WGA Announces "Celebrate the West" Art Competition


March 27, 2019

Western Governors' Association announces "Celebrate the West" regional art competition. Montana's 2018 finalist and state winner was Gabe Goll of Belgrade High School for his watercolor, The Field.

The Western Governors' Association (WGA) announces its 4th Annual "Celebrate the West" regional art competition that challenges high school students to create works of art inspired by their state. The 2019 competition entry deadline is April 28, and students are welcome to submit artwork used for other contests or assignments.

Last year's overall winner was Karina Yang of Hamilton High School in Arizona who took home First Place and $1,000 cash prize for her acrylic painting, The Old and the Young. Montana's 2018 finalist and state winner was Gabe Goll of Belgrade High School for his watercolor, The Field. More than 450 works of art from the 19 WGA member states, as well as Guam, were entered in the 2018 competition.

The 2019 competition is open to high school students (Grades 9-12) in public, private, charter, and alternative schools. Home-schooled students in that age group may also enter. Artwork must be two-dimensional and may be created using painting, drawing (pencil, colored pencil, charcoal, ink, markers, pastels, etc.) lithography, silkscreen, mixed media, computer graphics, and collages. No photography or video-based submissions will be accepted.

Students are encouraged to submit entries conveying what their state means to them, how they are artistically inspired by their state, or the uniqueness of living in the Western United States. For inspiration, students may draw ideas from a variety of sources, including state history, landmarks, natural resources, National Parks and Monuments, or people, communities, and cultural practices-provided that the artwork is original and does not violate any U.S. copyright laws. WGA defines original artwork as "artwork which is unique in concept, design, and execution, and is created directly and personally by the student. Original work is not a copy or imitation of another person's work."

Entries will be disqualified that unnecessarily depict violence or political controversy, are profane or pornographic, or promote illegal activities. Full details about the contest are available online at westgov.org/celebrate-the-west.

Winners will be announced at the WGA Annual Meeting in Vail, Colorado, which will take place June 10-12 at the Hotel Talisa. Winning artists will receive cash prizes, and their works will be displayed at the 2019 WGA Governors' meeting, as well as on the WGA website.

Student artists should submit a digital copy of their entry via email to WGAart@westgov.org. No original artwork should be mailed during the first phase of judging. If individuals are unable to submit artwork electronically, they may mail a photograph of their entry to Western Governors' Association, 2019 Art Competition, 1600 Broadway, Suite 1700; Denver, Colorado 80202. Students may submit more than one entry.

Winners will be selected based on originality and imagination, artistic quality, and expression of the theme. The judging panel consists of WGA staff and may also include Denver-area media, museum representatives, and art educators. Judging will occur on or before May 10, 2019. WGA staff will select finalists from states and flag islands.

The final phase of judging will occur during the June WGA Governors' Meeting in Colorado. All Finalists will be displayed, and meeting attendees will have the opportunity to vote on the entries to determine First, Second, and Third Place Winners. Attendees will not have access to students' personal information, and each attendee will be allowed one sealed vote.

The Grand Prize Winner will receive $1,200, Second Place will collect a cash award of $750; and the Third Place Winner will be awarded $500. The remaining Finalists from each state/U.S.-flag Pacific Island will receive $200 each. Prizes will be mailed to all Winners and Finalists. All federal, state, and local tax liabilities are the sole responsibility of the Winners and Finalists. Any Winner receiving $600 or more will be required to complete and return an IRS W-9 form.

The WGA was established in 1984 to represent the Governors of nineteen Western states and three U.S. territories in the Pacific. The association is an instrument of the Governors for bipartisan policy development, information exchange and collective action on issues of critical importance to the Western United States.


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