The 31st annual LowellArts West Michigan Art Competition is expanding thanks to increased gallery space.

The competition will now accept entries from artists from 25 different counties in Michigan, an increase from last year when artists from 15 counties were eligible.

$2000 in cash awards will be given to five artists.

Artists must pay a non-refundable entry fee of $30 for one or two pieces. Cost is $20 for LowellArts Members and students with a current ID.

All artists must reside in 1 of the 25 lower west Michigan counties: Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gratiot, Ionia, Isabella, Kalamazoo, Kent, Lake, Mason, Mecosta, Muskegon, Montcalm, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Ottawa, Saint Joseph or Van Buren.

Only original artwork completed within the past two years is eligible. The competition is open to all visual art media by artists 18 years and older.

Artwork must be hand-delivered or shipped to LowellArts' new location at 223 W Main St in Lowell. Artwork drop off is Wednesday through Friday, February 22-24, 10am - 6pm and Saturday, February 25th, 10am - 5pm.

The larger gallery space has made it possible for exhibit organizers to allow larger artwork to be entered into this year's competition. 2-D and 3-D entries may be up to 62 inches in any one direction.

The selected entries will be on display at the LowellArts Gallery from March 4 to April 15. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 10-5pm. A meet-the-artists reception and presentation of awards is scheduled for Thursday, March 9 from 5:30 - 8:30pm.

This year's distinguished juror is Nichole Maury, Associate Professor in the Printmedia Area and Curator of the University Print Collection of the Gwen Frostic School of Art at Western Michigan University.

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