Museum of Northern Arizona seeks artists for Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition

Artwork created by past junior artist, Orion Yazzie, titled “Yei’s Visit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA.” (Photo/Museum of Northern Arizona)

Artwork created by past junior artist, Orion Yazzie, titled “Yei’s Visit OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA.” (Photo/Museum of Northern Arizona)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Young Native artists from the Colorado Plateau are invited to enter the Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition, which returns for a third year to the Museum of Northern Arizona.

All submissions will be displayed in an online virtual art exhibition through the museum’s website and social media.

The tradition of an annual youth art show goes back to 1931, when Museum of Northern Arizona co-founder and Curator of Art Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton started an annual exhibit to 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.

Entries into this virtual art competition will be juried in two age groups- youth (ages 12 and under) or young adult (ages 13 to 18). Artists will compete for first and second-place awards in the following categories:

  • 2D Fine Art- may include original paintings, photography, cut paper, printmaking, mixed media, and drawings. Items made through mechanical reproduction, including posters, note cards, and t-shirts are not allowed. Giclée, Iris or other digital photographic reproduction techniques are limited only to photography.
  • Cultural Art- This category may include a variety of traditional and/ or culturally-based works. Examples include but are not limited to: personal attire and accessories, figurative objects, musical instruments, beadwork, textiles, carvings, sculpture and functional objects such as bows and arrows, furniture and shields.

MNA has more than 250 pieces of artwork in its collection that were originally displayed during the years of the show, which ended in 1974, according to records.

Award packages, including a $50 gift card for art supplies will be given to first and second-place winners. Artists may submit one piece and may suggest which category they would prefer their entry to be in.

All submissions must be emailed to by 5 p.m., Jan. 18, 2023 and include the following:

  • The artist’s name
  • Proof of tribal affiliation
  • The artist’s age
  • Contact information for the artist or artist’s family
  • Artist statement (300 words or less)
  • Description and title of the piece
  • Three high-quality photos of the piece

More information is available by calling (928) 440-6504 or visit

Winners will be announced Jan. 31 when the online exhibit goes live.

Those who won first or second place will be notified through email.

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