Otero Junior College
2009 Otero Arts Festival

2014 Otero Arts Festival

Sponsored by OJC for 58 years!

It's Happening Again & You Are Invited!

The 58th annual Otero Arts Festival is set for April 1-3 at McDivitt Center on the Otero Junior College campus. The Otero Arts Festival showcases creative writing, sculptures, pottery, paintings, drawings, and other works of art submitted by middle and high school students from throughout southeast Colorado. This year’s theme is Color: The Spice of Life. The event will be open to the public April 1-3 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. daily.

Begun as an art contest for elementary and secondary school students 58 years ago, the Otero Arts Festival is the longest running event for public school students that is continuing to be sponsored by the college. Over the past several years, the writing and art contests have drawn over 2,000 entries annually. The entries are showcased in the McDivitt Center gymnasium, filling the entire playing floor and four walls.

Debbie Phillips Events Coordinator

Questions? Contact:
Debbie Phillips
Events Coordinator:
Humanities 119
Phone: 719-384-6863

Meet the 2014 Otero Arts Festival Judges

Visual Art Judges Named for 58th Annual Otero Arts Festival

2014 Otero Arts Festival Judge Dennis Dalton

Dennis Dalton, Professor of Art, teaches beginning through advanced drawing, artistic anatomy and beginning through advanced printmaking. He has received four site art commissions through the Colorado Council on the Arts and a Colorado Arts Fellowship in Drawing. Dennis works with the figure in a narrative form. “My drawings explore a visual structure capturing a freeze frame of movement much like movie stills or animation,” explains Dalton.

Dennis Dalton was born in Toledo Ohio and attended the University of Toledo while completing his art training at the Toledo Museum of Art School of Design receiving a BFA in Fine Art. He attended graduate school at CU Boulder. After receiving a scholarship to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Dalton completed his graduate studies there with an MFA in 1984. Dalton has taught drawing and printmaking at Northeastern University, Texas A&M and Colorado State University-Pueblo. He received a Colorado Council on the Arts Drawing Fellowship and has exhibited regionally and internationally in 135 exhibitions since 2000. His work is in 14 public collections including Graphic Chemical and Ink in Chicago, Taylor Museum in Colorado Springs, Yuma Art Center, Curtis Art Center in Greenwood Village, Denver Art Museum and Ningxia University, Yinchuan China. Dennis currently lives in Pueblo but maintains a printmaking studio on his property close to LaVeta.

2014 Otero Arts Festival Judge Marakai Dane’

Marakai Dane’ earned a Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toledo Museum School. Dane’ has a MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Dane’ has taught painting and drawing at colleges and universities for over fifteen years including CSU –Pueblo, Carnegie-Mellon University, Texas A& M, Weber State University and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Dane’ works in oils on large canvas and has exhibited locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Her local exhibits include the Sangre de Cristo Art Center in Pueblo, the Colorado Springs Airport and the UCCS Gallery of Contemporary Art in Colorado Springs and the Curtis Art Center in Denver and One West Art Center in Fort Collins, Colorado. Regionally her work has been included in exhibitions at the Phoenix Art Museum and The Amarillo Arts Center in Texas. Internationally work has been included in exhibitions in Mexico City University, Mexico; Valdivia, Chile and Valencia, Spain. “Visually my work is colorful pattern and movement with a three dimensional use of light and shadow,” said Dane’.

Seniors wishing to compete in the Senior Portfolio competition are encouraged to send in their Letters of Intent to exhibit. There is still limited space available for portfolios. To enter your senior portfolio email Debbie.Phillips@ojc.edu. All area students, grades 7-12, are encouraged to enter the Otero Arts Festival. Entries for the art contest will be accepted on Friday March 28th from 1-5 pm at the McDivitt Center (gym) on the Otero Junior College campus. Students may have one entry for each medium/technique with a maximum of six entries total per student. Entries must be labeled and hung per the guidelines that are posted on the OJC website.

The art professionals who serve as jurors for the arts festival will award over 600 ribbons in a contest that annually draws over 2000 entries from middle school and high school artists of southeastern Colorado. They also choose the recipients of Best of Show High School and Middle School and Outstanding Senior Portfolio ribbons. Judging will take place on Saturday March 29th with public viewing of the art show to begin on Tuesday April 1 at 8 am. The exhibit will remain open to the public April 1-3 from 8 am to 4 pm and then again at 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. There is no cost for admission to the exhibit. The public is invited to visit the exhibit and view the outstanding work the students.


2014 Otero Arts Festival Alysse Kathleen McCanna

Creative Writing

First time judge, award winning poet and writer Alysse Kathleen McCanna will be judging the creative writing entries in the Creative Writing competition for the 58th Annual Otero Arts Festival to be held April 1-3 at Otero Junior College. Recently honored with a first place award for her poetry entries by the Sixfold Poetry Winter 2013 contest.

McCanna, who currently lives in Pueblo, works for the Colorado State University-Pueblo History and Psychology Departments. McCanna graduated from Smith College in 2007 and is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Arts in Writing and Literature at Bennington College in Vermont.

“This creative writing contest sounds absolutely wonderful,” said McCanna “I would be honored to be a judge.”

McCanna’s poetry has appeared in or is forthcoming from Southwestern American Literature, Pilgrimage, Eleventh Muse, Calliope, The Comstock Review, Poesia, Porcupine, and Wisconsin: People & Ideas, among others.

McCanna was recently named the winner of Sixfold’s winter poetry contest in December 2013. Sixfold is a collaborative journal published quarterly in January, April, July, and October, each issue is free to read online and downloadable at www.sixfold.org. Five of McCanna’s poems appear in the winter 2013 edition.

“Each year, I write 30 poems in 30 days in both April and November,” said McCanna “I spend my spare time writing, editing, and sending poems & manuscripts to contests & publishers.”

In 2010 McCanna was the winner of the Mark Fischer Poetry Award (out of Telluride, CO), and placed third in the Women Who Write Annual Poetry Contest. In 2007 McCanna was awarded the Elizabeth Babcock Poetry Prize from Smith College, and in 2003 placed 2nd in the Harlan O. Roberson poetry contest from the Wisconsin Center of Academically Talented Youth.

Area students in grades 7-12 can enter the Creative Writing division of the Otero Arts Festival. Entries are accepted for the Creative Writing division through Friday, February 28. All poems, short stories, essays and creative books that are entered will be displayed in the Reading Room during the public viewing dates, April 1-3.

First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each of the three writing categories for grades 7 -12. A ribbon and $50 award will be given for Best Representative Writing in middle school and a ribbon and $50 award will be given for Best Representative Writing in high school.

The Creative Writing contest continues to feature a winning high school senior portfolio. High School seniors are encouraged to enter a poem, short story and essay in the Senior Portfolio creative writing competition. The winner of the Senior Portfolio creative writing division will be awarded a one-year, renewable, 12 credit hours of in-state tuition at the on campus rate scholarship to Otero Junior College.

“This year’s competition will again show the depth and talent that exists in our area students,” said Phillips. “The committee for the Otero Arts Festival would like to invite the public to come and read these wonderful works” All Creative Writing entries will be on exhibit in the Reading Room April 1-3 from 8am to 4pm and from 6:30pm to 8pm, admission is free to the exhibit.

Entries are currently being accepted by mail at Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries to Humanities Center Room 119 by 5 p.m. on Friday, February 28. For complete creative writing guidelines and information: (Click Here)


2014 Otero Arts Festival Winners

2014 Creative Writing Winners (153 Kb PDF file):     View Creative Writing Results!

2014 Visual Arts Winners (162 Kb PDF file):     View Visual Arts Results!

2013 Otero Arts Festival Winners

2013 Creative Writing Winners (226 Kb PDF file):     View Creative Writing Results!

2013 Visual Arts Winners (188 Kb PDF file):     View Visual Arts Results!

2012 Otero Arts Festival Winners

2012 Creative Writing Winners (210 Kb PDF file):     View Creative Writing Results!

2012 Visual Arts Winners (132 Kb PDF file):     View Visual Arts Results!

2009 Otero Arts Festival

2009 OAF festival

Otero Arts Festival Schedule

  • February 28, 2014
    —Creative Writing Entries Due by 5pm
    Humanities Center Room 105

  • March 14, 2014
    —Senior Portfolio letters of Intent Due by 5pm
    Humanities Center Room 105

  • March 28, 2014
    —Art Entries 1-5pm
    —Registration Deadline Theatrical Competition 1:00 pm
    McDivitt Center Gym

  • March 29, 2014
    —Judging 9am, Closed to Public

  • April 1 - April 3, 2014
    —Public Viewing
    8:00 am - 3:00 pm
    & 6:30 - 8:00 pm

  • April 3, 2014
    —Open to Public
    6:30 pm
    —Awards Ceremony & removal
    7:00 - 8:30 pm

  • April 5, 2014
    —Theatrical Competition
    10:00 am
    —Ed Stafford Theater

2014 Otero Arts Festival General Information

Otero Arts Festival Schedule of Events:     View  OAF Schedule of Events

2012 Otero Arts Festival Important Information for Artists:     View  Art General Rules

Otero Arts Festival Medium Technique Sheet:     View  Medium/Technique List

Otero Arts Festival Entry Form:     View  Art Entry Form

Otero Arts Festival Senior Portfolio:     View  Senior Portfolio Entry

2014 Otero Arts Festival Important Information for Writers

Creative Writing Rules:     View  Creative Writing Rules

Creative Writing Book Format Rules:     View  Book Format Rules

Creative Writing Example:     View  Creative Write Example

Images from the 2007 OAF Festival

Register for the Otero Arts Festival. (PDF mail-in Entry Forms)

Click here OAF Entry Form!

Click here for Senior Portfolio!



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