The Big: Art Center East's Annual Open Exhibit

Community Ensembles

down, finger, hand iconThe Big Application

Art Center East (ACE) invites you to enter your artwork into The Big: Art Center East's Annual Open Exhibit. Entries are eligible to win cash prizes - totaling over $600! - awarded at the judges' discretion. The People's Choice cash award will be selected by those attending the December 7 opening reception. Artists throughout the Pacific Northwest (Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and beyond) who are 18+ years old are invited to submit their work.

This annual art exhibit serves multiple purposes: it invites international artists to celebrate the arts, creates awareness of the value of arts in our communities, and raises funds that benefit community arts programming at ACE.

The 2018 Annual Open exhibit will run from December 7th, 2018 - January 26th, 2019, with a festive opening reception from 6-8pm on Friday, December 7th.

What to Expect

The Big: Annual Open Exhibit is an art exhibit at Art Center East in La Grande, Oregon. The exhibit runs December 7, 2018 - January 26, 2019 with an opening reception on Friday, December 7 from 6-8pm.

Submissions are accepted on a first-come basis November 26 - December 1 during ACE's normal business hours: M-F 10am to 4pm, Saturday noon to 4pm.

About our Gallery Space

The exhibition gallery space is upstairs in a restored 1913 Carnegie Library building. Great care is taken in displaying all work to its best advantage. As a non-profit organization, we take pride in running a professional exhibition program on a modest budget.

What to Enter

Artists may submit up to three original, gallery-ready pieces in any artistic medium. Please note that ACE will not accept pieces that have been exhibited at a prior Annual Open Exhibit (formerly, Season's Faire) or that are older than three years. Have questions about whether your piece is a good fit for this exhibit? Contact our Art Director, Darcy Dolge: (541)624-2800.

How to Enter

1) Select 1-3 pieces that you would like to submit and prepare them for gallery display: framed with screw eyes and wire attached for wall mounted pieces; all others must be ready for freestanding gallery presentation. We will provide pedestals, but not display surfaces (such as for jewelry), easels, or other display accessories. Artists are welcome to enter up to three pieces with the guarantee of at least one piece being included in the exhibit, as gallery space allows. 

2) Complete the electronic submission form, answering all required questions. ACE will not accept incomplete submissions or those delivered without an accompanying online submission form. Pay your entry fee with form submission: $20 for ACE members or $25 for non-members. All submission forms must be completed electronically - please contact ACE if you experience any technical difficulties (541)624-2800.

3) Deliver your ready-to-display piece(s) to the ACE gallery - 1006 Penn Avenue, La Grande, Oregon - in person on the submission date you selected in your submission form. *Should we have a high volume of submissions, ACE will limit the number of submissions per artist. In the (unlikely) event that the show fills before the final submission date, ACE reserves the right to refuse new submissions. Bring your submissions in early to ensure a spot in the show!

4) Attend the December 7th opening night reception, 6-8pm. Free entry. (Optional)

5) Collect your unsold piece on the date you selected in your submission form. Please note that because our accounting is done on a monthly basis, payouts for works sold will be sent to you separately during the first week of February, 2019.

Why Enter?

GET YOUR NAME OUT THERE! - This is a great opportunity for professional and amateur artists alike to display their artwork and gain exposure in a gallery setting. ACE will market the show regionally and locally, via press releases, print advertising, a poster campaign, social media, and at our community outreach booths.

SELL YOUR ART! - As advocates of the arts economy, we encourage artists to display works that are for sale. As with all of our gallery shows, ACE retains a commission for artwork purchased (our commission rate is 30% for ACE members, 40% non-members).

WIN A PRIZE! - A few lucky artists (selected by our 2018 artist jurors, Steve Antell, and Susan Murrell) will go home with a cash prize:
Best in Show: $200
Best Three-Dimensional Piece: $150
Photography Awards:
- Fred Hill Best Photography Award: $100 awarded to self-printed artworks.
- Commercially Printed Photography Award $50
People's Choice Award: $100

CREATE COMMUNITY! - The arts are more fun when more people are involved. We are an inclusive organization that values diversity of all kinds. We encourage you to be brave, share your voice, and come join us for the Annual Open Exhibit!

About the Judges - Susan Murrell & Steve Antell

Susan Murrell - Judge
Susan creates painting-centric installations that investigate our expanding concept of landscape as technology continues to shift our perspective. She has been awarded residencies at international programs such as Yaddo, Ragdale, and most recently, Arteles in Finland and Westfjords in Iceland. In the fall of 2016 she created work as the Artist-in-Residence at Portland State University's Studio MFA program and exhibited the project “we are all cosmic dust” at PSU’s Autzen Gallery. In the spring of 2018 she became a member of Carnation Contemporary, an artist-run gallery in Portland, Oregon, where she will have a solo exhibition this October. Susan has received multiple Golden Spot and Mid-Career Artist Awards through the Ford Family Foundation, and in 2017 she won an Oregon Arts Commission’s Career Opportunity Grant. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon, where she explores this spectacular corner of the state with her dog Amiga.

Steve Antell - Judge of Photography
Steve's passion is to create pictures using photography emanating from his outdoor experiences. He began taking images as a 12 year old while camping, hiking and canoeing in remote areas. Soon thereafter he built a darkroom and started a lifelong apprenticeship for making his own prints. Over the next two decades Steve finished college and graduate schools in biology, while photographing, climbing, guiding and teaching in the American West. Moving to Oregon, he operated his own portraiture and commercial studio for sixteen years, refining proficiency in design, illustration and printing.

Since then Steve has returned to exclusively making his own work, often characterized by compressed detailed compositions. His current prints utilize digital pigmented ink, frequently have overlays of pencil, charcoal, acrylic or pastel and are owned by the university, commercial and private entities. He resides in La Grande, Oregon with his wife Karen.

Community Ensembles


I must be 18 years of age or older to participate.
I Understand
Artworks must be created within the last three years.
I UnderstandI don't understand that my artwork must be created within the last three years and need to speak with ACE staff.
All works must be original and ready for presentation. Painting will be dry and appropriately presented, mounted or framed, ready to hang with screw eyes and wire attached. Saw tooth hangers and Uni-Frames will not be accepted. Reproductions and works made from kits or under the supervision of an instructor are not eligible. I will present my work professionally. If a special display is needed I will provide it with my work upon delivery.
I Understand
I will receive payment for sales from this open exhibit the first week of February, 2019.
I Understand
CONTINUED THIS YEAR: Because we stand behind artists as professionals who create works of value, we would like to move away from requesting art donations for this annual fundraiser. In lieu of donations, we are continuing a flat entry fee: $20 for ACE members and $25 for non-members. One entry fee includes up to (3) three works of art by a single artist. Artists are encouraged, but not required, to have their work for sale. There is a 30% commission for Art Center East members and 40% commission for non-members. All proceeds from your entry fee this year will go toward ACE arts programming.
I understand the continued changes for 2018
Upon delivery I will provide a printed inventory list featuring contact information, title, description/medium, price of each artwork.
I agree to provide these items upon delivery.I understand that if I don't provide these items ACE may choose to not accept my artwork.
Art Center East reserves the right to refuse any artwork that is inconsistent with the general quality of the exhibit. If there are more entries than space allows, it may be necessary to limit the number of works per artist shown. All artwork will be handled with reasonable care.
I Understand
Please remember the application fee amount that you owe, and enter into our system in Paypal. You will be redirected to Paypal as soon as you click the SUBMIT button below. Please be patient while the page loads. Your application will not be considered valid unless you have made this payment."
$20 (ACE Member)$25 (ACE Non-Member)

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