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© 2019 by Mike Oncley.

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High Art 2018, I Couldn't Believe It!

What a crazy 4/20!!



In the beginning of March I stumbled across a 4/20 art contest via Instagram, HIGH ART. The theme was "Freedom" along with "cannabis" of course so I figured my red, blue, and white style would be a good match for this theme. The contest was also being hosted by Juxtapoz Magazine, which I(and many) consider to be one of the top art magazines currently. I was stoked to be a part of something they were putting on alongside Natural Cannabis Co. located in Santa Rosa. This was their 5th annual High Art contest yet the first time I was hearing about it.

After I submitted my painting "Onjha" online, I waited. I've submitted to contests in the past which usually end up being a popularity contest. Winners are usually chosen by how many votes they can get from the "public" which leaves a lot of room for dishonest votes. That is why I was so excited to hear that High Art would be judged by a panel of 7 judges. Then, just a month after submitting, I got a notice that I was a finalist! Out of over 5000 submissions, I made it to the top 100! The wait was on again with 2 more weeks until the final announcement.


As two+ weeks passed and 4/20 finally arrived, Morgan and I did what we normally do on that date since our time in Seattle, hit up the pot shops! After showing some face at The Pottery in LA, and passing through Delta9 we headed home just in time to relax at 4:20pm. We were casually laying on our bed browsing social media when my phone DINGS with a new email...

"YOU HAVE WON HIGH ART 2018!!"

Excuse me? Me? I have? I frantically read the entire email thinking "is this a mass-sent email and am I just reading the subject line wrong??" Reading...reading...reading...My name and the title of my painting were IN THE EMAIL. This was sent directly to me..... I had won! FIRST PLACE!!!

Since Morgan and I were originally considering heading to Natural Cannabis Co. up in Santa Rosa to make 4/20 a little more fun, I had completely forgotten that the winner would also be announced via Facebook live. Still laying on our bed, my fingers raced to Natural Cannabis Company's Facebook page. Their latest video, 11 minutes of judges revealing the top 5 contestants. A little bit of scrubbing and there she was, Onjha, in all her glory, in the #1 spot! It was such a surprise, Morgan and I were hugging and kissing and celebrating. What better way to celebrate our recent engagement than to win a cash prize that can help make our special day even more special?


Special thanks to Morgan for taking the original image and to Onjha for being in it! I must say, some of those finalists were so impressive, I am honored to have even been in the top 20! I never would have expected my 1am submission to an online art contest would have gotten me to the final spot and I can't be more grateful. If you're curious about the 10k worth of donations, I've asked NCC to donate it all to Red Cross International. The Red Cross has always been a part of my life, especially with my prior involvement with Music Saves Livesand I know how important blood can be to we humans. So next time you donate blood, ask for an extra orange juice, on me!

If you'd like your own copy of the winning painting, prints and more can be purchased HERE.


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