Local artist contest offers $500 grand prize

Cedar City pop culture store Deal Galaxy Guru is holding a contest for local artists that will award the winners with $500, prints and shirts of the winning artwork and an exhibition featuring their work online and in-stores.

There are two submission categories for the contest: a re-imagining of the Deal Galaxy Guru logo in the artist’s own style and a pop-culture freestyle. Submissions are open through March 23. On the night that submissions close, there will be a social for all participants.

Submissions will be on display in Deal Galaxy Guru to be judged from March 30-31. The winners will be announced at the Art Gala on April 1 where prizes will be awarded and the featured artists announced.

Until the exhibition and gala, Octopus Apothecary, another Cedar City store that sells “rare gifts for rare people,” will hold a rotating display of the submissions as a perk of submitting early.

The goal in holding the contest is to “benefit local artists and to monetize something that they love they may not have imagined they could before,” said JR Jaramillo, one-half of the father-son duo that owns and operates Deal Galaxy Guru.

Deal Galaxy Guru sells Funko Pop! figures, movies, comics and other vintage pop-culture collectable items. They recently sponsored the 2022 Southern Utah University Comic-Con Costume Contest in January and are working towards being a sponsor for the SUU Gaming Club.

Jaramillo said holding a contest felt natural and he hopes this and future ventures will “use pop culture to create a community.”

Contributors will be given free entrance for themselves and one other guest for the gala and additional tickets can be purchased for $10 on a first-come, first-served basis.

Deal Galaxy Guru will produce prints before, during and after the exhibition and gala to sell in-person and online. Seventy-five percent of the retail price for prints and a $5 license fee will be paid directly to the artist for each shirt sold.

Artists can submit their works or ask any questions in-store at Deal Galaxy Guru or Octopus Apothecary or through emailing art@dealgalaxy.guru. A contest and licensing consent form must be signed in-store or through email upon submission.

More information about Deal Galaxy Guru and updates regarding the contest can be found on their website and Facebook. More information about Octopus Apothecary can be found on their website, Instagram and Facebook.

Article and Photos by: Tanner Wade Hallam