The Forest Preserve District of Will County is seeking applications for its inaugural juried art competition, “Vernal Equinox: Spring Awakens."
February 1 is the deadline to apply. All art mediums are welcome, including 2D and 3D pieces, except for performance art and film.
Art selected for the competition will be on public display from March 12-31 at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. Artwork considered for inclusion in the show must honor the natural world. Budding trees, blooming bulbs and creatures waking up from hibernation are all examples of how the spring theme can manifest itself in the art pieces.
Competition winners will be determined by a jury. The top three art entries will receive Visa gift cards in the amounts of $500 for first place, $250 for second place and $200 for third place. Awards are being provided by The Nature Foundation of Will County. Members of the public can vote for a "people's choice" award through March 28.
How to submit
If you are interested in applying to be a part of the competition, fill out the online form and attach a digital JPG photo of the artwork. Artists will be notified by February 8 if their art has been selected. Artists must be at least 18 years of age, and there is a limit of three entries per artist. There is no entry fee.
Here are additional rules and dates to keep in mind:
- Maximum dimensions are: 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide for 2D, 2 feet tall by 2 feet wide for 3D.
- 2D art must be ready to hang.
- Maximum weight for all artwork is 30 pounds.
- Estimated value of artwork must be included for insurance purposes.
- Indicate on the application form if the artwork is for sale. Artists will receive 100 percent of the sales.
- Delivery dates for artwork are February 15-22 and the pieces must arrive by February 22.
- A closing reception featuring artist awards will take place from 6-8 p.m. March 30.
- Artwork pickup dates are April 2-5 during Plum Creek Nature Center hours.
SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION
Mixing art and nature
This juried art competition grew out of recent, temporary art exhibits at Plum Creek that highlighted nature themes, said facility supervisor Diane Carson.
“Since we have had such a great response to those exhibits from both the public and art community, we have decided to host this juried competition for all regional artists,” Carson explained. “The competition will allow them to showcase their artistic talents and let the public enjoy the beauty of nature through various art mediums.” Carson said if this inaugural juried art show goes well, the competition could become an annual event.
Suzy Lyttle, an interpretive naturalist for the District, said the art shows are bringing a whole new audience to the nature center. “It’s great when people say, ‘I never knew this place was here!’” she said. “Art show fans then come back with their entire families to enjoy all the other great opportunities the nature center has to offer.”
Art also provides a new way to experience nature for those who can’t hike or get dirty by the pond, Lyttle added. “This is a way to appreciate nature through different perspectives.”
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