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Noem Announces South Dakota Governor's Student Art Competition

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Governor Noem is partnering with the South Dakota Arts Council to host the first South Dakota Governor’s Student Art Competition.

The statewide visual arts competition is intended to encourage creativity among the state’s students.

Governor Noem wants young artists to pursue their talents in South Dakota—a state famous for public art from Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse to the Faulkton grain elevator murals. Over the next few months, the South Dakota Arts Council will develop competition guidelines and send them to schools.

While similar art competitions are limited to paintings or sculptures, the governor is open to the possibility of performance art pieces as well.  

“So I’m gonna leave that up to the Arts Council. If they wanna get creative in how they conduct this competition, they’re the experts. And maybe this competition can even grow into something else that would even have different dynamics to it.”

Several state lawmakers participated in the announcement, including Senator Troy Heinert of Mission. He notes the impact of showcasing the young Native artists.  

“The way our communities have survived is through our art, through our expression. You know, it wasn’t too long ago we had to take that underground, and we’ve been able to bring that out and let it flourish and teach other people about us in contemporary fashion.”

The South Dakota Arts Council’s executive director Paul Baker says recognizing their art at a state level helps students feel a sense of belonging. He adds creative thinking is essential.

“Whether a student becomes an engineer or a farmer, a teacher or a scientific researcher, a tech-developer or a professional musician—regular learning in artistic processes will help them be successful in their work and in their lives.”

The Arts Council will begin accepting submission this fall.