Submission

*Submission form and link are through Google Forms. If you do not have a Google account you may email submissions to Sarah Clowe instead at

Towers and Arches in the Collection

Looking for inspiration?  Check out these dynamic paintings by Thomas Cole from the museum's collections. Click on the title links to see the paintings in our Collections Database where you may learn more and zoom in on details.

Curious to learn more about the Hudson River School paintings and painters?  Be sure to check out our online exhibition, The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute.  

Architecture in Art: Thomas Cole short tour with Junior Interpreter, Eva

Take a tour of the two Thomas Cole paintings which inspired this building challenge with Junior Interpreter, Eva!

Published October 5, 2020