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Twentieth ArtsWorcester Biennial

Submission Deadline: March 22

First Round of Notifications: by March 30

Drop off for in-person jurying: April 13 - 16

Final Round of Notifications: by April 20

Exhibition Dates: May 4 through July 9

Artwork pickup: July 13 - July 16

The year 2023 marks the twentieth ArtsWorcester Biennial, an exhibition that has included a range of the region’s best visual art since 1985. This year’s Biennial will be juried by Conor Moynihan, Assistant Curator, Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the RISD Museum. Learn more about the juror here.

The winner of the Sally Bishop Biennial Prize will receive a $1,000 cash award and a solo exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum during their 2023-24 season. Previous winners of the Sally Bishop Prize include pen and ink artist James Dye (Exploring the Myths of James Dye) and painters Susan Swinand (Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand) and Kat O’Connor (Fathom: The Art of Kat O’Connor).

Additional prizes include the Evelyn Claywell Absher Award for Abstract Art and the Ruth Susan Westheimer Prize for Fine Craft, both of which come with $1,000 prizes. Another $2,000 in prizes will be given at the discretion of the juror. The first one hundred and fifty artists submitting work to the Biennial, regardless of its acceptance, will receive a complimentary, one-year individual membership to the Worcester Art Museum, courtesy of their Members’ Council.

The ArtsWorcester Biennial has no theme. All media are welcome, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, photography, fiber, fine craft, digital art, and video. Have a question about the call, or want to share what you’re thinking of submitting? Email alice@artsworcester.org or call the gallery at 508-755-5142.

All entries must be made online, and current ArtsWorcester membership is required to submit. A $15 fee applies to each work submitted, with a maximum of three works per artist. If you would like financial assistance with membership or Biennial fees through our Pay It Forward Fund, please contact alice@artsworcester.org.

There will be two rounds of jurying for the Twentieth ArtsWorcester Biennial: one online and one in-person. Artists will be notified of the status of their artwork(s) in the first round by March 30 and must bring their artwork to ArtsWorcester between April 13 and April 16. Artists will be notified of final decisions by April 20 and any artwork not accepted must be picked up by May 1. ArtsWorcester cannot accept or return work by shipment.

Submission Guidelines:

  • ArtsWorcester membership is required for submission. Membership fees are non-refundable. If you would like financial assistance with membership, please contact alice@artsworcester.org.
  • Each artist may submit up to three works for consideration, and all entries must be made online.
  • A non-refundable $15 fee applies to each work submitted. Payment must be made online at the time of submission. If you would like financial assistance with Biennial fees, please contact alice@artsworcester.org.
  • Artwork must be original, completed within the last five years, and not previously exhibited at ArtsWorcester. For example, a monoprint or screen print is permitted, but a giclée print of a painting is not.
  • Two-dimensional artworks or artworks that hang on the wall must not exceed 60" in any direction, including frame.
  • Three-dimensional artworks are limited to 90" in height, and no single element can exceed 50 pounds. Three-dimensional artworks may not exceed 48" at their widest point.
  • Artworks suspended from the ceiling are limited to 50 pounds.
  • ArtsWorcester has limited screening equipment for video works. Video artists may be asked to provide their own screening device.
  • Works must be exhibition-ready with framing and wire as appropriate. Alternative hanging methods (suspension from the ceiling, installation with magnets, etc.) must be tested prior to submission to ensure successful installation.
  • If accepted, work must be delivered in person or by proxy. ArtsWorcester cannot accept or return work by shipment.
  • Artworks not accepted in the second round of in-person jurying must be picked up following the second notification.
  • Artists receive sixty percent of each sale made through our galleries.
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