Selected high school age artists from throughout Northwest Oklahoma will be featured in the upcoming 42nd Paul Laune Youth Art Competition Art Gallery Exhibit. After participating in a juried art show, the top entrants in each of the eight categories will be displayed in the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum's art gallery and adjoining rotunda.

The selection of art that is exhibited will be chosen from nearly 400 entries. The artists are from area high schools. The competition is the only juried visual art competition in the area and offers eight categories: paintings done in acrylic or oil, watercolors, drawings in pencil or charcoal, black and drawings in ink, colored drawings, three-dimensional art, photography and miscellaneous. The students are offered constructive criticism of their art and top winners are critiqued during the closing ceremonies by a professional judge.

Schools with art programs often prepare for the competition during their classes but the contest is open to all youth artists in the area so homeschoolers and students without school art programs may enter the competition.

Museum Director Rob Roberson said, "The response of students and teachers to this contest is always so gratifying and makes the hard work worth it. There is just nothing like it for young visual artists in the area and they are thankful to the museum and people of Woodward for having it.

"And of course the history of the contest makes it even more meaningful."

Named after world renowned artist/illustrator/author Paul Laune, a native of Woodward, the competition lets the students know that there is a place in the world for their talents if they are properly developed. Many students begin their portfolios for scholarships and other competitions during their years of participation in the contest.

The Paul Laune Youth Art Competition is a 42-year tradition at the Plains Indians and Pioneers Museum. Cash prizes and closing ceremonies will be 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, March 10. The exhibit is on display to the public free of charge during regular museum hours from Feb. 6 through March 10. Museum hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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