With the theme of the High Art 2020 competition being magic, this year’s submissions have spanned into mind-boggling realms, from tribal and pagan rituals to fantasy and intergalactic hallucinations. Hosted by the Natural Cannabis Company, this unique international competition annually invites visual artists to explore the depths of their imagination and art. Now in its 7th year, High Art 2020 has continued to grow. The Natural Cannabis Company team are celebrating another year with a record-breaking amount of entries: over 5,000 entries from over 130 countries!
This year completely shattered our expectations. As the contest opened, the Covid-19 pandemic started to really affect the world at the same time; we were wondering if this would decrease participation, but it did the opposite!
The entries were incredible. We say every year that the artists participating have stepped up their game and this year was no exception. Artists who have entered previously have evolved and improved so much over the years, and new artists have begun to hear about High Art and give it their all. The result was over 5,000 beautiful entries ranging from traditional mediums to complex digital creations, all of which enchanted us with their interpretations of this year’s magical theme.Noa Commendador, Art Director at the Natural Cannabis Company
Artists have been inspired by marijuana for decades, and the cannabis art movement has evolved throughout different cultures. This movement has only grown as more and more countries have legalised this plant. As such, one of the goals of High Art is to celebrate this creativity and the real-life experiences linked to using cannabis. Submissions can be inspired by, or produced as a result of cannabis. Though, while this is a focus, it is not compulsory for artists submitting to have been affected by this psychotropic drug.
Promoting the winning artworks
As well as the monetary prizes, the Finalists and the Winners will have their artwork and stories relating to their art read and seen by purchasers of NCC products. This is because their works will be transformed into decorative packaging for the Natural Cannabis Company. Additionally, the Finalists and Winners will also enjoy promotion around the world at cannabis-related events.
Given the current pandemic, this year’s promotional events are adaptive. However, the Natural Cannabis Company team aim to promote the artwork as much as possible. “At this point in time we cannot schedule any events until we know how long current pandemic restrictions will last. Currently all large gatherings and events have been cancelled until September, so we hope that by then we can schedule something for the fall to really showcase our winners!
The new High Guide featuring the top 150 artists from this year will be published by the end of June. So at the very least, we can distribute those to everyone stuck at home. As a result they can enjoy and appreciate the hard work all the artists have done this year.”
The Top 5 Winners
1st place place: $15,000 + $10,000 donation to The International Red Cross
ALE DE LA TORRE from Mexico, with ‘CURANDERA’
This image is about the dream of a shaman, a witch, a “Curandera” who has the ability to communicate with the dead, to cure through the use of medicinal herbs and to make astral projections. In her dream, she gets into her own conscience and in this introspection she becomes fire. She is order and chaos.
2nd place: $5,000
ROSENFELDTOWN from Argentina, with ‘THE ALCHEMIST’
Rosenfeldtown, born in Santa Fe, Argentina is an illustrator, draftsman and painter. He has been a cannabis illustrator since 2008, publishing in THC magazine, the magazine of cannabis culture in Argentina. On his artwork, Rosenfeldtown shares: ‘extract the essence of the flower, invoking the refined thought, dominating the internal fire’.
3rd place: $2,500
MOUAD MOUSTAID from Morocco, with ‘GATEWAY TO MAGIC’
Mouad Moustaid a.k.a Erraxul, is an illustrator and graphic designer from Casablanca, Morocco. Art is the love of Erraxul’s life, their job and the air they breathe.
4th place: $1,000
STEVE COLEMAN from Canada with ‘HARE E HOUDINI’
After the accident, Steve Coleman discovered he had the ability to draw. And that the accident was just made up to have a more interesting sounding bio.
5th place: $1,000
GIO KARLO BIRONDO from the Philippines with ‘DEFENDING LOVE’
Gio Karlo Birondo is photomontage artist based in the Philippines. His works are mostly based on inner feelings and emotions that he presents in a surreal way.
To finish, enjoy some more of this year’s entries via a selection of the Top 20 artists below. For the full Top 20, more information on High Art 2020 and The Natural Cannabis Company, head to their website.