The moon inspires even the most reluctant muses in artists.

Constantly changing, it is round and fecund in early spring, blood-red and haunting in late fall. It hangs in the sky reflecting the seasons slow shift. It is a guiding light and a beacon in the depths of winter, something to raise hope even on the coldest nights.

Nerissa Rosati, owner and curator of the Copper Moon Gallery, chose the second part of the gallery’s namesake to represent this year’s theme.

“Last year was all art done using or involving copper as a medium, as it was our first solo show and helped open up Copper Moon to the art world,” she says.

This year the theme follows the gallery’s name again, which led me to ask Rosati what would happen next year, when she runs out of handy themes. She laughs and assures me that, “I’ve still got another year to puzzle that one over.”

This year’s artist competition hinges off the great success of last year. Rosati mentions that last year, despite it being their first ever show and exhibition, over 40 exhibits were entered to be judged.

“The response was overwhelming and the quality of the art entered was fantastic. It was a proud moment, and that was when we realized we’ve really got something good happening here.”

The subject is the moon, and artists can use any medium or form they wish. Rosati emphasizes they are judging based on creativity and interesting riffs off of the theme.

“I’m hoping to see some really neat things, Yukon artists in general are very imaginative and the quality is always quite high,” she says.

Gallery viewer involvement is also an important aspect of the competition. Viewers are asked to vote for their favourite piece and add their names to a ballot with a chance to win a Copper Moon coffee gift set.

Next, the votes are tallied for each artist and the artist with the most votes wins the coveted “People’s Choice” award, which is a one-night stay for two at the Copper Moon retreat on Echo Lake.

Other prizes for the artists include a first prize of tickets to Vancouver and a stay in a hotel, a second prize of dinner at Antoinette’s and a show at the Yukon Arts Centre, and third prize of a $100 gift certificate to The Frame Shop.

Entries from the artists are due by April 1. All levels of artistry are welcomed, as Rosati hopes to encourage beginning artists to feel comfortable displaying their work and introducing them to gallery shows.

The opening reception is on April 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Copper Moon Gallery at 3 Glacier Drive in McCrae at the Rosati Arts Centre.

For more information on the competition visit www.coppermoongallery.com.