* Who can enter: Any elementary school student in grades 1-5.
* Deadline: Entries must be received at the Times Free Press by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20.
* Grand prize: Arts package from Allied Arts, goody bag from Kids on the Block, $25, photograph published in the newspaper, and the Christmas design printed as wrapping paper in the newspaper Sunday, Dec. 9. The winner will be contacted Monday, Nov. 26.
* Judges: Times Free Press design staff and representatives from Allied Arts, Kids on the Block and Creative Discovery Museum.
* Entry format: Use an 81/2-by-11-inch piece of unlined paper. One entry per child. Entry should have child's name, age, address, telephone number and school printed on the back. (A teacher's name also is helpful.)
* Mail or hand-deliver entry to: Wrapping Paper Art Contest, Times Free Press, 400 E. 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403. Entries will not be returned.
* Information: 757-6282.
On your mark, get set, create!
The annual Chattanooga Times Free Press Holiday Wrapping Paper Art Contest begins today. Your entry could be the winning one that is printed in the Times Free Press on Dec. 9 and that surrounds presents wrapped by Chattanooga's Kids on the Block at Hamilton Place mall Dec. 7-24.
Natalie Jump of Rabun Gap, Ga., whose design featured a red background with white snowflakes, yellow stars, green trees and blue swirls with hints of glitter, was the 2011 winner among area elementary-school students.
Judges called her design "lovely" and "sophisticated" and noted her excellent use of scale and inventive color combinations.
The then-11-year-old's design was selected from more than 1,000 entries.
"It's important to recognize and celebrate student work," said Rodney Van Valkenburg, director of grants and initiatives of Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, which co-sponsors the contest with Kids on the Block. "It's always a treat to walk into the newsroom [to judge the contest] and see the walls covered in student art."
He said the winning entry is typically strong on design, use of colors, imagination and even mathematical knowledge in its repetition of pattern.
The winner will receive an arts package and a goody bag from Allied Arts and Kids on the Block and a cash prize of $25.
Van Valkenburg said many of the entries also celebrate the professional leadership of art teachers in the classroom.
"[Those entries] have a sense of completeness, a finished quality, a balance of pattern, design and art concept," he said.
The winning design and those of 10 to 12 runners-up also will be displayed at the Creative Discovery Museum.
The contest is open to students in grades 1-5. Entries must be received by the Times Free Press by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 20. Complete rules are below.