The 2020 International Festival Committee will adjust their original requirements for their annual poster competition due to recent school closures and concerns related to COVID-19.

The committee is offering artists of all ages a break from the stress with a chance to make the festival poster from the safety and comfort of their own home. The Festival Poster Contest is now accepting submissions from both adults and students.

Artists can take a high-quality photo of their final poster design and email it to the Lawton Arts & Humanities Division at lahc@lawtonok.gov. The staff will send a reply confirming receipt of the artwork. The artist name, full mailing address, and phone number must be included in the email, as well as school and current grade level (if applicable). Please do not mail the actual poster, but do keep it through September 28, 2020, in case the judges need to contact the artist with questions.

In addition to submitting the artwork through email, artists can use an 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper or larger to create their artwork.

“In past years, we required the artwork to be on poster boards and a particular size, but this year, we do not want anyone to go out and try to find poster board for this competition,” said Lawton Arts & Humanities Coordinator Michael Leal.

The winning design may be used on promotional materials advertising the festival. Judges can select one winner in each division (K-5, 6-8, 9-12 and adult). Each division winner will receive a $50 award. The competition winner will be chosen from division winners. Also, the competition winner receives a $200 stipend, one festival T-shirt, and one official 2020 International Festival poster.

The deadline to email the entries is May 15 by 5 p.m. Judging is tentatively scheduled for June 2. Artwork will be viewed and voted on by members of the International Festival Committee. They will consider the overall impact of design, artistic merit, creativity, and appropriateness of the subject matter as it relates to the International Festival. Artwork will also be judged by its ability to be transferred to a screen print without distorting the original design.

“We turn to the arts to get through difficult times, so it’s been hard to grapple with social distancing, canceled events, and the closure of venues during the COVID-19 outbreak. We decided rather than cancel this poster contest, we would turn it into a digital competition. Artists are adaptable, especially when facing challenges, so we hope this will be a fun project for everyone,” Leal said.

This year marks the 41st consecutive year for the International Festival which will be held Sept. 25-27 at Elmer Thomas Park.

For more information, contact the Arts & Humanities Office at 581-3470 or 581-3471.

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