FARMINGTON — Students from the Navajo Nation are being encouraged to enter their artwork for the poster of the third annual Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon Event.

The balloon rally is set for Jan. 11-13, 2013 at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park. The theme this year is "soar and explore Monument Valley sky."

Artsco, the owner of The View Hotel in Monument Valley, will in December award $500 for a poster contest winner, $500 for a grand prize winner and $500 for another category called the Sponsor's Choice.

Artsco will also award $100 for first place, $50 for second place and $25 for third place for winners in each grade level kindergarten through 12th grade.

More than 60 students from throughout the Navajo Nation entered the art contest for the second annual Hot Air Balloon event when it was held earlier this year.

Armanda Ortega, owner of Artsco, said due to its overwhelming success, they decided to sponsor another art contest in conjunction with the third annual Monument Valley Hot Air Balloon Event in January 2013.

"We are strongly encouraging students from throughout the Navajo Nation to enter their artwork to help promote the hot air balloon event at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park," Ortega said in a prepared statement. "We know there are many talented young Navajo youth. We are honored to help support and promote Navajo youth because they are going to be our future leaders."

Artwork can be sent to the attention of Lena Black at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, P.O. Box 360289, Monument Valley, Utah, 84536 or can be delivered in person to the park office in Monument Valley.

For more information, contact Black at Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park at 435-727-5870 or 435-727-5878. The fax number 435-727-5875.

The deadline for entries is Dec. 14. Awards will be presented on Dec. 19 at The View Hotel.

The art contest entry form and guidelines are available at www.navajonationparks.org.