Otero Arts Festival

Sponsored by OJC for 62 years!

Arts Festival

The 61st annual Otero Arts Festival is set for April 3rd through April 5th at the 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. The event will be open to the public on Tuesday, April 3rd through Thursday, April 5th.  Exhibit is from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 6:30-8 p.m. daily.

2018 Schedule of Events

62 years ago the Festival was started as an art contest for middle and secondary school students to showcase their artistic talents. The Otero Arts Festival is one of the longest running events for public school students in Southeast Colorado, and has been continually sponsored by Otero Junior College. Over the past several years, the writing and art contests have drawn over 2,000 entries annually.



2017 Otero Arts Festival Winners

61st OAF Awards 2017


  • 2018 Guidelines Otero Arts Festival
 For Artist

    Visual Arts

    Seniors wishing to compete in the Senior Portfolio competition are encouraged to send in their Letters of Intent to exhibit, as there is limited space available for portfolios. Emails to reserve a Senior Portfolio space will be accepted beginning March 1, 2018 with a deadline of Friday March 16th.  To enter your senior portfolio email Debbie.Phillips@ojc.edu.  All area students, grades 7-12, are also encouraged to enter the Otero Arts Festival. Entries for the art contest will be accepted on Friday March 30th 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 31st with public viewing of the art show to begin on Tuesday April 3 at 8 am. The exhibit will remain open to the public April 3 – April 5 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.


    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


  • 2018 Guidelines Otero Arts Festival
 Creative Writing Contest

    Creative Writing

    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, March 2. All poems, short stories, essays and creative books that are entered will be displayed in the Reading Room during the public viewing dates, April 3-April 5.

    First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded in each of the three writing categories for grades 7 -12. A ribbon and $100 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.

    Entries are currently being accepted by mail at Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing, Macdonald Hall Room 110, 1802 Colorado Avenue, La Junta, CO 81050 or by bringing entries to Macdonald Hall Room 110 by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 2nd.

    Otero Arts Festival Creative Writing Rules:

    View  Writing General Rules

    Creative Writing Book:

    Click for Creative Book Rules

    Creative Writing:

    Click for Writing Examples



2015 Otero Artes Festival