Americas 2021 Paperworks

Americas 2021: Paperworks
January 15 through February 26
Walter Piehl Jr. Gallery
Northwest Arts Center
Minot State University
Minot, North Dakota

Juror: Aaron Coleman, Tucson, AZ

Reception & Online Viewing:
Thursday, January 21, 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.


It’s always a privilege to jury an exhibition. Making roughly 50 selections from nearly 300 is a daunting task at first, especially when the entries are of such high quality. However, that feeling quickly dissipated as I made my way through the submissions.

I’m always impressed by the skill, ambition and inventive nature of creative humans, but it is the wide range in approach that inspires me most. It is particularly encouraging to see so many perspectives materialized during these difficult times. Some of the applicants attack our current (and past) social, political climate head-on while others offer reprieve in abstract sanctuary. Some of the artists present documentation of the world around us while others have convinced me to imagine a world completely separate from this one.

My selections for this exhibition, while guided by a desire to curate a cohesive display, were also based on a range of criteria including technical prowess, innovation and conceptual sophistication. I have much gratitude for all those who applied, allowing me a view into your spirits and minds. If you were selected for this exhibition, congrats. If you were not, please know that this is not necessarily a reflection of the quality of the work you submitted. Remember that there are opportunities abound and many will be yours for the taking.

TO ALL, we need your work more than ever. Keep making.

— Aaron Coleman


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
Erin Wohletz
Knoxville, TN, USA
“My Friend Leda”
mezzotint, lithography and screenprint

Merit Award
Brandi Kole
Tucson, AZ, USA
mixed media

Merit Award
Noble Golden
Seattle, WA, USA
“Zulu V”
mixed media, paper, encaustic

Merit Award
John Vinklarek
San Angelo, TX, USA
cast paper

Merit Award
Kelsey Skordal
Storrs, CT, USA
acrylic on paper

Merit Award
Dong Kyu Kim
Fort Lee, NJ, USA
“Becoming Blank#2”
paper receipts, thread, microfiber cloths

Best of Show and Merit Awards
Artists and Works Selected: