Celebrate The West

Celebrate the West is a regional art competition hosted by the Western Governors' Association that challenges high school students to create works inspired by their state. The 2021 State Finalists and Overall Winners have been announced.

2020 Competition

The deadline has passed for entries in the 2020 Competition.

The Western Governors’ Foundation is proud to announce the 2020 “Celebrate the West” regional art competition that challenges high school students to create works inspired by their state.

WGA’s visual arts challenge, sponsored by the Western Governors’ Foundation, is open to high school students in the 17 Western states and three U.S.-flag islands 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, via email, both their entry form and a digital copy of their entry by April 30, 2020. (Entries may be scanned, a digital photo, etc.) Note: If you are unable to connect with your teacher at this time, the form may be submitted without their signature. WGA staff and Denver area art experts will select “Finalists” from states and flag islands.
  • Finalists will be displayed at the WGA Governors’ Summer Meeting to be held in Medora. North Dakota June 29-July 2, 2020. Finalists will compete for First, Second, Third, and Fourth 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, 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, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

FREE ADMISSION: The American Museum of Western Art in Denver, in connection with the competition, is again offering a discount to students participating in Celebrate the West. Students can enter the coupon code (WGA2020) when buying tickets on the museum's website.

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

Celebrate the West® is a registered trademark of the Western Governors’ Association.


sign up for our newsletters