Youth art

Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition

Young Native artists from the Colorado Plateau are invited to enter the Junior Indigenous Art Exhibition and Competition, which returns for a third year in an online format. All submissions will be displayed in an online virtual art exhibition through the Museum’s website and social media, including Facebook and Instagram.


Visitors view the 1960 Junior Indian Art Show exhibition.

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.  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. The museum continued encouraging young artists through awards given at its annual heritage festivals. In order to continue the young art awards during the 2020 pandemic, it was moved online. 


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). Within each age group, submissions 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.  

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.   

How to enter 

To enter, email the following to by 5pm, January 18th, 2023:  

  • 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  

Deadline: 5 pm January 18th, 2023

Artists will receive an email with more information following submitting by January 20th. If you have not heard back from us by the 20th, please contact Forest Svendgard-Lang in Public Programs at 928-440-6504

Winners will be announced on January 31st when the online exhibit goes live. Those who won 1st or 2nd place will be notified through email about getting their gift card and other goodies.

 2020 Junior Art Entries

Rejuvenation of Life by Brandon Charlie First Place Fine Art, age 13-18
Rebirth by Joaquin Suniga Second Place Fine Art, age 13-18
Comanche by Sooya Davis Honorable Mention Fine Art, age 13-18
Behave; Stay Home by Yukva Coochyamptewa 1st place Fine Art
Tree of Youth by Yesenia Rodriguez 2nd place Fine Art
Water Spout by Mervin Nelson Honorable Mention, Fine Arts
Smoke Swirl Mountain by Titus Bert First Place Cultural Art, age 13-18
Transcendence by Nigel James Second Place Cultural Arts, age 13-18
1680 Pueblo Revolt by Alandra Duyongwa
A Prayer to the Sun by Aiden Keevama
Shi zhéé bee' Naa'antyiin My father teaching by Penelope Joe
Baby Corn by Kaitlyn Navakuku
Overhaul by Logan Vasqez