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Susan Jane Walp

Four Figs, Two Swans, and Pair of Scissors, 2017, oil on linen, 10.125 x 10″

Matt Klos invited me to sit in on a group Zoom last week with Susan Jane Walp, hosted by Klos and Candice Hill, who teaches in the English Department at Anne Arundel Community College, where Matt teaches painting. Walp has a quiet, distinguished career, living in Vermont, studying Tibetan Buddhism and painting and doing little else, having moved there from Soho where she worked in the 80s. It was a long, interesting conversation partly because so much of it felt attenuated by Walp’s difficulty in putting the most essential elements of what she does into words. That’s refreshing, a person of few words in an era where we live under a tsunami of social media inanity. A lot of the discussion was about a series of improvisational paintings she’s done as a meditation on the loss of her husband six years ago, paintings that somehow remind me of Jung’s The Red Book images, not in form but in spirit—as if she has been sketching emotional and spiritual archetypes drawn from her own subconscious. These are quite different from her core work in still life. What I found most useful was the discussion of these still lifes on linen.

The most interesting questions and answers were on how her work in oil resolves itself into something she considers finished; how she manages to keep the process feeling alive and risky after investing long days and weeks or months into a given painting; and what her primary considerations are, the core values, she tries to observe in the process of making a painting.

This last issue was very appropriate to this particular conversation, because Candice Hill specializes in lyric poetry with a focus on Emily Dickinson and found many parallels between Dickinson’s sidelong, elliptical poetry and Walp’s spare, improvisational watercolors. Walp has said she draws inspiration from Dickinson’s poems, their paradoxical sense of scale, particularly in Dickinson’s ability to evoke cosmic truth through such a tiny pillar of words on the page. That use of scale links her with Dickinson: the leverage involved in using something small to evoke something big. Walp’s paintings feel in some ways even smaller than Dickinson’s gnomic lines. Walp said: “Even in these paintings that are quite small, eight inches by eight inches, if that relationship becomes accurate (between the precise detail and the more indefinite lines of larger areas), I feel there’s something big about the painting.” Given this indebtedness to poetry, it wasn’t shocking that Walp cited Elizabeth Bishop, who was a serious painter as well as a uniquely great poet, as someone who perfectly articulated the three qualities creative work must have. Bishop said every poem needs to be accurate, spontaneous, and mysterious. Walp wants her paintings to hew to those rules.

There is a tremendous tension implicit in those first two qualities. How to be both improvisational and accurate seems to be a core competency for perceptual painters in general and a difficult tightrope to walk for any painter. (Fairfield Porter managed to balance accuracy and spontaneity perfectly again and again toward the end of his career, but Walp’s work doesn’t owe much to the way Porter handled paint, except in a few instances.)

Walp said: “In Dickinson the thing that has struck me in my non-scholarly reading of her work is the way that she can go from some very almost microcosmic detail to just the macrocosm. This idea of scale; how there can be an infinite space in such a physically small poem. That’s something I aspire to certainly in the still lifes . . . Bishop’s . . . three criteria for evaluating poems: accuracy, spontaneity and mystery. I’ve spent a lot of time working on the spontaneity. The mystery is divine grace. It’s given to you in certain work.”

Matt asked about how a painting arrives at a state she considers complete and didn’t get a direct answer, but more of a meditation on her process, especially the symbiotic counterpoint of going from watercolor to oil and back again. Specifically, she touched on a struggle all painters endure: having the courage to do what you don’t know how to do with a painting after having spent many days or weeks or months on it, plus the simple investment in materials, the monetary cost, all of the selfish concerns that work against creativity—how the prospect of loss in time and money can kill the courage required for spontaneity.

I’m a painter so in love with working toward articulating detail and the danger can often be that things kind of tighten up, so working on paper is a way to work more quickly. It has to do with the support I’m using. On paper, there’s a freedom in working on paper. If it doesn’t work out you can just toss it. It doesn’t really matter. Once you have this stretched linen that has been prepared with white lead and the stretchers are ordered custom-made, so there’s a certain pressure to actually bring the painting to completion. On paper it’s a much freer kind of endeavor. I always have worked on the paintings on paper, and I often work on two pieces on paper as I work on something on linen, and it becomes almost like a horse race. In the morning I’ll pick the piece that is the least good, and it’s very freeing because there are two that are better, so it frees you up to be courageous with it.

Klos asked her if the assiduous rendering of a little town on the side of a cork in one of her paintings was the byproduct of the same process that produced the rest of the much less minutely detailed surface. Her answer demonstrated how difficult it can be to describe the impetus of a painter’s quest—the inarticulate imperatives that govern how somebody applies paint in a certain way. Braque is without parallel in this regard, and there is much in her work that reminds me of Braque. His mid-career gueridons all look perfectly realized, and cosmically monumental, but their accuracy and grandeur has little to do with anything Braque could have captured with a photograph. There is nothing but the painting: no familiar source for the image against which to compare it. It has to have its own “inner necessity” as Kandinsky put it. It’s all pushed toward an intricate, decorative flatness, and yet you feel you’re almost looking at a life form he’s evolved in his studio lab rather than an image of anything outside the painting. Every centimeter of a Braque oil from that period is alive and proper in a way that can’t really be arrived at through a reasoned process. Walp talks about working from what she sees but the heart of her process is about “keeping it alive” which is when the representation of what she sees fails to be enough. Like Braque, but in a less radical way than his neo-Cubism.

Walp said, “I’m someone who believes that technique should follow the seeing because I’m working from observation and looking at the motif for a long, long period of time, so the technique just follows and serves the observation. (The question is) how do you keep the surface of the painting alive for as long as it takes to bring the painting to resolution. Every painter finds their own way to work with the surface of the painting so it can continue to receive however many layers are required to take the observation and see where it needs to go.”

She said that she’s reluctant to teach or critique another’s esthetic, and avoids value judgements about work her students have done, preferring to stick with technical tips, matters of craft or motivation and she especially avoids delving into a painter’s internal relationship with the work.

I haven’t taught for a while, but . . . I’ve always admired Morandi, who gave so few interviews. He said the reason he taught only etching is that he only wanted to teach technique, his knowledge of print-making technique. He wouldn’t presume to pass esthetic judgement on his students’ work. That’s always been my favorite way of teaching, someone who wants to know the limited knowledge I have. I’m much more comfortable teaching technique than talking about students’ inner lives.

Matt said, “If spontaneity is the muscle you are trying to work on and accuracy is your home base, maybe using the different substrates is a way to cut against that, and you can remember when you are working on linen the spontaneity (of watercolor and wonder) how can I do that on linen?” She answered:

I start the linen paintings very freely, they start the same way as the paintings on paper. Technically this is something I probably learned from Lennart (Anderson). What you do the first thing in the morning sets the tone for the entire day; what you do first on canvas sets the tone for the rest of the painting. You have that memory of the beginning being very free and spontaneous. It’s important to keep the edges open and not prematurely define those edges. In nature edges are porous, they’re different.

With her watercolors she tries to recapture the tone and mood of a dream she has had. With her still lifes on linen, it’s more about arranging objects without a pre-determined motif in mind, and discovering the right arrangement for a particular painting. It’s a process of discovering the motif rather than re-excavating the dream. This is something I would imagine most painters would recognize, the sense of connection and “rightness” with something seen or imagined.

The set up becomes very important. I take a lot of time to set up the motif. I’m really waiting for this image to appear and it comes with a very strong feeling, and I’m waiting for this feeling of the rightness of it and my connection with it. I do a lot of measuring, and so I’m constantly redrawing, but generally I’m not moving the objects in the motif. At some point I’ll dismantle the motif and it goes on the wall and the painting takes over. That often happens. It’s usually nothing that dramatic. (It’s) important, but nothing very radical at that point. Sometimes it involves bringing out the more abstract properties or a simplification.

Near the end of the Zoom, Matt Klos brought up a particular work, Walp’s simple painting of a luminous greenish-yellow compote she has used in many paintings—she goes back to a certain set of objects again and again as Chardin and many other still life painters have done—and he marveled at the value of the dish in comparison with the background, which is of almost the same value, so that the dish pops toward the viewer only because of its hue, the tone of that vibrant yellow and not because it’s lighter or darker than the ground. It contains a few figs, and is accompanied only by a pair of scissors and a greeting card, maybe, showing a pair of facing, symmetrical swans. (Maybe a callback to the days of her marriage.) It’s probably my favorite of all her oils, probably because of the almost neon intensity of that hybrid yellow-green—a sort of pickle-juice color—that seems to glow in a rambunctious way that oil paint almost never can, alongside the incredibly beautiful and much more typical muted blue-green of the patterned swans below it. That brilliant compote brings the image to life in a unique way, full of a spring-like affirmation of the present moment. And yet if you squint you can hardly see it. It’s a rare technical achievement and an image of rebirth, full of restrained energy.

“The thing that’s so remarkable is that the green is so invisible if you squint,” Klos remarked.

“It’s the same value, yeah.”

“They are just kissing values, and you always talk about the need for experimentation and constant change and people might look at the still lifes and say, oh that’s a Susan Jane Walp. But in this painting and in your work there’s a quality of risk-taking from one show to the next,” he said.

“Yes, this was in the last show. That object, one of my friends in New York alerted me to the fact that it’s Depression-ware and a lot of it is radioactive and I’ve done a lot of research and I’ve decided I’m just to attached to it. At my age, what does it matter. . . “

“Just don’t eat the figs,” he joked.

Lydia, oh Lydia

The Garden of Earthly Delights, Agnieszka Nienartowicz

The ultimate tramp stamp. Amazing work from a young Polish artist, evoking both Bosch and Richter, with a cautionary twist to the allure it conveys.

Register NOW for the National Arts Action Summit!

National Arts Action Summit
April 5-9, 2021

Join field experts, leading arts advocates, and members of Congress at the virtual 2021 National Arts Action Summit, the largest national arts advocacy collaboration. Here are five reasons why you should register today!

1. Thanks to the commitment from this year’s organizational partners—and in response to the financial challenges that many are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic—unlimited opportunities for full registration support are now available. This waives the registration fee for anyone who would otherwise be unable to participate in the 2021 National Arts Action Summit. Learn more here

2. We’ve just posted our exciting agenda full of virtual mainstage and training sessions sure to invigorate your arts policy and advocacy knowledge. We also have three networking sessions to connect you with advocates all over the country. Check out the agenda and start to plan which sessions you want to attend live!  

3. State Captains are scheduling meetings with members of Congress for Arts Advocacy Week (April 12-16) where advocates will take the knowledge and data they learned at the National Arts Action Summit and put it into practice with elected officials. Learn who your State Captain is and connect with them now! 

4. Not able to attend these virtual sessions live? Don’t worry! All sessions will be recorded and will be available to registrants to watch on demand within 24 hours. You’ll have access to over a dozen arts policy and advocacy sessions to watch anytime. 

5. Your voice is critical to advancing the arts and creative economy in America. The arts and culture sector remains in crisis, and we need everyone at the table to make a difference. Make sure your community is represented!

Learn compelling up-to-the-minute data, the latest in arts policy, and how to effectively engage decisionmakers to support the arts, arts education, the creative economy, and much, much more!  

Join us at the 2021 National Arts Action Summit!

Register Now!

The famous little patch of yellow

Vermeer’s “View of Delft”

I find it encouraging that the greatest philosopher and the greatest novelist of the 20th century agreed about some fundamental, crucial things, at about the same time, early in the century. It seems everyone else except maybe T.S. Eliot were heading in the opposite direction—Nietzsche a bit earlier, the modernists in art, Einstein in physics, Freud in his field, Marx in economics and politics–all of them striving to destabilize the values and norms of the Western world. Meanwhile, Wittgenstein and Proust were suggesting that the most fundamental realities hadn’t changed at all and would never change, even though many didn’t understand this about the philosopher, and it this isn’t immediately obvious in Proust, given the structure of his virtually plotless novel, a tapestry of interwoven stories that evolve almost imperceptibly toward his majestic renunciation of society in favor of art.

Wittgenstein, whose efforts have been camouflaged by his role as the patron saint of analytical 20th century philosophy, asserted that human values can’t be derived from our experience in the world. They exist outside the world, and thus, in a sense, can’t be analyzed or deduced, but are simply a given, transcendent and immune to rational justification or questioning. They have no utility. They just are. You don’t “adopt” them to make the world a better place (on what grounds would one chose a set of values that give you the rules for calculating which values are best?). Goodness is an unassailable framework within which human purposes evolve and can be understood. Goodness and truth and beauty govern human behavior, as the essential structure of human experience, whether or not an individual is conscious of them or not. In other words, Wittgenstein actually had a metaphysics, about which he forbade himself to talk, because its truth was impossible to prove, hence the famous last line of the Tractatus: “Whereof one cannot speak, one must remain silent.” However, he meditated quite a bit on these values during that silence. He carried around a copy of Tolstoy’s The Gospel in Brief all through his service in World War I, and he relinquished one of the largest inheritances in Europe. He seriously considered becoming a monk at one point. These transcendent values he lived, rather than asserted, because he appeared to consider them impossible to justify through reason or philosophical language. His silence about everything that actually mattered seems, in retrospect, almost uniquely noble and honest.

One finds a similar point of view, an even more Platonic one, from Marcel Proust in A La Recherche du Temps Perdu, written during the years Wittgenstein wrote his Tractatus, about the death of Proust’s fictional novelist, Bergotte. In The Captive, he talks about the role of the creative imagination, in painting and fiction and music. These thoughts precede one of the great revelatory moments in the story, when Morel’s musical performance triggers for the narrator a crucial moment of enlightenment about the nature of art. (It is typical of Proust that Morel is one of his few genuinely evil characters, the embodiment of sadistic cruelty, yet he is also, despite his depravity, a rare musical genius, one of God’s messengers, as it were, through the medium of the violin.) This passage makes Proust’s narrator sound a bit like a Cathar or a Buddhist, but his essential point is that human beings don’t pick and choose their “values;” those values precede and ground all human choices and behavior, and people spend their lives struggling to simply see them and exemplify them as directly as possible, to live “beneath the sway of those unknown laws”—an achievement that is, like a great golf swing or a sumi-e painting—both unconscious and ego-less, almost automatic, when done perfectly, and yet immensely difficult to “get right”:

He was dead. Dead forever? Who can say? . . . All that we can say is that everything is arranged in this life as though we entered it carrying a burden of obligations contracted in a former life; there is no reason inherent in the conditions of life on this earth that can make us consider ourselves obliged to do good, to be kind and thoughtful, even to be polite, nor for an atheist artist to consider himself obliged to begin over again a score of times a piece of work the admiration aroused by which will matter little to his worm-eaten body, like the patch of yellow wall painted with so much skill and refinement by an artist destined to be forever unknown and barely identified under the name Vermeer. All these obligations, which have no sanction in our present life, seem to belong to a different world, a world based on kindness, scrupulousness, self-sacrifice, a world entirely different from this one and which we leave in order to be born on this earth, before perhaps returning there to live once again beneath the sway of those unknown laws which we obeyed because we bore their precepts in our hearts, not knowing whose hand had traced them there—those laws to which every profound work of the intellect brings us nearer and which are invisible only—if then!—to fools. So the idea that Bergotte was not permanently dead is by no means improbable.

–The Captive


April Ashland Gallery Exhibits

Happy Spring!
We’re excited to share with you a diverse array of wonderful artwork created by our very talented artists. Don’t forget to visit their websites either! Many are open and offering appointments.   Please visit our website for links to our member galleries and artist websites, and to view the online version of the 2020 Ashland Gallery Guide.

Here is a sampling of our April Spotlight Artists. Thank you so much for your endless support!

Art & Soul Gallery
Branded by Oregon, Watercolors by Betty Barss

“Branded,” Watercolor by Betty Barss

Branded by Oregon is a reflection in watercolors by Betty Barss. Having lived in Oregon for over 47 years, Betty feels the irresistible influence of the landscapes, the plants, and the wildlife on a daily basis.

Friday, April 2, 2021, Art & Soul Gallery will offer an opening reception from 3:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. with appointments available at 30 minute intervals. 6 visitors can be inside of the gallery at a time. So, stop by or make an appointment! The exhibition will remain on display until May 2, 2021.

Thursday – Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Address and Contact Information:
247 East Main, Ashland, OR 97520

Ashland Art Works
Artist Collective

Ashland Art Works, Thrown Stone Close-Up

Ashland Art Works is proud to offer all original art and unique gifts, lovingly crafted by their local artists. The diversity of mediums expands all of the possibilities of finding something special to adorn your home or your favorite person with. So, drop by when you’re in the neighborhood. They’re a short stroll from the Plaza!

Thursday – Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Address and Contact Information:
291 Oak Street, Ashland, OR 97520

Gallerie Karon
Gallerie Karon Celebration

Bruce Barnes, Watercolor

Featuring the creative work of 24 artists and photographers, along with antiques, artifacts, and jewelry, Gallerie Karon’s eclectic mix showcases local and regional artists from Oregon, Washington, and California. For fun, the gallery displays a menagerie of handmade dolls and animals too.

As part of their 19th Anniversary and in appreciation of all their supporters over the years, Gallerie Karon is offering an enormous sale on all of their artwork, THANKS TO YOU!

Tuesday – Saturday from 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Address and Contact Information:
500 A Street #1 at 4th & A, Ashland, OR 97520

Grants Pass Museum of Art
Black, White, and The Blues

“Anticipation,” Acrylic by Virginia Andrade

You’re invited to a night of Blues music, art, and storytelling at the Grants Pass Museum of Art’s event, Black, White, and The Blues, taking place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 25, 2021. This year’s event is an opportunity for our community to come together and ensure that art remains accessible for all. There will also be an opportunity to support the museum’s work through direct gifts and an online auction, accessible beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 21, 2021. The auction will remain open for one week and close on Sunday, March 28, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.

Thursday – Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Address and Contact Information:
229 SW G St Grants Pass, OR, 97526

The Ashland Gallery Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of the visual arts in our communities.

The Personality of Process: On the Enneagram, the house we built, and marriage

The house foundations last August

Blobs, spots, specks, smudges, cracks, defects, mistakes, accidents, exceptions, and irregularities are the windows to other worlds.—Bob Miller


Part One: In Which I Vent About the Enneagram (Though I Love It, Too)


If you know a bit about the Enneagram, you know that you are likely one of nine types—and that each type has specific fears and desires and motivations. Learning about this framework helps us understand ourselves and others. 


However…I’ve also learned that you can come into this world as one type but can learn to adapt into another type that appears to serve you or others better. And then you can be very confused.


There are various schools of the Enneagram, and many of the types have different names according to which one you study. I believe I came into this world a Four—the Romantic or Individualist. But the world rewarded my ability to be a One: the Perfectionist or Reformer. I joke that I’m either a Perfecting Romantic or Romanic Perfectionist.


From my school years through the first months of my marriage, I lived pretty well as a Perfectionist-Reformer One. Even my creativity was highly structured; I’d embark on a series of 100 portraits, 30 days of painting-poems, et cetera, et-orderly-cetera. It didn’t help that most organized religion and education love achievers—and boy could I achieve. In grade school, I memorized whole chapters of Corinthians for our church version of the Girl Scouts, The Missionettes. (Somewhere, there exists a photo of myself wearing a turquoise polyester sash with all of my badges). I worked to be high school valedictorian. Then I worked even harder to be undergraduate summa cum laude. By grad school, I let myself breathe and settled for magna cum laude. And that was probably because, while I shaped my poetry thesis, I rediscovered a wild creativity longing to play free—uncaged by a rigid grid of quantification.   


And then, decades later, I got married. Funny thing about marriage: your True Self emerges in a way it never did before. True union eventually squeezes out anything false. And when two become one, a lot of shit has got to go. (I could make a terrible pun here about two each becoming the most annoying parts of the Enneagram’s Reformer One, but I shall not!) 


Suffice it to say, that whatever façade we’ve built basically gets shaken off, and whatever’s underneath probably has some black mold and maybe a rat or two, despite however many years we think we’ve done our spirit excavation. 


And also, I married an Eight: the Challenger. Challengers can call your bluff pretty darn well. 


Part Two: In Which I Vent About Building a House (Though I Love It, Too)


This all leads me, most indirectly, to the process of building a house—before we’d been married a year. (In fact, as I write this, we are just about to reach our nine-month anniversary). 


But before I get to that, I should also mention that it took me until my forties to see an obvious life pattern. During my college years, I worked as a housecleaner—for residential and professional buildings. And then I worked as an editor in some capacity for longer than most starting editors have been alive. Cleaning and editing. Basically, I trained myself to see the mess and the misspelled and to perfect them all. But such tasks, though they felt good when done, didn’t feel good in the process; they felt exhausting and never-ending. I wouldn’t so much celebrate as check off the completion of each round of “perfecting,” even as I braced myself for the next round of trash and typos. Versus celebrating the process—mud ‘n’ all. 


And let’s just say that pointing out all the dirt and dialogue flaws is not a beneficial marriage skill. But the long-entrenched One in me—the Perfectionist-Reformer—was so used to doing this, that it was hard to stop. It took me a while to be grateful for the fact that my husband doesn’t really care if things are clean or if every T is crossed. “But these are my strengths!” a part of me kept shouting. 


Meanwhile, behind the scenes, the truer part of myself kept saying she loved going off on muddy river adventures and not needing to analyze the etymology of the kayak term “boof.” 


One book on the Enneagram is called The Road Back to You. The One-Me never understood that title. The Four-Me is jumping up and down for childlike joy, saying, “Yes! We’re back!”


Marriage has invited me to return to my creative being: my True Self, the Self who loves paint splatters and rough-edged canvas and impromptu word play for pure fun; the Four who knows that all of life is poetry, not just words on a page—or a specific page count. That Self has risen up alongside our house.


Yes, finally, I get to the house. It has become my metaphor for building a more authentic self and marriage. 


Last summer, I took a photo of the foundations—surrounded by heaps of displaced earth. Where wild grass had grown in beautiful abandon, the hillside looked like a jagged scar. But we wanted to build something, and so we had to tear into what was there. We had to make a mess.


Now, a brick home stands on that site, finished, after months of trucks and lumber. But nothing is ever finished, is it? The wake of construction rubble and ruts surrounding the house remind me how ongoing building really is.


Our first day in the house

So that Miller quote I opened with; I am still struggling to love the messy process. But now that I’ve been building a life with someone and building a house with someone—I am beginning to get it. 


I am also beginning to embrace both the Reformer and the Romantic in myself—and I consciously choose those two labels for the One and the Four. The drive for excellence in the former helped ground the often formless creative sensitivities of the latter. Maybe I’ll call myself a Romantic Reformer—head in the clouds but feet on the ground. Imperfectly trying to bring Heaven to Earth.


The two types in me have finally become one.


Union starts in our very own hearts. 


Part Three: In Which I Don’t Vent About Marriage, But Instead Write A Poem About It


O this strange bliss—

brimming with

mess & misspellings 

mud & wonder—

I embrace all 

your stains & stars.


Two become 

one house 


divided hearts


We build

a mystery.

Right after the land became ours last spring

AIFF Sneak Peek

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March 15, 2021

Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces Schedule Launch Preview Night on March 24, Shares 10 Titles in Advance

AIFF Provides Sneak Peek at 2021’s Schedule of Films and Events

Ashland, Oregon – The 20th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival will announce its full film and event lineup in a virtual Preview Night presented live for members on March 24 at 7pm, and available to the general public at on March 25. The members-only event will include the opportunity to interact with festival programmers and get behind-the-scenes background. This year’s festival will run as a “double feature”– online, with most films available coast to coast, from April 15-29, and live and outdoors in Ashland and Medford from June 24-28, 2021. 

In advance of the full program release, the festival has provided 10 “sneak peek” titles (listed below), supplementing its earlier announcement of this year’s special awardees David Oyelowo (The Water Man), Christine Vachon (Poison), and Bruno Santamaria (Things We Dare Not Do). The festival’s full lineup includes more than 100 films along with TalkBack panels, a virtual Opening Night Bash, member/maker mixers, and live music events. 

AIFF’s schedule is presented as thematic “tracks” to help guide viewers through the festival’s programming. Their perennial “Arts” and “Activism” tracks reflect the importance of these subjects to independent filmmakers, a new “Screening Cuba” track runs parallel to the visual and media art exhibition “Collecting Cuba” cosponsored in Ashland’s Schneider Museum of Art, and a “Rising From the Ashes” track responding to the aftermath of the devastating Almeda Fire of 2020.

“We’ve seen in previous years that providing viewers with paths to follow through our rich program helps them make fascinating connections across diverse genres and styles,” said AIFF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz. “For example, this year’s Activism track includes three documentaries exploring the rising energy of youth activism – Homeroom, Youth v Gov, and the U.S. premiere of American Gadfly. This elegantly parallels two films in the Arts track – Me to Play and So Late So Soon – which address the subject of older artists confronting aging.” 

Tickets go on sale to members on March 31 and to the public on April 8 at Film prices are generally $10, discounted for members, seniors, and those experiencing financial hardship, with several programs available for free.  

AIFF Memberships start at $35 and include early access, exclusive events and screenings, free and discounted tickets and other benefits, all while supporting a beloved non-profit arts organization. 

Below is an advanced look at 10 films coming to the 20th annual festival. All films will be accompanied by Q&A’s with the directors and other participants.


American Gadfly (D: Skye Wallin)

After decades of quiet living, 89 year-old former senator and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Gravel comes out of retirement when a group of teenagers convince him to run for president. Through Senator Gravel’s official Twitter account, the Gravel teens embark on an unlikely adventure to qualify him for the Democratic debates in order to advance an anti-war, anti-corruption, and direct democracy agenda in the 2020 presidential race. World Premiere.

Homeroom (D: Peter Nicks)

Through intimately filmed cinema vérité, HOMEROOM follows the class of 2020 at Oakland High School in a year marked by seismic change, exploring the emotional world of students coming of age against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world.

Youth v Gov (D: Christi Cooper)

YOUTH v GOV is the story of America’s youngest citizens taking on the world’s most powerful government. Twenty-one courageous youth lead a groundbreaking lawsuit, originating in Eugene, OR, against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create our climate crisis.


Me to Play (D: Jim Bernfield)

As their bodies give way to Parkinson’s disease, two New York actors put their hearts into one final Off-Broadway production of Beckett’s “Endgame,” the play that posits, “there’s nothing funnier than unhappiness.”

SO LATE SO SOON (D: Daniel Hymanson)

A half-century into their marriage, two Chicago artists look back at their life together as they contend with the deterioration of their bodies and beloved home.


Anchor Point (D: Holly Tuckett)

ANCHOR POINT is a documentary film about women changing the culture of firefighting on our nation’s public lands. It’s a story told through the eyes of wildland firefighters Kelly Martin and Lacey England, deeply connected to the lands they protect and determined to build an equitable workplace, free from discrimination and assault.


Los Hermanos/The Brothers (D: Marcia Jarmel and Ken Schneider)

Virtuoso Afro-Cuban-born brothers—violinist Ilmar and pianist Aldo—live on opposite sides of a geopolitical chasm a half-century wide. Tracking their parallel lives in New York and Havana, their poignant reunion, and their momentous first performances together, LOS HERMANOS/THE BROTHERS offers a nuanced, often startling view of estranged nations through the lens of music and family.


A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff (D: Alicia J. Rose)

A KADDISH FOR BERNIE MADOFF tells the story of Madoff through the eyes of musician/poet Alicia Jo Rabins, who watches the financial crash from her studio in an abandoned office building on Wall Street. Fueled by her growing obsession, real-life interviews transform into music videos, ancient spiritual texts become fevered fantasies of synchronized swimming, and a vivid, vulnerable work of art is born from the unique perspective of an artist watching the global financial collapse up close.

Beans (D: Tracey Deer)

Twelve-year-old Beans is on the edge: torn between innocent childhood and delinquent adolescence; forced to grow up fast to become the tough Mohawk warrior she needs to be during the Indigenous uprising known as The Oka Crisis, which tore Quebec and Canada apart for 78 tense days in the summer of 1990.



CineSpace is a short film competition, produced by NASA and the Houston Cinema Arts Festival and judged by filmmaker Richard Linklater, which highlights narrative and documentary short films that imaginatively remix NASA archival footage. This is the sixth annual edition, which includes first place winner “Space: A Skate Odyssey” by Canadian filmmaker Toby Morris.

AIFF 2021 information at-a-glance:

Full Schedule Available: March 24, 2021

Virtual: April 15-29, 2021 at

Live and outdoors: June 24-28, 2021 in Ashland and Medford

Ticket price: Ranges from free to $10/$8 members, seniors, students, and financial hardship

Contact: [email protected]; 541-488-3823

About Ashland Independent Film Festival 

Cited by MovieMaker Magazine several times as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” and one of the “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the Ashland Independent Film Festival is usually held annually in April in Southern Oregon. AIFF screens 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation, and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland, which is nestled in the beautiful Rogue River Valley. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, AIFF moved online for its 19th annual festival, extended its five-day event to 24 days, and was recognized by Smithsonian Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine as having one of the best virtual film festivals. 

Ashland Independent Film Festival Awards

Ashland Independent Film Festival Announces its 20th Anniversary Festival Awardees

Winners of Rogue Award, Pride Award, and James Blue Award Honored, Full AIFF 2021 Program Coming March 24th

Ashland, Oregon – The Ashland Independent Film Festival is excited to announce the winners of the special Rogue Award, Pride Award, and James Blue Award who will be honored during this year’s hybrid “Double Feature” festival running online for two weeks from April 15-29 and outdoors in Ashland and Medford from June 24-28, 2021. The full virtual and live cinema program will be announced on March 24 in a Preview Night presentation on

Rogue Award Winner:

Actor David Oyelowo (Selma, The Butler) will receive the Rogue Award, presented annually to an accomplished mid-career artist.  Oyelowo will present his directorial debut, The Water Man, a mystical adventure filmed around Portland, Oregon, on the festival’s opening day. The story is set against the backdrop of Oregon wildfires, which connects the film to the festival’s central theme this year of “Rising From the Ashes.” Incredibly, The Water Man was filmed in Oregon in 2019 at locations that have since been devastated by wildfires in 2020. Oyelowo will also join critic Warren Etheredge for a conversation on his film and theater career.

“Helping David Oyelowo, Harpo Films and ShivHans Pictures bring their beautiful film, The Water Man, to life with our state’s crews and locations has meant a great deal to us and to the entire film community in this state. We look forward to seeing the film at yet another great Oregon cultural asset – The Ashland Independent Film Festival,” commented Tim Williams, director of Oregon Film, the governor’s film office.

The Water Man will have its Pacific Northwest premier on opening day of AIFF, beautifully aligned with this year’s festival theme of “Rising From the Ashes.”

Pride Award Winner:

Producer Christine Vachon is the sixth recipient of AIFF’s Pride Award, given to an important figure in LGBTQ+ filmmaking. The festival will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the first feature film she produced and Todd Haynes directed, Poison, and the 20th anniversary of her film production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Poison will screen in the virtual festival in April and Hedwig will be presented outdoors in June. Haynes will join Vachon to reminisce about the making of Poison in an April discussion moderated by 2019 Pride Awardee B. Ruby Rich. Rich coined the term “New Queer Cinema” in 1992, in response to the arrival of Poison and other queer independent features. 

James Blue Award Winner:

Mexican filmmaker Bruno Santamaria is the third recipient of the festival’s James Blue Award, named after the Oregon-born director and given to an emerging filmmaker whose work, like Blue’s, addresses complex issues of social justice and social/political change.  Things We Dare Not Do, gorgeously filmed by Santamaria, follows Ñoño, a 16-year-old teenager living in the small Mexican village of El Roblito, as he tries to gather the courage to communicate his greatest wish to his family: dressing as a woman.

The festival will present approximately 100 new independent feature and short films, accompanied by Q&A’s and supplemented with virtual parties and mixers bringing filmmakers and audiences together. There will be a special focus on the theme of “Rising From the Ashes,” in recognition of Southern Oregon’s emergence following a summer of wildfires, and another focus on Cuban arts and film.

AIFF 2021 information at-a-glance:

Full Schedule Available: 7pm March 24, 2021

Virtual: April 15-29, 2021 at

Live and outdoors: June 24-28, 2021 in Ashland and Medford

Ticket price: Ranges from free to $10/$8 members, seniors, students, and financial hardship

Contact: [email protected]; 541-488-3823

About Ashland Independent Film Festival 

Cited by MovieMaker Magazine several times as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” and one of the “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the Ashland Independent Film Festival is usually held annually in April in Southern Oregon. AIFF screens 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation, and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland, which is nestled in the beautiful Rogue River Valley. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, AIFF moved online for its 19th annual festival, extended its five-day event to 24 days, and was recognized by Smithsonian Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine as having one of the best virtual film festivals. 

AIFF Full Lineup of 2021 Indie Films and Events

20th Ashland Independent Film Festival Releases Full Lineup of 100 Indie Films and Events

The 2021 Festival is a “Double Feature” with Online Screenings in April and Live Outdoor Screenings in June

Ashland, Oregon — The Ashland Independent Film Festival released the complete schedule for its 20th annual festival presented this year as a “double feature”– online, with most films available coast-to-coast from April 15-29, and live and outdoors in Ashland and Medford from June 24-28. AIFF’s 2021 festival will present approximately 100 new independent films, including 35 feature films and a dozen shorts programs, accompanied by Q&A’s with filmmakers, virtual parties, mixers, and panels.

The 2021 festival kicks off online on April 15 with the Northwest premiere of the Oregon-filmed The Water Man, the debut feature directed by actor David Oyelowo, who will receive this year’s AIFF Rogue Award. According to AIFF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz, “The Water Man’s story is set against the backdrop of Oregon wildfires, which connects the film to the festival’s central theme of ‘Rising From the Ashes,’ inspired by the devastating Almeda Fire which hit our community in 2020.” 

The online festival’s closing night film, Lily Topples the World, won the jury prize for Best Documentary at South by Southwest in March. It stars domino artist and YouTube sensation Lily Hevesh, one of several iconoclastic female artists highlighted in this year’s “Arts” track.

The live festival in June launches with the Northwest premiere of Fanny: The Right to Rock, about the three Filipina American teens who formed the ferocious, pioneering California rock group Fanny in 1969. Fanny founding member Brie Howard-Darling will perform live, joined by director Bobbi Jo Hart, an alumnus of Ashland’s Southern Oregon University.  

AIFF 2021 Pride Award recipient producer Christine Vachon will be honored with a 30th anniversary screening of Poison, joining online with director Todd Haynes and “New Queer Cinema” critic B. Ruby Rich for a TalkBack panel discussion on the film’s creation and legacy. Vachon returns for the closing night of the live festival in June and will be joined by director/writer/lead actor John Cameron Mitchell to celebrate the 20th anniversary of both Hedwig and the Angry Inch and the Ashland Independent Film Festival at an outdoor screening that also features a costume party and live music.

The festival also includes a narrative feature competition, with entries this year including Alicia J. Rose’s A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff, Mylissa Fitzsimmons’ Everything in the End, and more. Narrative features screening out of competition include Summertime, the LA slam poetry musical Carlos López Estrada filmed before he directed Disney’s Raya and the Last Dragon.

Audiences can preview the full program guide at and purchase tickets beginning March 31 for members and April 7 for the general public. Most virtual films cost $10 and outdoor screenings $12, with $2 off for members, seniors, students, and those experiencing financial hardship, with many programs available for free. Memberships, which support the festival and provide access to exclusive programs year-round,  start at $35 and are also available through the festival website.


Rising From the Ashes: AIFF’s primary theme this year addresses Southern Oregon’s reemergence after the wildfires of 2020, including the opening film, David Oyelowo’s The Water Man. Seven short films by regional filmmakers addressing the Almeda Fire premiere in the Festival’s Locals section, which offers free admission to all. Other titles in this section include the environmental films Stalking Chernobyl: Exploration After Apocalypse by Iara Lee and 2040; Anchor Point, about women firefighters; and two documentaries about heroes helping themselves and others rise from adversity (Impact, about Medford, Oregon boxing club owner Troy Wohosky, and  Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel’s The Road Up).

Screening Cuba:  In collaboration with the Schneider Museum of Art spring exhibition, Collecting Cuba: Selections from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (April 6 – June 30), AIFF2021 presents films about Cuban music and dance – Los Hermanos/The Brothers, Sin La Habana, and The Mali-Cuba Connection/Africa Mia – as well as a new title by Corey MacLean on the rebellious sport of surfing in Cuba, Havana Libre. Steve Fagin’s eight-episode mini-series The Batista Syndrome engages Havana in the 1950s and is filled with dance, music, and drama. Director Alex Cox will introduce the Cuban classic I Am Cuba, and Cuban director Miguel Coyula will present his controversial documentary Nadie. SOU Professor Robert Arellano will interview Coyula, Fagin, and media artist Nelson Ramirez de Arellano (featured in the exhibition) in the TalkBack discussion panel titled Screening Cuba.

Arts: This subject, a frequent source of inspiration for indie filmmakers and AIFF, is addressed in the Cuban arts films as well as in three films about iconoclastic women artists: Beth B’s Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over, Who is Lun*na Menoh?, and domino artist Lily Hevesh in Jeremy Workman’s Lily Topples the World, the festival’s closing film. Artists confront aging in So Late, So Soon and in Me to Play, about two actors with Parkinson’s Disease performing Beckett.

Activism: Another perennial AIFF theme returns with a special emphasis on the rise of youth activism through the films American Gadfly (world premiere), Peter Nicks’ Homeroom, Tracey Deer’s Beans, and the Eugene, Oregon-centered, Youth v Gov. Senior citizen activists get their due as well in the films Missing in Brooks County and Medicine Man: Stan Brock.


2040  (Damon Gameau, Australia, Documentary)

American Gadfly (Skye Wallin, USA, Documentary)

Anchor Point (Holly Tuckett, USA, Documentary)

Beans (Tracey Deer, Canada, Narrative)

Everything in the End (Mylissa Fitzsimmons, USA, Narrative)

Fanny: The Right to Rock  (Bobbi Jo Hart,  USA, Documentary)

Havana Libre (Corey McLean, Cuba, Peru, USA)

Hedwig & The Angry Inch (2001, John Cameron Mitchell, USA, Narrative) 

Los Hermanos/The Brothers (Marcia Jarmel, Ken Schneider, USA, Documentary)

Homeroom ( Peter Nicks, USA, Documentary)

I Am Cuba (Mikhai Kalatozov, USSR, Cuba, Documentary)

Impact  (Jon Lang, USA, Documentary)

In the Same Breath (Nanfu Wang, China, USA, Documentary)

A Kaddish for Bernie Madoff (Alicia J. Rose, USA, Narrative)

Lily Topples the World (Jeremy Workman, USA, Documentary, 90 minutes)

Lydia Lunch: The War is Never Over (2019, Beth B, USA, Documentary) 

The Mali-Cuba Connection/ Africa Mia (Richard Minier, Edouard Salier, Cuba/France/Mali, Documentary)

Me to Play (Jim Bernfield, USA, Documentary)

Medicine Man: The Stan Brock Story (Paul Michael Angell, United Kingdom, Documentary)

Missing in Brooks County (Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss, USA, Documentary)

Nadie (2017, Michael Coyula, Cuba, Documentary)

Poison (1991, Todd Haynes, USA, Narrative)

The Road Up ( Greg Jacobs and Jon Siskel, USA, Documentary) 

Sin La Habana (Keveh Nabatian, Canada/Cuba, Narrative)

Since August (Diana Zuros, USA, Narrative)

Small Time (Niav Conty, USA, Narrative)

So Late So Soon (Daniel Hymanson, USA, Documentary)

Stalking Chernobyl: Exploration After Apocalypse (Iara Lee, Ukraine/USA/Bulgaria/Slovakia, Documentary)

Summertime (Carlos López Estrada, USA, Narrative)

Teddy, Out of Tune (Daniel Friedman, USA, Narrative)

Things We Dare Not Do (Bruno Cantamaria, Mexico, Documentary)

The Water Man (David Oyelowo, USA, Narrative)

Weed and Wine  (Rebecca Richman Cohen, USA, Documentary)

Who is Lun*na Menoh?(Jeff Mizushima, USA, Documentary) 

Youth v Gov( Christi Cooper, USA, Documentary)


Short Stories 1: On Success

Short Stories 2: Foreign Exchange

Short Stories & Docs: Outsiders

Short Docs 1: Now What?

Short Docs 2: Land

Locals Only 1: Launch Student Competition

Locals Only 2

Locals Spotlight: Laney D’Aquino

Locals Spotlight: Autie Carlisle

Locals Spotlight: Rising From the Ashes

Guanajuato: Identity and Belonging


The Batista Syndrome (2019, Steve Fagin, Cuba, 140 minutes)

Kid Flicks One (2020-21)

Kid Flicks Two (2020-21)

Viva Kid Flicks (2020-21)


A Conversation with David Oyelowo (April 17)

Screening Cuba (April 18)

Poison at 30: Vachon/Haynes/Rich (April 25)


Opening Night Bash (April 15, 7p.m.)

Awards Night (April 29, 7p.m.) 

Member/Maker Mixers (April 21 and 28, 4:00– 5:00p.m.)

AIFF 2021 information at-a-glance:

About Ashland Independent Film Festival 

Cited by MovieMaker Magazine several times as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” and one of the “Top 50 Festivals Worth the Entry Fee,” the Ashland Independent Film Festival is usually held annually in April in Southern Oregon. AIFF screens 100-plus independent documentary, narrative, animation, and short films in its festival and other year-round programs in Ashland, which is nestled in the beautiful Rogue River Valley. In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, AIFF moved online for its 19th annual festival, extended its five-day event to 24 days, and was recognized by Smithsonian Magazine and MovieMaker Magazine as having one of the best virtual film festivals. 

Spring 2021 Art Deadlines and Call to Artists

Calls to Artists! Artist Opportunities! Calls for Art! Check out Spring 2021 Art Deadlines for shows and competitions to enter!

Yes, no matter what you call them, there are many for you to repond to. The artist opportunities below include calls suited to nearly every specialty in art, including photography and writing. Competition and exhibition deadlines listed here will keep you busy creating through the end of April, with three more artist opportunities with deadlines even further out. Review the list and apply for everything you and your art are eligible for! And be sure to let us know how you do when the show(s) you entered end.


Arte Natura is a thematic exhibition based on art inspired by the natural world. The exhibition will be held at the Limner Gallery, May 13 – June 5, 2021 and is open to all artists working in any media. All interpretations of the theme are acceptable, including landscape, fruits, vegetables, flowers and fauna and human figuration as part of the natural environment. Entry Fee. Details:


Seeking short fiction of any genre between 250 – 750 words. The mission of this contest is to inspire creativity, communication, and well-rewarded recognition to contestants. Electronic submissions via e-mail only; reprints are okay; simultaneous submissions okay; multiple submissions are okay as long as they are submitted in their own individual e-mail. Open internationally. No Entry Fee. Details: OR [email protected]


As part of Women in History Month, the Las Laguna Art Gallery is seeking art from women artists. Mediums may include Acrylic, Airbrush, Assemblage, Charcoal, Color Pencil, Collage, Digital Art, Drawings, Encaustic, Fiber Art, Graphite, Illustration, Mixed Media, New Media, Oil, Painting, Pastel, Photography (Traditional and Digital), Printmaking, Sculpture, Video and Watercolor. Details: 949-505-0950 OR OR [email protected]


Accepting proposals: Feb 1 – Mar 1, 2021 Four winning proposals will become apexart exhibitions presented in their selected locations around the world as part of our 2021-22 exhibition season. Curators, artists, writers, and creative individuals, regardless of location or past experience, are invited to submit an idea-driven group exhibition proposal online in 500 words or less. No Entry Fee. Details:


The annual BigPicture: Natural World Photography Competition encourages photographers from around the world to contribute their work to this photo competition that will both celebrate and illustrate the rich diversity of life on Earth and inspire action to protect and conserve it through the power of imagery. Entry Fee. Details:


The City of Normandy Park Arts Commission is pleased to announce a Call for Artists for a sculpture for Nist Family Park. This request for proposals is seeking artists who will design and create a sculpture for Nist Park, located at 242 SW Normandy Road, Normandy Park, WA. 98166. Proposed designs should tell a story and reflect the history, culture and environment of Nist Family Park and Normandy Park. No Entry Fee. Details:

March 01, 2021 – OPEN CALL CANVIA

Canvia is a digital display network that brings art into homes, offices, hotels and other spaces throughout the world like never before. We’re interested in licensing the works of artists of all types and backgrounds as digital reproductions for use on Canvia’s platform. Canvia offers a variety of benefits including the sharing of subscription revenue in the form of royalties. No Entry Fee. Details: OR [email protected]

March 02, 2021 – JACKSON’S PAINTING PRIZE 2021

The competition is organised annually by the Jackson’s Art Supplies. Artists may submit artworks in any painting or drawing media. The competition has the following categories: • Animal • Portrait / Figure • Landscape / Cityscape / Seascape • Still Life / Botanical • Abstract / Non-representational • Scenes of Everyday Life You can submit up to a total of 5 artworks. Entry Fee. Details:


The Insight Investment Astronomy Photographer of the Year is an annual astronomy photography competition that is organised by the Royal Observatory, Greenwich. The competition showcases the world’s best space photography, from spectacular skyscapes to mind-blowing images of distant planets and galaxies. No Entry Fee. Details:


The Biennial of the Poster Bolivia BICeBé® is the most important international event of design and visual arts in Bolivia and the Southern Cone. More than 15,000 student and professional designers have participated of the activities and from more than 76 countries around the world has been part of the exhibitions. No Entry Fee. Details:


Online show. Up to $7500 in awards. Open to any living artist in the USA or abroad. Work submitted must have been created no more than five years prior to January 1, 2021. Any original representational art in the categories of Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors, Graphics, Pastels and Sculpture – Casein and Egg Tempera will be judged with Acrylics. Two submissions allowed per artist. Entry Fee. Details:


A national juried exhibition open to all media. The themes of artwork submitted will deal with the ideas of complete freedom and/or being completely lost. This exhibition is open to all U.S. residents at least 18 years of age. $1,000 in awards Entry Fee. Details: 315-462-0210 OR OR [email protected]


The competition is open to everyone of any age. This year’s theme is ”Porticoes of Bologna”. Each participant may submit up to 3 different illustrations. Participants of the competition are asked to create an illustration, a graphic interpretation or a decorative motif within or outside (or both) the outline of a monument or icon, provided in an annex to the call, with free technique. No Entry Fee. Details:


Art League of Hilton Head invites artists to enter the 2021 Biennale. Over $5,000 in cash awards. Media types: Oil or Acrylic, Pastel, Watermedia, Photography, Mixed Media, Three-Dimensional, or All Other. All accepted works of art selected by three jurors will be on display May 4-26, 2021 at Art League Gallery in the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina on Hilton Head Island, SC. Entry Fee. Details:


Photographers of all levels are invited to submit work reflecting the theme “mercy of the moon”. Juror will be Kevin Tully, curator, photographer, writer, painter and co-director of the gallery. Entry Fee. Details: 512-422-4080 OR OR [email protected]


The World of WearableArt Awards is an annual international wearable art competition. ⌈ World of WearableArt (WOW) is an internationally renowned design competition that attracts entries from over 40 countries. Anything that is wearable art can find a place on the stage, as long as it is original, innovative and well executed.⌋ No Entry Fee. Details:

March 31, 2021 – NATURE PHOTO COMPETITION 2021

All amateur and professional photographers are invited to embark on a photographic journey of discovery and capture impressive pictures of the many facets of Europe’s natural world. No Entry Fee. Details:


To enter the competition, create a cover illustration for the ”ART street Illustration Book”. “ We’re looking for a cover illustration for the “ART street Illustration Book”. The “ART street Illustration Book” is a collection of illustrations by platinum ranked artists (on the No Entry Fee. Details:


The contest is organised by Winning Writers. You may submit one humor poem, in English. Your poem should not exceed 250 lines in length. You may submit published or unpublished work. No Entry Fee. Details:


Earth.Org invites explorers, professional photographers and photographers working on the front line of wildlife conservation across the world to submit their photographs for the following categories: • Overall Best Environmental Photo • Wildlife in Peril • Human Impacts on the Environment No Entry Fee. Details:


The Competition is an ideal way to exhibit your talent to a wider international audience. With a distinguished panel of jurors and more than $70,000 in valuable prizes, it is open to visual artists from around the world at any stage of their careers. Painting, sculpture, photography, drawing, mixed media, and print are the accepted mediums. Entry Fee. Details:

April 15, 2021 – SOCIAL ART AWARD

Applications are welcome that focus on this year’s theme “New Greening” providing hopeful prospects towards climate change, resource saving, environmental protection, ecosystem recovery, water conservation, biodiversity, resilient cities etc. No Entry Fee. Details: OR [email protected]


A dazzling, annual juried exhibition celebrating photographic works of all styles and subject matter. We hope to continue honoring and encouraging photography that runs the gamut from innovative to timeless. $1,000+ in cash awards, 40-45 works selected for display at The Emporium Center, July 2-30, in downtown Knoxville, TN’s Arts District. A pay-what-you-can entry fee option is new this year! Entry Fee. Details: 865-523-7543 OR OR [email protected]


The Competition is an ideal way to exhibit your talent to a wider international audience. With a distinguished panel of jurors and more than $55,000 in valuable prizes, it is open to photographers from around the world at any stage of their careers. Entry Fee. Details:


The VSA Emerging Young Artists Program amplifies the voices of visual artists with disabilities through career development and professional empowerment. The competition seeks excellent work from emerging artists with disabilities, ages 16-25. Grand Prize is $20,000, First Prize is $10,000, Second Prize is $6,000, and the remaining Awards of Excellence are $2,000 each. No Entry Fee. Details:


The Nikon Small World is the world’s preeminent photographic competition for images TAKEN THROUGH THE MICROSCOPE. There are two contests: • Nikon Small World Contest is for images taken through the light microscope. • Nikon Small World In Motion Contest is for movies and digital time-lapse photography taken through a light microscope. Photomicrographs must be taken using a light microscope. No Entry Fee. Details:


An award from the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University supports documentary artists, working alone or in teams, who are involved in extended, on-going fieldwork projects that rely on and exploit the interplay of words and images. Application Fee. Details:


7th year. $13,750 in cash prizes for self-published books, including a top prize of $5,000. Any year of publication eligible. 7 categories including Art Book (new!) Final judges: Jendi Reiter and Ellen LaFleche. Sponsored by Winning Writers and co-sponsored by BookBaby and Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Winning Writers is a partner member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Entry fee: $65 per book. Entry Fee. Details: 413-320-1847 OR OR [email protected]


The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award is an international literary prize that is a hotbed for new talent in Poetry and Short Fiction. Now in its 15th year, the Prize supports both emerging and established writers. By entering, writers can showcase their work to key industry figures and organisations including The Poetry Society, Granta, VINTAGE and more. Entry Fee. Details: