National Art Chair:

Mary Lou Griffin
Diamond State Branch, Delaware

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50th Biennial Art Show Call for Submissions


The 50th Biennial Art Show will be on display at our Pen Arts Gallery in Washington, D.C., from April 22 through May 20, 2020.

All pieces will be marked for sale. The artist will receive 70 percent of the proceeds from the sold pieces, and 30 percent will go to the Pen Arts Gallery.

All artwork must remain until the end of the show. Exhibiting artists are responsible for shipping costs to the Pen Arts Gallery. The Biennial Exhibiting Artist Fund will pay for return shipping. The artist is responsible for the cost of insurance both ways.

Shipping instructions will be sent to exhibiting artists. To reduce shipping costs and risk of breakage, acrylic glazing is recommended.

50th Biennial Purchase Prize: This year, an additional award category is added to the Biennial Art Competition. Members may submit one additional piece designated for the Purchase Prize Award ($300). If submitting to this category, the member agrees to accept $300 for her piece if selected.

The Purchase Prize piece will become part of the Pen Arts Permanent Collection in Washington, D.C. (Because space is limited in the Pen Arts Building, there will be separate size restrictions for pieces submitted in the Purchase Prize category. See restrictions below.)


Open to all NLAPW Art members in good standing.

All work must be original, completed in the last three years for 2-D work and pottery, and five years for sculpture. Entries must not have been submitted to previous Pen Women Biennial or Vinnie Ream competitions.


$45 includes up to two entries, plus one additional piece for Purchase Prize Category. Fee can be paid with PayPal (see below) or by check made out to NLAPW, Inc. and sent to Art Chair, NLAPW, 1300 17th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20036-1973. Please include with your check contact information and the titles of your entry pieces.


Entries will be accepted from October 1, 2019, through January 31, 2020. Late entries not accepted.


Painting: All media including oils, water media, pastel, encaustic, mixed media.

Drawing and Graphics: Photography and printmaking (original prints only). No giclée or other reproduction prints of other work done in other media will be accepted.

3-D Works: Pottery (hand thrown or wheel), jewelry, sculpture, fiber arts.


2-D work maximum dimensions including frame are 40 inches high, 36 inches wide and under 20 lbs.   

All 2-D work must be framed and ready to hang with D-rings and wire no less than 3 inches from the frame top. Gallery wrapped canvases do not have to be framed. (No saw tooth hangers accepted.) Acrylic glazing recommended.

3-D work maximum dimensions are 3×3 feet and under 30 lbs.

Purchase Prize category: 2-D work maximum dimensions 24 inches high by 20 inches wide including frame; 3-D work maximum dimensions 24×24 inches and under 20 lbs.


Entries will be by online jpg submission. No CDs accepted. All images must be saved as a BASELINE JPG at 300 ppi, maximum of 1,200-1,500 pixels on the longest side.

The image should be the artwork alone without mat or frame. The image file size for each image must be 1MB or less. The file name should be title of the piece, medium and dimensions (i.e. Calm Waters, oil, 8×10).

Please submit one image for each 2-dimensional entry; three images (front, back and side view) for each 3-dimensional entry.

Email your entries to Subject of your email should be Biennial Art Competition submission. In your email please include the title of the entry, medium, size, and price. Please indicate which entry is for the Purchase Prize category.

Any questions, please contact National Art Chair Mary Lou Griffin,

About the Juror

The 50th National Biennial Art Show juror and awards judge will be Barbara Wolanin, PhD. She served as curator for the architect of the U.S. Capitol for 30 years, managing the conservation of murals by Constantino Brumidi and others in the U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress. She also oversaw the conservation of indoor and outdoor sculpture, including the Statue of Freedom atop the dome, and supervised the curatorial, records management and archives, and photography branches.

Wolanin juried the annual Artistic Discovery exhibition. She is an expert on the modernist painter Arthur B. Carles and has written exhibition catalogs on him and several of his women students. She has juried all-media exhibitions for the Art League, the Women’s Caucus for Art, the Wayne Art Center, and other groups.

She received her doctorate degree in art history from the University of Wisconsin and master’s degrees from Oberlin College and Harvard University. Wolanin taught art history at Trinity College and James Madison University.


Entrant’s name