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Historic Cortez Coloring Book contest winners announced

Aida McDowell’s art was chosen as the coloring book’s cover photo. (City of Cortez/Courtesy Photo)
Physical and digital copies of the book will be available

On Tuesday, the winners of the Historic Cortez Coloring Book contest were announced by the city of Cortez, LOR Foundation, Cortez Retail Enhancement Association and the Cortez Public Arts Advisory Committee and Historic Preservation board, which partnered for the competition.

In January, the city of Cortez called for local artists to submit their artwork in consideration for a coloring book to honor “historic places, spaces and events in Cortez.”

According to the city, more than 70 submissions were received from nearly 30 local artists, including students. The youngest was 6 years old.

Eight pieces of artwork were submitted for the cover page.

Thirty-two submissions were chosen by a group of judges to be included in the print version of the coloring book. The digital version of the book will include at least one submission from each artist, including the artists not chosen for the physical version of the book.

The panel of judges was made up of representatives from the LOR Foundation, Mesa Verde Country, Cortez Cultural Center, Montezuma Heritage Museum, Cortez Community and Economic Development Department, Cortez Historic Preservation Board and the Cortez Public Arts Advisory Committee.

Aida McDowell was chosen to have her art featured in the book as well as it being the cover art for the coloring book.

Other artists that have their submissions included in the physical copy as a full page are Abby J. Fox, Alia Trice, Anne Englert, Ashley Nolan, Blake Pirslin, Cynthia Switzer, Jim Siscoe, Kathleen Giebler, Natalie Whitmer, Olive Gray, Ronin Wise, Sandra Beirne and Sophia Borchers.

Honorable mention artists who will have a half-page feature in the physical coloring book are Deb Silverman, Joel Gamache, Kate Rowan, Piper Green, Ryan Spittler, Susan Keck and Teegan Schlagel.

Teegan Schlagel’s drawing of a mountain lion in front of the Ute Mountain received an honorable mention award. (Teegan Schlagel/Courtesy photo)

Additional submissions from Annalise Cunningham, Carson Achter, Cecilia Cunningham, Darbee Iverson, Erik Quiroz, Jessica Lykins, Rafe Obrien and Tommy Tunnell will be featured in the digital version of the coloring book.

The final publication will also include graphic design services from T.J. Zack from HelloZark.

The coloring book is set to release around mid-May, and will be available for sale at the Montezuma Heritage Museum and Cortez Cultural Center.

The free, downloadable version of the book will be available at the city of Cortez website in early May.

“This has been a really fun project to work on. We wanted this coloring book to celebrate not only the history of Cortez, but the talent of our local artists,” said Community and Economic Development Specialist Helen West. “The idea behind the coloring book was to bring history to life, to the present day,”

Additionally, all the artist’s coloring book submissions will be featured at an artist showcase at the Cortez Cultural Center May 2-4.

The public is invited to attend a reception for the artists on Friday, May 3, from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a formal recognition of the artists beginning at 5:30 p.m.