In 1931, Museum of Northern Arizona co-founder and Curator of Art Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton created an annual exhibit that she hoped would encourage Arizona school students to showcase their artwork. As the years progressed, the show focused on children who attended schools on the Navajo, Hopi and Havasupai reservations. The show ended in 1974, according to records.
The junior artists were given a dollar or two as prizes, which was considered good money at the time, and the museum purchased some of the pieces. MNA has more than 250 pieces of artwork in its collection that were originally displayed during the years of the show, and the museum has continued encouraging young artists through awards given at its annual heritage festivals.
While this year’s festivals were canceled, the contest for young artists is able to continue as an online exhibition.
Young Native artists up to age 18 are invited to enter the 2020 Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition. Entries will be accepted for two age groups, Youth (ages 12 and under) or Young Adult (ages 13 to 18). Within each age group, submissions will compete for first- and second-place awards in the categories of 2D Fine Art and Cultural Art.
2D Fine Art includes original paintings, photography, cut paper, mixed media and drawings. Items made through photomechanical reproduction, including posters, note cards and T-shirts are not allowed. Giclée, Iris or other digital photographic reproduction techniques are limited only to photography.