Americas 2021 All Media

Americas 2021: All Media
August 13 through September 25
Walter Piehl Jr. Gallery
Northwest Arts Center
Minot State University
Minot, North Dakota

Juror: Zig Jackson, Savannah, GA

Reception & Online Viewing:
Thursday, September 9, 2021
6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m. Gallery Talk and Awards
Best of Show, Merit and Purchase Awards to be announced at the reception.
Exhibition photographs forthcoming.


Serving as a judge for the exhibition was a true honor for me. With so many incredible submissions, choosing winners was harder than I expected. The fact that I’m a North Dakota native made it even more difficult. Born in St. Joe’s Hospital in Minot and having grown up on the plains of North Dakota, I have many fond memories. I recall how in the summer, my parents would load us kids—all ten of us—into our ’53 Chevy, buy a bucket of chicken and drive out to the airport.

We’d throw a blanket on the hood of the car and climb up on top to watch the big planes come in, eating chicken and drinking Cokes. But when winter came, blistering and cold, such outings weren’t possible. Once, during a heavy blizzard, visibility was so bad that my brother had to get out of the car and run in front, so my father could see where to go. These experiences taught me to look at the far-away and the close-up, the distant and the immediate, ultimately helping me develop as an artist and a human being.

Now, as a photography professor at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Georgia, I find that some of my most rewarding teaching experiences are with students from the Midwest. These students know seasons, and the change—both inside and out—that comes with them. They have a refined eye and artistic sensibility, but they’re also down-to-earth. I can tease my students from the Midwest, and they tease me right back. I love their honesty and how they’re in touch with their feelings—they can weep, but they can also be tough.

With that in mind, I’d like to encourage all of you to keep working. Whether or not your work was selected for an award, don’t ever quit being an artist. I’ve had many setbacks and rejections, but I never gave up. North Dakota made me who I am and helped me find something meaningful and universal in my life experience. I encourage you to do the same with your artwork, and I thank you all for this wonderful opportunity.

— Zig Jackson 


The Americas 2000 juried competitions originated in 1970, when the art faculty at what was then Minot State College in north central North Dakota introduced a juried national exhibition to the art program with the intent of enhancing the visual arts experiences of students, the campus and the regional art community. This original “National Print and Drawing Show” would also provide a source for the purchase of quality contemporary art for a Permanent Art Collection.

In 1976, a gallery space was established in Minot State University’s Hartnett Hall for the display of art to the public. The juried competition continued and was retitled “Works on Paper” in its fourteenth year to permit a more liberal interpretation of what constituted a print or drawing.

In 1992, a second gallery was added in the new Gordon B. Olson Library, and the Northwest Art Center and its supporting Art Friends membership and board of directors were established to help guide the growing program. The juried competition was opened to international entries in 1993 and became “Americas 2000: Paperworks.” In 1995, a second annual competition, “Americas 2000: All Media” was added. “Americas 2000” was chosen to focus attention on the upcoming millennium and a special exhibition featuring the Best of Show Award winning artists from previous Americas 2000 competitions. A second “Best of the Best” exhibit helped Minot State University celebrate its centennial in 2013, and then toured to galleries across North Dakota and Montana.

“Americas 2018: Paperworks” was hosted as the inaugural exhibition in the Walter Piehl Gallery, a fitting start for the new Northwest Arts Center constructed in the lower level of the Gordon B. Olson Library.

Fifty years after the original call for entries, the Americas 2000 competitions are attracting cutting edge contemporary art from every state in the union as well as foreign countries, with two alternating annual versions, the “All Media” and “Paperworks.” The exhibitions have formed the foundation of an admirable Permanent Art Collection that is used for exhibitions, loans, research and teaching new generations of students. We are grateful to the many, many artists who have shared their work and their passion for art with our audiences throughout the years.


Artists and Works Selected

Best of Show
Carlos Herrarte
Clarion, IA, USA
"Reflections Of An
Independent Mind"


Merit Award
Christine Alfery
Lac du Flambeau, WI, USA
watercolor, acrylic on paper

Merit Award
Peter Baczek
Oakland, CA, USA
etching, aquatint

Merit Award
Jason Bassells
Brampton, ON, Canada
“Source Abstract”
coat hanger wire, yarn, wood bobbins

Merit Award
John Gummere
Morrisville, PA, USA
“Artist walks into a Bar...”
oil on canvas

Merit Award
Mark Holter
Fargo, ND, USA
“Domestic Goddess of Death”
mixed media on canvas

Best of Show and Merit Awards
Artists and Works Selected: