Memphis in May International Festival announces a call to local artists for a juried art competition.
For over four decades Memphis in May International Festival has included an original commissioned work of art created by notable Memphis artists as part of its salute to a select honored country. That artwork has then been used as the commemorative image on limited edition, highly collectible Fine Arts Posters annually. A gallery of previous years Fine Arts posters may be viewed here.
For the first time in its history, Memphis in May will break with tradition and will honor a city rather a country as part of the month-long salute. The City of Memphis will be the year-long focus of the 2019 Memphis in May Festival as it leads in the celebration of Memphis’ bicentennial and the start of its new century.
Also, in a break with tradition, the festival issues an open call to local artists to submit original artwork for a juried exhibition, VISIONS OF MEMPHIS. The winning artwork will be selected as the image of the 2019 Fine Arts poster and receive a monetary award ($2000). Second and third place prizes, $1000 and $500 respectively, will also be awarded. An additional seven entries will be awarded Honorable Mentions, and each receive a $200 prize.
Read through this entire webpage before proceeding. You can then submit your artwork by clicking here.
Poster Submission Guidelines
Please read the conditions and terms of entry carefully. By entering this competition, you agree to comply with these terms
- Open to Memphis and Shelby County, TN artists 18 years and older.
- Artwork should be inspired by the vibrant culture, colorful personalities, unique geographical assets and rich history that comprise the diverse tapestry of our city. Artwork should reflect Memphis as looking to its bright future while keeping its storied past sharply in focus.
Two dimensional, any medium, MINIMUM DIMENSIONS 30” x 30” x 2" size.
Work cannot exceed 40”x 40”.
All works must be original in content, concept, and design.
Limit of one submission per artist, no fees.
Artwork must be suitable for all audiences.
MIMIF reserves the right to not show any art work based on the above criteria.
If your work is selected for exhibition, it will be your exclusive responsibility to deliver the actual artwork to the Memphis in May offices January 8-16, 2019 and to make sure it is gallery wrapped* and ready to be hung. You agree that MIMIF has the exclusive right to revoke your participation if those instructions are not followed.
If selected for exhibition and/or awarded a prize, you agree to make your artwork available for display April 1 – June 15, 2019. No work may be removed from exhibit prematurely.
MIMIF will insure artwork accepted into the exhibition for the listed value with a net maximum of $2,000 per item.
Artwork awarded first place will become the exclusive property of MIMIF for which Artist will received $2,000, paid upon receipt of Work of Art, and $5 for each poster or signed print sold by MIM after the first 300 sold between the date of issue and June 1, 2019, which will be paid upon completion of Memphis in May’s financial audit or no later than October 31, 2019.
Winning art will be printed as a limited-edition fine arts poster for the 2019 Salute to Memphis. Winning artist will receive 50 prints of the poster for personal use and agrees to sign/number an additional 250 prints. MIM shall retain any and all revenues generated from the sale of the Fine Art prints sold by MIM; the Artist shall retain any and all revenues generated from the sale of his/her allotment of Fine Art prints.
Awarded art, second through tenth place, and exhibited art must be retrieved by the artist at the end of the exhibition period. Artwork left for more than 30 days following the exhibition will be considered abandoned and become the exclusive property of MIMIF.
MIMIF reserves the right to change competition deadline and dates due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control.
Poster Submission Awards
- First place: $2,000 cash prize, two month-long badges to the Festival and your work becoming the official image of our 2019 salute
- Second place: $1,000
- Third place: $500
- Honorable mentions (4th-10th place) will receive $200 each
Poster Submission Details
The goal of the poster is to promote Memphis in May International Festival and the bicentennial celebration of Memphis
The artist who makes a submission to the competition, automatically consents to free of charge display of his/her work during the Festival and use of the work for information and promotional purposes associated with the Festival and the Competition on the Internet, in printed materials promoting the Festival etc.
The competition’s overall winning design artwork becomes the exclusive property of Memphis in May International Festival and will not be returned. The artist will receive credit when design is used for festival purposes.
A panel of distinguished jurists (composed of artists, museum and gallery administrators, art academicians and art educators) will select works for a virtual exhibition. The public will then be able to cast a ballot for their preferred artwork.
Jurists and the public will be asked to consider overall impact of design, artistic merit, creativity, and appropriateness of the subject matter as it relates to the Memphis in May International Festival’s 2019 Salute to Memphis
There is no entry fee. However, all costs incurred by you relating to your Submission and this competition are your personal responsibility.
If you have a question that hasn't been answered above, please email mim [at] memphisinmay [dot] org
Poster Submission Timeline
- September 1: Open to Digital Submissions
- December 1: Digital Submissions Close
- December 9-20: Juried Panel Review
- January 7-16: Exhibition notifications / submission of physical artwork
- February 1-12: Public voting
- March: Winning art announced
- May 1-31: Visions of Memphis art exhibition, location TBD
- Beale Street Music Festival
- World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest
- Great American River Run
- Celebrate Memphis
- 2019 Salute