TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – There’s a reason you’re seeing unique pieces of art pop up in and around the city.

For the eighth year in a row, Art & Soul of the Magic Valley is showcasing the work of local artists at 99 businesses and other venues in Twin Falls.

But, according to Melissa Crane, director of marketing and sales for
the Magic Valley Arts Council, the contest accepts art from people all across the globe.

“Art & Soul encourages participation from artists across everywhere,” she told News Radio 1310. “As an arts appreciation event it is exciting to see work from all corners of the world.”

This year’s contest, which runs from April 13-28, features more than 300 artists and represents 15 states and two countries.

“The Art & Soul Committee members are thrilled to see the contest continue to grow,” Crane said. “We have all worked hard to encourage more artists and businesses to participate this year than ever before.”

Young and emerging artists may also participate. Crane said the work of 129 students will have their work displayed this year at the Magic Valley Mall. “Highlighting students and their accomplishments brings all of us involved great joy,” she said.

The contest, presented by the Magic Valley Arts Council and involves the public’s voting on their favorite pieces of art, officially kicks off with a celebration on April 12. From 5:30 to 7 p.m. that day, visitors at the Twin Falls Center for the Arts, 195 River Vista Place, will have the chance to meet artists, register to vote for their favorite works of art, and enjoy light refreshments and music.

On the following day, those who’ve registered (anyone ages 16 and older) may start visiting the venues and voting for their favorite art. Voters determine the 30 winners to receive of $40,000 in prize money. There is no fee to register or to vote.

It’s easy to find the art: each venue is marked by a yellow flag with a red-shaped heart.

Crane said she is excited about this year's contest.

“Everything about Art & Soul excites me,” she said. “I love that the Magic Valley Arts Council can provide a platform to showcase artists, increase an appreciation for art, foster new relationship, and enhance economic growth in our area.”

For more information or to view a list of sponsors and venues, visit MagicValleyHasArt.com or call the MVAC at 734-ARTS.