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Montana teens can create a statement about the dangers of methamphetamine use and have a chance to win as much as $13,000.

The Montana Meth Project's Paint the State Contest is open youths ages 13 and 18 who may work as an individual or team with friends, family and community group to create a work of art to convey the anti-meth message of "Meth: Not Even Once." More than $300,000 in prize money will be awarded statewide, and one teen will win $13,000.

Each county will award three prizes — $3,000, for first place; $2,000, for second; and $1,000, for third. The winners will be selected by each county's commissioners. All county first-place winners compete for the statewide grand prize of $10,000. Montana artist Russell Chatham will pick the statewide winner.

Registration for the contest is due June 15. The artwork may be displayed for as long as the entrant wishes. But, to win prize money, it must be displayed from at least July 10-15. Photos of the art must be taken and final entries submitted by July 10.

The artwork could be a sculpture, painting on a building or a design for some other work of public art to get people's attention. It's teens' chance to get creative. Maybe the design is inspired by crop circles or welded. Maybe it's a painted vehicle along a road or plants arranged in a landscape visible from an airplane or maybe it's done in a storefront window.

Each entry must be an original work of art featuring the entrant's style, message and medium of choice and have a clear anti-meth theme.

The artwork must be clearly visible from streets, highways or other public places in the state. And you must have written permission from the property owner to display the artwork.

Judging will be based on the anti-meth message , artistic merit and creativity and public visibility. Winners will be announced Aug. 9.

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To enter, register at www.paintthe-state.org by midnight June 15. Entrants younger than 18 must have permission of a parent or guardian to participate in the contest.

Then design, create and display your public artwork, with viewing at least from July 10 to 15. Photos of the artwork must be taken by July 10 for submission to the contest.

Send the photo of the entry and completed entry form by midnight July 10 to www.paintthestate.org or mail them to: Paint the State Contest; Montana Meth Project; P.O. Box 8944; Missoula, MT 59807.

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