Friday, March 10, 2006

VSA Arts

an international juried exhibit for artists with disabilities

Receipt deadline: Friday, March, 24, 2006

Open to artists (ages 22 and over) who are committed to their artistic progress and who have a physical, cognitive, or mental disability. A disability is defined as an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. For more information about disabilities that apply, please review VSA arts' Disability Awareness Guide, located under resources at Artists should be able to demonstrate commitment to their chosen media for the span of 5 years. Recent work entered must be completed after the onset of disability.
Alternative Formats and Accommodations

Alternative formats are available upon request. (Braille, Large Print)

French and Spanish versions of the Entry Form can be found in both PDF and Text formats. These can be found at

We recognize that some artists may require assistance with this application. For assistance, please contact Stephanie Moore, Director of Visual Arts, at 202.628.2800, ext. 3887 or TTY 202.737.0645, email: Or, contact your local VSA arts affiliate. A listing of affiliates may be found at:


One of the central roles of art and the artist is to encourage us to think about the many forces that shape our existence. Transformation invites artists with disabilities to reflect on the influence of change, education, perception, and disability. We are looking for artwork that is contemplative, and invites the visitor to consider the many ways that art transforms.

Reflect on a pivotal moment or event in your life that led you to a greater understanding of yourself in relation to your art and/or your disability. Did this particular moment allow you to recognize the motivation to create? What was going on around you? Where and when did your decision to pursue education, or decision not to pursue education, surface? How has the experience of living with a disability shaped your life? Describe how you were transformed and use your submission to illustrate this transformation.

We are interested in both representational and abstract interpretations. Artwork may illustrate actual aspects of your transformation such as the environment, self portraits, physical manifestations, or your personal discoveries. Work that relates to your feelings or emotions is also encouraged.
Jury Process

A distinguished panel will determine the standards, review submitted materials, and select artists for the exhibition during April of 2006. Applicants are asked to present evidence that will best exemplify the extent and quality of their accomplishment. The jury will be looking for the development of original ideas in the work submitted - imagination, competence, and the skillful use of materials. Work that suggests visual plagiarism, i.e. a direct copy of another artist's work, will not be accepted. All decisions are final.

Entry Instructions


Eligible media include: paintings and drawings (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil or charcoal), fine art prints (lithographs, etching, intaglio, or woodcuts), photography, sculpture, glass, ceramic, textile, computer generated prints and two-dimensional mixed media (virtually any media that may be represented in two dimensions). Artwork should not exceed 60 inches in either direction. Fragile or precious materials that cannot withstand handling, storage, and transportation will not be accepted.


Artists are asked to submit two slides of earlier work and three slides of current work within the span of 5 years. Recent work entered must be completed after the onset of disability. Please identify slides of work that exemplify the subject matter and techniques to which you are most committed.

Selection of works for the exhibit will be made from 35mm slides. DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL ARTWORK OR DIGITAL FILES (i.e. JPEGs). Slides must be 2"x 2", mounted in plastic or cardboard frames. One slide should be submitted for each work to be considered. Do not exceed the maximum number of slides (5). The judges are looking for an overall quality in your submission and are not positively influenced by excessive quantity.

All slides should be labeled with the information artist?s name, artwork title, and slide # corresponding to the entry form. Make sure to mark "top" to indicate the direction your artwork needs to be displayed. Slides that are difficult to see or review will NOT be judged. Slides should be mailed in plastic slide sheets for protection during transit.

When photographing flat works of art, use a neutral or non-distracting background, position the edge of the photo close to the art work, and avoid covering the art work with a surface such as glass or acetate that will produce a glare. People or other objects should NOT appear in slides. For further tips on taking good slides, visit

The entry form must be completed in full, with the artist's narrative and personal statement. This information will be used to create an artist's biography. A photograph of the artist should also be included. Submitted materials will not be returned, but will be archived within VSA arts' Artists Registry, a comprehensive directory that is consulted when identifying artists with disabilities for professional opportunities. Applicants should make and keep copies of all materials submitted. VSA arts is not responsible for materials lost or damaged in the mail.

Artwork Presentation & Exhibition

Selected artwork does not have to be framed. Once selected, all work will be prepared for hanging by VSA arts, including framing where appropriate, with screw eyes and wire attached. If you have strong ideas about artwork presentation including framing standards, please specify your preference within your submission. Selected artwork will be part of an exhibit in Washington, D.C. during June of 2006.

Download application:
PDF Version
Text Version