McDowell County NC 175th Anniversary
McDowell County NC 175th Anniversary

High School Art Competition

Wed, September 19th, 2018 (Saturday 19th September - winners announced 22nd)
Mountain Gateway Museum & Arrowhead Gallery Studios

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To help celebrate McDowell County’s 175th anniversary next month, Friends of the Mountain Gateway Museum (FOTMGM) and the Arrowhead Artists and Artisans League (A3L) in Old Fort are inviting the county’s high school-age youths to create fine artworks that depict what McDowell County means to them.

The contest’s theme is “Celebrating McDowell County—175 Years.” While people, places, and things of historical significance in the county’s history would be welcome subject matter, there are no limitations. Artists are free to be creative. However, all artwork submitted must be in good taste. Acceptance of works for the contest will be at the discretion of co-curators Helen Sullivan and Kelley Wheeler.

Logos of the MGM and A3L - Sponsors of the contest
The FOTMGM will award $200 to the first-place winner; $100 to the second-place winner; and $50 for the third-place winner of the contest. A special ribbon and a $25 gift certificate to Arrowhead Gallery & Studios in Old Fort will be given to the “Best Themed Entry” winner. “Honorable Mention” ribbons may be awarded at the discretion of the judge.Artists also will be allowed to sell their entries, if they choose. However, they must set the price for their work. A3L will take 10 percent of all sales.

This contest will be open only to McDowell County high-school age students in grades 9 thru 12 or the equivalent, including home schools and McDowell Early College. Each artist will be allowed only one entry.No registration fee will be charged.

All work must be original.Both 2-D and 3-D artworks will be accepted as long as they are in good taste and follow the contest guidelines. Suggested media include, but are not limited to, oils, acrylics, encaustic, cold wax, mixed media, watercolors, pastels, pen-and-ink, colored pencils, scratchboard, photography, digital media, sculpture, wood, jewelry, clay, papier-mache’, and fabric.

All artwork and completed entry forms should be dropped off at the Arrowhead Gallery & Studios, 78-C South Catawba Ave., Old Fort, by 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19. No late entries will be accepted unless arrangements have been made in advance. 

Mathilda Tanner, an award-winning 2-D artist and potter with more than 20 years of experience, will be the judge for the contest. Tanner is the primary pottery instructor at the Arrowhead Gallery & Studios in Old Fort and a senior pottery instructor at the Black Mountain Center for the Arts.
Winners will be announced Saturday, Sept. 22, during an awards reception from 1 to 3 p.m. at Arrowhead Gallery & Studios, 78-C South Catawba Avenue, Old Fort. Prizes and ribbons will be presented then.

Winning entries will be on special exhibit at Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center, 24 Water Street, Old Fort, during the week of McDowell County’s 175th anniversary celebration (Sept. 22-29). All other entries will be exhibited at Arrowhead Gallery & Studios through Thursday, October 18. 

More details about this competition, as well as entry forms, can be found online at:; Exhibits tab); and;  and also at the following physical locations:
Mountain Gateway Museum & Heritage Center in Old Fort,  Arrowhead Gallery&Studios in Old Fort,  McDowell High School,  McDowell Early College,  Old Fort Town Hall,  Marion City Hall,  McDowell Arts Council Association (MACA),  McDowell County Public Library in Marion, and the Old Fort branch library.

For more information about the art contest, contact RoAnn Bishop at Mountain Gateway Museum at 828-668-9259 or , or either Helen Sullivan or Kelley Wheeler at A3L at 828-668-1100 or