The History of the Americas Juried Competitions

The Americas Juried Competitions originated in 1970, when art faculty at the Minot State College in north central North Dakota introduced a juried exhibition to the art program with the intent of enhancing the visual arts experiences of students, the campus and the regional art community, with exposure to contemporary trends. This original "National Print and Drawing Show" would also be the source a quality contemporary fine art collection.

In 1976, a dedicated gallery space was established in Minot State University's Hartnett Hall for the display of art to the public. The juried competition continued annually and was retitled "Works on Paper" in 1986.

In 1992, a second gallery was added in the new Gordon B. Olson Library, and the Northwest Arts 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." In 1995, a second annual competition for an all media category was added.

The "Best of the Best" exhibition, featuring the Best of Show Award winning artists from previous Americas 2000 competitions, ushered in the new millennium in 2000. The "Best of the Best" toured throughout the state and neighboring states. A second "Best of the Best" exhibit helped Minot State University celebrate its centennial in 2013, and also toured throughout North Dakota.

Forty-eight years after the original call for entries, Americas 2000 is attracting cutting-edge contemporary art from every state in the union plus international entries with two alternating annual exhibitions, the "All Media" and "Paperworks." We are grateful to the many, many artists who have shared their work and their passion for art with our audiences throughout the years.

Look for a special edition of Americas 2021, as the competition celebrates its 50th year and a new state-of-the-art exhibit venue.