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Sketch: Call for Works Exploring the Creative Process
By Manifest Creative Research Gallery

International Deadline: May 10, 2017 – Nearly all artists, regardless of the media in which they realize ‘final’ works, create sketches or ‘thought-works’ that help them work out solutions to problems, conceptualize a plan, or test and re-test options before making an investment in time and media to create a finished work. Too often these works stay hidden, secret, or forgotten.

Many artists demonstrate lessons or techniques by creating example works. Whether it be through a demonstration of a basic drawing process for a college class, or a more complicated technical demonstration for advanced subjects or other media, the results are often stunning, conveying an unself-conscious naturalness due to their functional nature (being ‘just’ a lesson). Yet such transient works do not get seen because they don’t fit into the artist’s portfolio of subject, style, or content. Rather, they are cast aside, saved in drawers or portfolios, and lost to the world.

It was in the Renaissance that commerce and the production of paper gave rise to the value of sketches as more than just private notations. Leonardo DaVinci is known for his prolific sketching, continually jotting down words but also beautifully detailed visual notations about the world around him. The directness of the connection between these sketches and DaVinci’s ideas is part of what gives them their inherent energy, and makes them so alluring.

We believe the same energy is encapsulated in sketches made by artists around the world today. This exhibition seeks to feature those hidden, unclaimed, yet immediately potent works so their energy may be appreciated and shared in the light of day.

Types of artworks being sought include, but are by no means limited to:

  1. Demonstrations of techniques or technical processes
  2. Preparatory works (sketches, plans, diagrams) made prior to and in support of ‘finished’ work
  3. Visual notations, experiments, and creative-process work

SKETCH is open to everyone. The only limitation is that entries must represent original works which address the theme in some considerable way. Despite its title, this exhibit is NOT limited to ‘drawing’ media per se. Works will be expected to be prepared appropriately for formal gallery presentation.

A new annual Manifest Grand Jury Prize will result in the awarding of one significant cash prize ($2500) to a single work selected as the ‘best of the entire season’. Winner will be determined by a final end-of-year jury from among a pool of all top-scoring works from each exhibit’s jury process across the current exhibition season. This process will apply retroactively to exhibits since the start of our 13th season on September 30, 2016, and applies to each exhibit through August 18, 2017, including this one.

Open to any and all traditional and non-traditional visual arts 2d and 3d media applicable to the theme.

Manifest’s carefully assembled juries change from project to project, and as a body have no collective predisposition towards any particular kind or style of art.

Manifest’s selection process involves a complex two-part system. This project will be juried by a 5-9 member panel of professional and academic volunteer advisors with a broad range of expertise.

Manifest Press will produce a high quality hard-cover publication documenting each entire season of exhibits, artists, and works shown. This continues Manifest’s commitment to long-term documentation and dissemination of our projects, and the expansion of physical exhibits into a broader geography and time frame, while also bringing all exhibits together under one cover each year to create a better product which will be more valuable to the public, teachers, libraries, and exhibiting artists.

$36 for up to three entries submitted. $10 per each additional entry.

Visit Manifest Gallery online to Apply. The online submission process is preferred. However, discs may be submitted (see details on Prospectus).

Artworks are not required to be for sale in order to be included in our exhibitions. Manifest Gallery will retain a commission of 30% of the sale price on all artwork sold during the exhibition.


  • May 10 Deadline for receipt of entries
  • June 5- 12 Notifications sent by email to all entrants sometime this week
  • June 19 Hi-res images needed for catalog and PR
  • July 8 Artwork due to Manifest by this date
  • July 14  Opening reception
  • August 11 Final Day of Exhibition
  • August 12-19 Pick-up hand-delivered work
  • August 16 Schedule shipped artwork for pickup (arranged by artist)

Visit Manifest Gallery online for complete details and to Apply.

Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization located in East Walnut Hills in Cincinnati, Ohio. We serve as a venue for the display and experience of insightful, thought provoking art and design, and functions as a hub for creative research and innovation at all levels of artistic endeavor.

Manifest Gallery
2727 Woodburn Avenue
East Walnut Hills
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206

Gallery hours: T-F 2-7pm, Sat.12-5pm.

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