Hickory – We are proud to announce our first art competition of its type in our history, the Creative Challenge Artist Competition. We encourage entries from all 2D artists regardless of their experience or education in the art field.

Songwriter and national recording artist, Thomas Aaron Garlow, is currently recording a new album. This project was made possible, in part, by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County. An integral part of the proposal to win this grant was the plan to sponsor a “Creative Challenge Artist Competition”, open to all local 2D artists.

The “Challenge” is for artists to create a piece of two-dimensional art that best represents the “Theme” of the musical album. The album will contain music rooted in southern foothills and mountain influence and will be in collaboration with several local musicians. The “title or theme” song of the album will be “Waterfalls”. It can be heard by visiting the following link.


Artists may submit up to three of their best representational or non-representational art related to the “Waterfalls” theme, either as paintings, photography or mixed media. As the media must be able to be photographed for the cd/album, the square size of 12” is preferred, but can be as large as 24” x 24” (no larger than 24×24). All entries will be in the form of jpegs at 300 dpi, submitted to [email protected], and with the following included: title, artist’s full name, address, phone number, email, and price if available for sale.

Awards will be given for the top 3 entries: First Prize, $200.00, Second Prize $100.00, Third Prize $50.00. All entrants will receive a complimentary copy of the CD when it is finally released, later this year. The three winning entries will be photographed for use on the CD and/or future use with promotion of the album. All entries will be returned to the artist after the exhibition. More than one of the winning entries may be used on the CD. Full credit will be given to the artist on any and all printed images of the art work used in the production and promotion of the CD. Jury of Judges TBD.

A group exhibition of all entrants will be held online on a dedicated Facebook page following the close of the competition for thirty days. In addition, a group exhibition of selected art works will be displayed at Trade Alley Art in Hickory, NC. For the opening of the exhibit, Thomas Aaron Garlow will perform some of his original songs, including “Waterfalls”.

The time for submitting entries will end on Monday, July 1, 2019, at 4:00 PM. Entries must be submitted by email to [email protected] . Entries submitted after this time will not be accepted. Winners will be announced on July 8, 2019.

More information can be found on Facebook under “Creative Challenge Artist Competition.”
Photo: Thomas Aaron Garlow