Art contest on what it means to be Native

Contemporary Native American Life is the theme of an art competition sponsored by Western Carolina University, Southwestern Community College and the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts in Cherokee.

The contest is meant to encourage emerging artists as well as to generate poster art for the 2011 Native American Heritage Expo, planned for Nov. 7 to 9 at Western Carolina. Robert Conley, the WCU Sequoyah Distinguished Professor in Cherokee Studies, will serve as a contest judge, along with two community members. The six winning contest entries will be incorporated into expo posters and also featured in a 2012 wall calendar from WCU and the Oconaluftee Institute for Cultural Arts, which partners with WCU and SCC to help students progress from an associate degree to bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

Competition is open to kindergarten through high school students of Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties and the Qualla Boundary, and to students of WCU and SCC. Entries are limited to one per person, with cash prizes of $200, $150 and $100 awarded to the top three entries in each of two categories: photography and two-dimensional art (not including photography).

Winners will be announced in early October, and an exhibit of the top 20 submissions is planned at OICA beginning Oct. 10.

Entry submissions are due by Friday, Sept. 30. Artwork should be at least 8 inches by 10 inches but no larger than 11 inches by 17 inches. Entry forms are available online at For more information, call 828.227.2303 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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