The purposes of this international, juried art competition and exhibition are to (1) encourage the creation of quality art by Latter-day Saints; (2) showcase the breadth and diversity of Latter-day Saint cultural production made manifest through various styles, techniques, media, and voices; and (3) develop the Church History Museum art collection through purchase awards.
The theme of the 13th International Art Competition is “Lift Up the Hands Which Hang Down,” which comes from Doctrine and Covenants 81:5: “Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
- Dates for submitting artwork: February 5–May 31, 2024
- Expected exhibition dates: April–October 2025
Eligibility and General Rules
- The contest is open to all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints age 18 and above. (Members must be 18 by the final day of submission.)
- The museum welcomes a variety of cultural and aesthetic traditions, styles, and artistic media. Media may include painting, drawing, textile arts, photography, printmaking, sculpture, glass, clay, ceramics, wood, leather, stone, metal, traditional and folk arts, mixed media, multimedia, video, and more. This contest excludes poetry, artistic performance, and music.
- Each artist may send only one piece of art.
- The artwork must have been completed after 2021 and before the submission deadline.
- The artwork cannot exceed 72 inches (183 centimeters) on the longest side, including the frame.
- The artwork may not exceed more than 300 pounds (136 kilograms) in weight, including the frame.
- If selected for the second round of judging, the artwork must arrive at the museum ready to be displayed. The museum is not responsible for framing works of art or for attaching hanging or mounting mechanisms to them.
- Five jurors will be selected from regionally diverse areas of the United States or the world and will include representatives of diverse aesthetic training and expertise. The jury changes from competition to competition to preclude any appearance of favoritism.
- A jury foreman will provide instructions and assessment criteria to the jury and will facilitate all jurying procedures to protect the integrity and reputation of the competition. The jury foreman will not vote.
- There are two rounds of jurying. In the first round, the jury will evaluate each submission from digital images or photographs and the artist’s statement to determine which artworks will be shipped in for the second round. The second round of jurying, completed by assessing the actual physical art objects, will determine which works are selected for the exhibit.
Jurors evaluate the artwork based on three criteria:
- Thematic alignment: The artwork successfully expresses Latter-day Saint subject matter, aligns with the competition theme, and is paired with a strong artist statement. The point of view is unique and expansive. The artwork deepens the viewer’s understanding of the theme.
- Innovation: The artwork has creativity or originality in concept, medium, and cultural context. The artwork explores a unique sense of culture, position, and innovative thinking. The individual expression is original, exceptional, and relevant. Overall, the work has a sense of surpassing other works in its ingenuity and style.
- Artistic Merit: The artwork has excellent aesthetic and technical accomplishment in the chosen medium. The formal artistic elements are of the highest quality, as judged by the chosen medium. The material and method work to effectively articulate the overall message.
- Purchase Awards are awarded for the purpose of developing the museum collection. They will be selected per standard Church History Department practices by the acquisition specialists for art and artifacts in consultation with others from the Church History Museum and the Church History Department. Artworks which receive a Purchase Award are not eligible to receive a Merit Award.
- Merit Awards are given by jurors (2 per juror) to recognize artistic excellence among competition pieces. Winners of Merit Awards receive a fixed monetary amount of 500 USD.
- Visitors’ Choice Awards are determined at the close of the exhibition based on public voting both in the museum and online. The top five winners of the most votes receive a fixed monetary amount of 500 USD. All exhibition pieces are eligible for Visitors' Choice Awards regardless of other awards received.
How to Participate
To participate in the competition, please submit your entry using the museum’s Art Competition Entry Form during the open submission period (February 5–May 31, 2024).
Questions regarding the International Art Competition can be emailed to SubmitMyArt@ChurchofJesusChrist.org.