The last day of March marks the first chance to walk through gallery walls decorated in works entered into the People and Animal Exhibition and Competition, hosted by Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance.

Art in a multitude of mediums and gourmet desserts in a variety of flavors will be presented during the opening reception, scheduled to start at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, at Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.

Winners of the competition will be announced at the complimentary dessert reception, which is open to the public and features a cash bar with proceeds supporting SAACA’s mission to continue community art events and programs.

Attendees may also browse through a silent auction, with a chance to obtain unique artwork at relatively low costs.

Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., provides gallery space for local artists to showcase work and win awards, while building a stronger, healthier community and embracing creativity in its many forms.

Artists have described how their works relate to the contest’s People and Animals theme, through narratives posted near their artwork. The competition is designed to encourage both accomplished and novice artists to showcase their talent. It is open to all ages.

There will be first-, second- and third-place winners as well as two honorable mentions and a People’s Choice Award-winner announcements. Cash prizes are $200 for first place, $100 for second and $50 for third. All winners receive ribbons.

An exhibit featuring the winners and works by all participating artists will be open to the public, free of charge and by appointment, on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon from April 1 to June 30.

If you go

What: Ventana Gallery People and Animals opening reception

When: 5 p.m., March 31

Where: Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., 1910 E. Innovation Park Drive.

Cost: Free

For more information, visit or call 797-3959.

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