Our newest Challenge

The View from My Window

Deadline to Submit – April 13, 2018

Each of us have our own view on the world, our own perspectives, both literally and figuratively. For this challenge the theme is simple. When you look out your window, what do you see? Show us the view from your window.                                                                                                                                                             

Your view may change with the seasons, with the weather, or you may see it differently depending on your mood. Do you have a view of nature? Something calming, peaceful and reflective? Perhaps you have a city view, with people and traffic rushing by. If you travel for work, your view might be out a hotel window or an Uber car. Think of your window as a frame on your world. We want to see what you see! 

Visit our Inspiration Page for more details on this challenge.


Mixed-media Self-portrait

Deadline to Submit – January 17, 2018

The history of self-portraits is long and varied. From Leonardo da Vinci’s likeness in red chalk, to court painters such as Velázquez painting their own image into commissioned portraits of others, to Janine Antoni’s busts made of chocolate and soap, each artist has devised their own unique way to depict themselves. Only, often it is not just a likeness that is depicted, but a state of mind, of how one sees oneself, or of how one is imagined to be seen by others. A self-portrait is more than a portrait of the self, it can be a portrait of one’s relationships, and one’s place in the world. It may represent your best self, or your worst self. How you are, or how you wish to be.

For this Challenge, we want you to create a self-portrait. Show us who you are and how you fit into this world. For an extra challenge, not only do we want you to create a self-portrait but we ask to see a mixed-media self-portrait. Embroidery on paper or a photograph? Crewelwork collage? Stumpwork and ceramic sculpture? We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Frida Kahlo said, “I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.” Yet, perhaps, if we all were to look upon each other’s self-portraits, we would realize that we are not alone, and how much it is that we have in common with others.

Visit our Inspiration Page to learn how to enter and more about the history of self-portraits.


Tips for Photographing Your Work

You may submit your original work to be displayed in our challenge exhibition, or you can send us a photograph. If you plan on sending a photograph, please read these tips for photographing your work. We will display the photo of your piece in our exhibition and we want to show off your creation as well as we can! Prepare your piece for photographing.  If your work has folds or wrinkles, you may want to carefully iron or steam the piece. Have a close look for stray threads. You can cut these off or gently remove them with tape. Photograph before you frame.  If possible, photograph your piece before you frame it. It is hard to take a good photograph through glass after the piece has been framed. Use natural light. Try taking your piece outside on a cloudy day to photograph it. This will minimize shadows in the photo and help you to get the truest colors. Think about the background.  Set your piece on a large blank piece of paper or hang a sheet behind it to create a clean backdrop. You don’t want the viewer to be distracted by the surroundings. Your work is the main event! Take a photo of the whole piece plus some detail shots. Try to take one overall photo of the piece so the viewer can get a sense of the whole picture. Make sure to leave a border around the piece to ensure the edges of your piece aren’t cut off in the photograph. It can always be cropped a little smaller later. Then take some detail shots, everyone likes to see stitching up close! If your piece is 3-d, take photos of the different sides of the piece as well as some detail shots. Make sure to take a high resolution photo.  Most digital cameras have the ability to take photos at different resolutions. Make sure to set your camera to a high resolution in order to take the best quality photo.