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'Celebrate the West' contest now open for students



The Western Governors' Association is proud to announce the second year of Celebrate the West, a regional art competition that challenges high school students to create works inspired by their state.

The inaugural year of the competition attracted hundreds of entries from the 19 WGA member states, as well as American Samoa and Guam.The artwork was displayed at the WGA Annual Meeting in Jackson, Wyoming, and several winners subsequently had a chance to meet the governors of their respective states.

Click photo to see 2016 WinnersAnd now it's time for year two of the competition. Entrants will create original two-dimensional artwork inspired by their state or informed by living in the West. Students may draw ideas from a variety of sources, including state history, landmarks, natural resources, National Parks and Monuments, people, communities, and culture.

The visual arts challenge, sponsored by the Western Governors' Foundation, is open to high school students in the 19 Western states and three U.S.-flag islands served by the nonpartisan policy association. (Complete list of states below.)

Winning artists will receive cash prizes and their works will be displayed at an upcoming WGA Governors' meeting, as well as on the WGA website. In brief, here's how "Celebrate the West" will work:

• Students will submit a digital copy of their entry via email by April 30, 2017. (Entries may be scanned, a digital photo, etc.). WGA staff and Denver area art experts will select "Finalists" from states and flag islands, as well as a Grand Prize, Second Place, and Third Place winners. The Grand Prize award is $1,000, the Second Place prize is $500, and Third Place will be awarded $300. The remaining state finalists will be awarded $200 each.

• Finalists will be displayed at an upcoming Western Governors' Association meeting. At the meeting, a Best of Show award will be determined by a vote of meeting attendees, which include governors and their staff, U.S. Cabinet members, and WGA sponsors. Students may also have the opportunity to have their artwork displayed in their home state's capitol building and meet with their governor. This is subject to scheduling and availability, so may not be available to all students.

"Celebrate the West" is open to high school students from Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, California, Colorado, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

Have a question? Ask it via email (WGAart@westgov. org). Ready to enter? E-mail your entry to the same address.

Download the entry form at

Read and download the rules at

Are you a teacher? Download a flyer to share with students at


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