The MY HERO Project and Americans Who Tell the Truth partnership

The Shetterly Prize to be awarded to the most heroic portrait submitted

Portrait Contest 10/15
Credit: MY HERO
•Professional artists and students- you are welcome to submit one or more hero portraits as an entry or multiple entries!


Works of art submitted will be judged by Robert Shetterly, artist founder of Americans Who Tell the Truth and the MY HERO Gallery staff!


Each work of art can represent someone you admire who has done something significant - for you, for your community or for our planet.

Each of work of art can illustrate an heroic act that has impacted your world or our society as a whole.

All winning entries will also be shared with students around the world online on

More Information

When submitting a work of art, please consider the following:


Is the portrait an authentic representation of your hero? Does it tell the hero's story through visual elements?

Does the art work illustrate his or her heroic traits and characteristics?

Does it inspire the viewer with its carefully conceived elements of beauty, clarity, creativity, expressionism and/or accuracy?

Can teachers and students use this portrait as a part of a lesson to illustrate heroes and heroic acts?

Does the work of art create an emotional response or a feeling of appreciation for the hero's accomplishments?

Tutorial for students explaining how to use MY HERO's Create Program to Submit Artwork.

Use the Create Program to Upload Art Tutorial
Credit: MY HERO

Watch this film about Robert Shetterly produced by MY HERO

Robert Shetterly

Produced by:The MY HERO Project
Artist, Robert Shetterly discusses his series, americans who tell the truth

2015 Shetterly Art Award

Sojourner Truth

By: Tom Block

2015 MY HERO Art Honorees

Eleanor Roosevelt for President!

By: Marilyn Huerta


By: Rafael Agustin Villadiego Ríos, age 16 of Colombia

Pope Francis with Art Miles "Mural of Hope for the Pope"

By: Art Miles Mural Project Master Muralist Cecelia Linayo and student artists

Peace Pals Art 2015 Love to Hiroshima Love to Nagasaki

By: Chester Sia age 16 the Philippines

2016 MY HERO Art Honorees


By: Fatima from Senegal

Walk in My Shoes, 2016

By: St George Thompson

Winona LaDuke

By: K.e. Harleston

View some of Robert Shetterly's beautiful portraits

Abraham Lincoln

By: Robert Shetterly

Lily Yeh

By: Robert Shetterly

Chief Joseph Hinmton Yalektit

By: Robert Shetterly

Frederick Douglass

By: Robert Shetterly

Cesar Chavez by artist Robert Shetterly

By: Robert Shetterly, Americans Who Tell the Truth

Rosa Parks

By: Robert Shetterly

About Robert Shetterly

Robert Shetterly was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio. He graduated in 1969 from Harvard College with a degree in English Literature. At Harvard he took some courses in drawing which changed the direction of his creative life -- from the written word to the image. Also, during this time, he was active in Civil Rights and in the Anti-Vietnam War movement.

After college and moving to Maine in 1970, he taught himself drawing, printmaking, and painting. While trying to become proficient in printmaking and painting, he illustrated widely. For twelve years he did the editorial page drawings for The Maine Times newspaper, illustrated National Audubon's children's newspaper Audubon Adventures , and approximately 30 books.

Robert's paintings and prints are in collections all over the U.S. and Europe. A collection of his drawings & etchings, Speaking Fire at Stones, was published in 1993. He is well known for his series of 70 painted etchings based on William Blake's "Proverbs of Hell," and for another series of 50 painted etchings reflecting on the metaphor of the Annunciation.

His painting has tended toward the narrative and the surreal,however, for more than ten years he has been painting the series of portraits Americans Who Tell the Truth . The exhibit has been traveling around the country since 2003. Venues have included everything from university museums and grade school libraries to sandwich shops, the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City, and the Superior Court in San Francisco. To date, the exhibits have visited 26 states. In 2005, Dutton published a book of the portraits by the same name. In 2006, the book won the top award of the International Reading Association for Intermediate non-fiction.

The portraits have given Shetterly an opportunity to speak with children and adults all over this country about the necessity of dissent in a democracy, the obligations of citizenship, sustainability, US history, and how democracy cannot function if politicians don't tell the truth, if the media don't report it, and if the people don't demand it.

Shetterly has engaged in a wide variety of political and humanitarian work with many of the people whose portraits he has painted. In the spring of 2007, he traveled to Rwanda with Lily Yeh and Terry Tempest Williams to work in a village of survivors of the 1994 genocide there. Much of his current work focuses on honoring and working with the activists trying to bring an end to the terrible practice of Mountaintop Removal by coal companies in Appalachia, on climate change, and on the continuation of systemic racism in the US particularly in relation to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Since 1990, he has been the President of the Union of Maine Visual Artists (UMVA), and a producer of the UMVA's Maine Masters Project, an on-going series of video documentaries about Maine artists.

Americans Who Tell the Truth has been an active partner of The MY HERO Project Gallery, specifically promoting activism and compassion through the vehicle of fine art.

Awards and commendations:

  • In 2005, the Maine People’s Alliance awarded him its Rising Tide award.

  • Also in 2005, he was named an Honorary Member of the Maine Chapter of Veterans for Peace.

  • In May 2007, Rob received a Distinguished Achievement Award from the University of Southern Maine and gave the Commencement Address at the University of New England which awarded him an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters.

  • In 2009, he was named a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow that enables him to do week long residences in colleges around the country.

  • The University of Maine at Farmington awarded him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2011.

Robert Shetterly lives, with his partner Gail Page, a painter and children’s book writer and illustrator, in Brooksville, Maine.


Robert Shetterly's Americans Who Tell the Truth Website
Credit: AWTT

These Speaking Truth to Youth videos reflect AWTT belief that their portrait subjects are not superheroes but real people whose work is driven by moral courage and a passion for truth and justice. 

Speaking Truth to Youth
Credit: AWTT

Organizer created on 6/18/2014 1:11:46 PM by victoria murphy

Last edited 9/20/2022 1:34:44 PM by Laura Nietzer