15th—and final—Fallfire art contest begins

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This untitled photograph by Adam Bartels was last year’s “best of show” winner of the local Fallfire art contest.

 With the support of several area businesses, cartoonist John Mundt, Esquire, of Prairie du Chien, is hosting the 15th annual Fallfire art contest, which is accepting submissions now through Saturday, Nov. 3. Open to artists of any age, and in all mediums, Fallfire 15, according to Mundt, “will also be our last.” 

Inspired by the sights and sounds of autumn, Mundt, illustrator of “The Collected Short Stories of L. Frank Baum,” founded the contest in 2004 to challenge all artists to “flex their creative muscles.” 

Participants are asked to create a work inspired by the word “fallfire.” 

“Fall always puts me in a very creative mood. I hope to share that feeling with this creativity-inducing exercise,” Mundt said. 

Again this year, there will be a grand prize winner, as well as prizes awarded in four different categories: photography, two-dimensional art, written works and other media. 

Last year’s “best of show” winner was an untitled photograph of a waterfall by Adam Bartels. Previous winning Fallfire entries also include music, poetry, paintings, woven art, mixed media, jewelry, video essays, a decorated walking stick and even a set of note cards. Contestants are asked to submit their entries before noon, on Saturday, Nov. 3. Official rules, a list of prizes, and some previous winning entries can be found at fallfire.org. 

Contest finalists will be announced and notified on Nov. 5, with individual awards revealed and presented at a public open house gallery show, featuring all entries, on Nov. 10. This will be the premiere event held in the display and reception area of Prairie du Chien High School’s new addition. This final gallery show, entitled Fallfire: Eternal, will then continue to be open to the public through Saturday, Nov. 17. All contest entrants will also be invited to offer their work for sale in the gallery, commission free. Further gallery show details will be released at a later date.

“If you’ve ever heard of Fallfire,” Mundt advised, “and have thought of entering the contest, but haven’t, then this is your year. I guess all good things must come to an end.” 

Mundt explained that, due to changes in his life and schedule, this will be the final Fallfire contest and gallery show.

Submissions (and requests for more information) can be emailed to fallfire@fallfire.org, or delivered/mailed to Fallfire 15, 1411 S. 14th St., Prairie du Chien, WI 53821-2835. 

Although there will be ribbons presented, as well as hundreds of dollars in monetary prizes, Mundt contends that “They will be just tokens anyway, as the true reward will be the work itself.”

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