The Arizona Lottery has selected three designs by Phoenix artist Emily Costello to appear on lottery tickets that go on sale this August. They’ll be available at nearly 3,000 retailers throughout the state.
Costello’s artwork was chosen through an open call, and her selection was announced by press release on June 7. More than 40 artists submitted work for consideration.
The $2 scratcher tickets will have a Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, theme. The Mexican holiday is a multiday celebration of those who have died, and it begins each year on October 31.
“Emily’s artwork is a remarkable depiction of Arizona traditions, and the tickets will be a wonderful celebration of our rich Hispanic culture,” says Arizona Lottery executive director Gregg Edgar in the news release.
Costello is a self-taught painter, printer, and mixed-media artist whose work is inspired by her Mexican heritage as well as her own life events. She’s a member of the Phoenix Fridas, an art collective inspired by renowned Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
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"I'm a native of Arizona, so it means a lot to me to be the first Arizona artist to have my work used on the tickets," says Costello, who was born in Superior and now lives in south Phoenix.
"I felt like I'd won the lottery," she says of learning her artwork was chosen. "I've only been doing this for eight years."
Despite that relatively short time working in the local art community, Costello's work has been widely exhibited in metro Phoenix. Her work is regularly shown at the Sagrado Galleria, which opened in south Phoenix in late 2016. Recently, she had a solo exhibition of paintings, prints, and mixed-media works titled “Trozos y Tesoros” (“Pieces and Treasures”) at Xico Arte y Cultura, where she was an artist-in-residence. Costello's art has also been shown in galleries in California and New Mexico.
"I'm excited that the people who chose my work felt a connection to my art," Costello says of the panel who judged the Arizona Lottery submissions. "And I think involving local artists shows a real commitment to our community."