Every three years, Latter-day Saint artists from around the world are encouraged to participate in a theme-based competition hosted by the Church History Museum in Salt Lake City. The purpose of this competition is first, to showcase the breadth and diversity of Latter-day Saint artists and, second, to help develop the Church History Museum art collection through purchase awards. In fact, many well-beloved pieces of Latter-day Saint artwork have come from these competitions.
For each competition, artworks selected by a jury are exhibited at the museum and are eligible to receive one of several awards, including purchase awards. Through these awards, the museum purchases a select number of artworks from those exhibited to expand its collection.
11th International Art Competition Dates
- Theme: Meditations on Belief. “I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings” (Psalm 77:11–12)
- Submission Dates: February 1, 2018, through June 1, 2018
- First round of jurying: June 2018
- Second round of jurying: September 2018
- Estimated exhibition dates: March 2019 to October 2019
Eligibility and General Rules
- The competition is open to all members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints age 18 and older (members must be age 18 by the final day of the submission period).
- Each artist may submit one work of art. Entries must be completed after 2015 and before the submission deadline.
- 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, film, and other forms. This competition excludes poetry, performance arts, and music.
- The artwork cannot exceed 84 inches (213 cm), including the frame, in its longest dimension.
- If selected for the second round of jurying, the artwork must arrive at the museum ready for display. The museum is not responsible for framing works of art or attaching hanging mechanisms to them.
The Jurying Process
- The jury panel consists of five art professionals. These jurors come from diverse areas of the nation and the world. They represent diverse aesthetic training or expertise, including knowledge of international art, folk art, or cultural art.
- A jury foreman provides instructions and a rubric to the jury and facilitates all jurying procedures in order to protect the integrity and reputation of the competition. However, the foreman does not have a contributing vote in the art selection process.
- There are two rounds of jurying. In the first round, the jurors evaluate each submission using digital images or photographs of the artwork, as well as the artist’s statement, to determine which artworks will be shipped in for the second round. In the second round, the jurors evaluate the physical art objects to determine which artworks will be included in the exhibit.
Jurors evaluate the artwork based on three criteria:
- Artistic merit: The artwork has excellent aesthetic and technical accomplishment in the chosen medium. The formal artistic elements are of the highest quality. The material and method work to effectively articulate the overall message.
- 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.
- Thematic alignment: The artwork successfully expresses Latter-day Saint subject matter, aligns with the competition theme, and is paired with a strong artist’s statement. The point of view is unique and expansive. The artwork deepens the viewer’s understanding of the theme.
Merit Awards: Winners receive a fixed monetary amount. The winners of these awards are selected by the jurors in recognition of the exceptional quality of their artwork.
Purchase Awards: Some works of art will be purchased by the museum to be added to the museum collection. These are selected by the acquisitions art curator in consultation with others from the Church History Museum and the Church History Department Acquisition Board. Works of art purchased by the museum will not be eligible to receive a merit award.
Visitors’ Choice Awards: Visitors have the opportunity to vote for their favorite art pieces using kiosks in the gallery space and the museum website. At the close of the exhibit, the artists whose work received the most votes will receive a monetary award. All art pieces will be eligible for Visitors’ Choice Awards, even if they received a Merit Award or a Purchase Award.
How to Participate in the Competition
To participate in the competition, you will need an International Art Competition artist account. All communication regarding the competition will be sent to you by email. You will also use this account to submit an image of your artwork to the competition.
Create or update your account by logging in to your International Art Competition artist account using your LDS Account username and password. If you do not have an LDS Account username and password, click here. You will need your Membership Record Number, which can be found on your temple recommend or can be provided to you through your ward membership clerk.
Once you are logged in to your LDS Account, please fill out or update your artist profile. This information is important in order for the museum to communicate with you about the competition and the results of each round of jurying.
When the open submission period begins, you will be able to click on Submission and fill out a submission form. You will also need to upload an image of your artwork.
After the close of the submission period, the artwork will go through a first round of jurying. Depending on its score in the first round, the artwork may proceed onto the second and final round of jurying. (For more information regarding the jurying process, please see the sections above titled “The Jurying Process” and “Jurying Criteria.”)