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Know the West

See HCN’s best illustrations from 2020

Artists elevated our journalism with surprising aesthetics and creativity.


To elevate our newly redesigned magazine, in 2020 we began investing even more in distinctive visuals. That has included hiring talented artists to illustrate our reportage that delves into lofty ideas, essays that are seeped in personal experiences and conversations with broad relevance. Here are some of our favorite illustrations from the past year.

Sarah Gilman/High Country News

The multitalented Sarah Gilman illustrated and wrote this feature inspired by her personal encounter with a mountain lion.

Lauren Crow/High Country News

Lauren Crow's intricate portraits accompanied a conversation in each of our print magazines. Including this composition of four Colorado writers that discussed empathy, systems of oppression and ‘the moment’ with Brian Calvert.

Marty Two Bulls Jr. / High Country News

With bold energetic graphics, Marty Two Bulls Jr. illustrated this collection on how anti-Indigeneity proliferates around the West and the world.

Daniel González/High Country News

At the beginning of the shelter-in-place orders due to the coronavirus pandemic, Daniel González carved a collection of stunning linocuts for Maya Kapoor's assortment of lighthearted tips from the nonhuman world on social distancing.

Jason Holley

Jason Holley created this satirical flag for an exploration on how a Revolutionary War-era flag evolved into an anti-government symbol.

Amy Berenbeim/High Country News

Printmaker Amy Berenbeim’s work accompanied a personal essay by a natural burial cemetery employee. The essay shows that dying can be as small and personal as life.

Krystal Quiles/High Country News
The bright tones of Krystal Quiles highlight how author Kelli Jo Ford paints strikingly candid portraits of four generations of Cherokee women in her book, Crooked Hallelujah

Sena Kwon/High Country News
Sena Kwon’s nostalgic work illustrates an essay by ecologist Jenny Liou as she asks the complicated question “Am I an invasive species?”

Michelle Urra/High Country News

Michelle Urra's work brings a scene to life for a review of Maxim Loskutoff’s debut novel that explores the fraught history of the Bitterroot Valley.

Dan Winters/High Country News
Photographer Dan Winters flaunted his illustration handiwork for this work that accompanied Leah Sottile’s probe on how extremist pastors have used the COVID-19 pandemic to push their conservative religious ideologies.

Conceptual illustrator Hanna Barczyk helped bring lofty concepts to earth for our roundup of ballot measures across the Western U.S.

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