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ACBS, BSCO launches drawing challenge contest for MT students

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Big Sky Arts Council high school intern, Madison Strauss, stands next to an art-wrapped utility box in Big Sky Town Center. PHOTO BY MIRA BRODY

Winners to have work featured on Big Sky utility boxes, free camp


BIG SKY – As Montana parents grapple with a new normal, one in which the lines between work and family have been all but dissolved following the closure of businesses and schools as a result of COVID-19, a collaborative contest from the Arts Council of Big Sky and Big Sky Community Organization might provide some reprieve—more importantly, some fun with a chance at prestige.

The contest, dubbed the “Environmental Sustainability Drawing Challenge,” is open to all third, fourth and fifth graders across the state, and is an opportunity for area youngsters to flex some creative muscles while also showing an appreciation for the environment and great wilds around them.

The rules are simple.

Start with a prompt: “Draw yourself doing your favorite outdoor activity”; “Draw a Montana animal in its natural habitat”; “Why are natural resources important? Draw your answer”; “Illustrate one way humans can help protect the environment”; or “Draw your favorite place in nature.”

Next, get creative and think critically about the selected prompt, incorporating favorite drawing mediums, glitter, paint and other add-ons. Every material and stroke must be original.

Finally, submit the piece (without folding it) to the ACBS, with a separate sheet of paper indicating the artist’s full name, grade, school, teacher, parent’s name, mailing address, phone number and parent’s signature. Their address is P.O. Box 160308, Big Sky, MT 59716.

As an offshoot project of ACBS’s Intern Madison Strauss’s “Creativity, Action, Service” project to Promote Environmental Sustainability through Public Art, the challenge comes with a solid, similar prize—the drawings will be featured permanently on Big Sky utility boxes, celebrating the artists, their work and the environment for years to come.

The winning artists will then be pooled for a grand prize nod, in which a qualifying student, selected at random, will get free admission (a $180 value) to the Big Sky Community Organization’s Explorer’s Adventure Camp in Big Sky, which runs from June 29 to July 2.

“Madison was already working hard on promoting environmental sustainability through public art with an existing outreach [one without any age limits],” said ACBS Education and Outreach Director Megan Buecking. “But with the coronavirus and kids staying home, and with not as much to do now schools are closed, we thought this would be a great and fun offshoot for them to get involved.”

Artwork must be received by April 17 for consideration. Visit for additional information.

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