If you ask local artist Erin Virta about her creative process for making a mosaic out of nothing but lottery tickets and glue, she’ll be honest.

“As I was creating it I was joking that the piece was basically me cutting, gluing, and cursing,” she laughed during an August interview.

Virta was recently selected to create a one-of-a-kind work of art using recycled lottery tickets from the Minnesota Lottery. The theme was “North Shore Jackpot,” meant to celebrate an iconic Minnesota summer scene. Virta embraced the challenge by showing a kayaker’s perspective of a day on the lake. We caught up with her when she was pouring the final gloss resin layer.

While Virta is no stranger to a canvas (check out her Artful Palette classes!), this was her first attempt at paper art.

“It’s tedious. That I didn’t expect,” she said. “When you’re working with teeny tiny little pieces of cardboard, sometimes you happen to cut off the top of the tree or whatever you’re working with.”

But even with the long hours of cutting and gluing, Virta told us the process is worth it.

“I think the important thing is just to create,” she said. “So many people have their own preconceived notions that they don’t even start. So it’s just starting and making and creating something. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or bad. It’s really that journey of creation.”

You can enter to win Virta’s “North Shore Jackpot” mosaic at the Information tent at Art in Bayfront Park this weekend (8/18 & 8/19). The winner will also receive $250 in unscratched lottery tickets.

ARTIST BIO: Erin Virta (createwithartfulpalette.com) is a mixed media artist that lives and works in Duluth, Minnesota. Her colorful paintings pay honor to the natural and architectural sensibilities of Lake Superior’s North Shore. For her paintings, she uses organic elements and recyclable materials. An advocate for sparking creativity, Erin is constantly exploring and developing new visions for her work in painting and photography.

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