Calling Students... Celebrate the West

Celebrate the West is a regional art competition that challenges high school students to create works inspired by their state. The 2019 competition deadline is April 28, 2019. Winners will be announced at the WGA Annual Meeting in Vail, Colorado.

The Western Governors’ Association is proud to announce the fourth annual “Celebrate the West” regional art competition challenging high school students to create works inspired by their state is now open.

WGA’s visual arts challenge is open to high school students in WGA member-states and three U.S. Territories in the Pacific served by the nonpartisan policy association. (Complete list of states below.)

Entrants from WGA member states 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.

“Original artwork” is defined 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.

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” works:

  • Students will submit a digital copy of their entry via email by April 28, 2019. (Entries may be scanned, a digital photo, etc.) WGA staff and Denver area art experts will select “Finalists” from states and flag islands.

  • Finalists will be displayed at the WGA Governors’ Annual Meeting to be held in Vail, Colorado, June 10-12, 2019. Finalists will compete for First, Second, and Third Place Awards voted on by meeting attendees, which include governors and their staff, U.S. Cabinet members, and WGA sponsors. The First-Place Prize award is $1,200, the Second-Place prize is $750, and Third-Place will be awarded $500. $200 will be awarded to each remaining state finalist.

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 and may not be awarded to all students.

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

The Western Governors’ Association is excited to collaborate with the American Museum of Western Art-The Anschutz Collection. The Denver museum displays over 300 paintings that survey 200 years of westward expansion. Teachers may find free comprehensive lesson plans and teacher resources on the museum website.

The museum (1727 Tremont Place in Denver) is offering free admission for students who enter “Celebrate The West.” Enter promo code WGA2019 when buying tickets on the museum website or visit in person and mention participation in “Celebrate the West” to receive free student admission. Valid through April 28, 2019.

Students- you must read the rules carefully before entering! Have a question? Ask it via email. Ready to enter? E-mail your entry.

Student Entry Form
Read, Download the Complete Rules
Are you a teacher? Download this flyer to share with students

Eliza Tudor