Ends on September 8, 2017$5.00 - 30.00
$5.00 - 30.00
ArtWorks for Freedom and VisArts Call for Entries: Picturing Freedom

Picturing Freedom is a nationwide poster contest to focus attention on the global and local crime of human trafficking and modern slavery.  Winning posters and selected works will be promoted and featured on Artwork for Freedom's website as well as during our ACTION DC! awareness campaign in October 2017.  


Professional category   $30.00 USD  

Student category  $5.00 USD    

The Subject: Human Trafficking.
It is estimated that over 21 million people around the world are victims of forced labor of all kinds. That’s today, in 2017. From the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the goods we buy and people we may interact with who are exploited and forced into the commercial sex industry -- forced labor touches us in ways we try not to imagine.

We invite professional and student artists, illustrators and graphic designers to create visually innovative and provocative interpretations of human trafficking and the myriad issues related to its proliferation. It is an opportunity to engage in one of the most important human rights issues of our day!

We challenge you to:

            • Get beyond stereotypes and clichés  

            • See victims with empathy

            • Avoid stigmatizing, sensationalizing and inauthentic imagery
            • Incorporate the National Human Trafficking phone number: 1-888-373-7888

This is an opportunity to unleash your creative imagination and address one of the most important human rights issues of our day!


Grand-prize winner: $1,000  

First prize - professional category:    $400

First prize - student category:            $200

2 Honorable mentions - professional:  $50 gift certificate each        

2 Honorable mentions – student: Art supplies

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: September 8, 2017, 11:59 PM EDT

Jurors for the competition include:

Caroline Diemar, National Hotlines Director, Polaris

Shamere McKenzie, trafficking survivor, advocate and Anti-Trafficking Programs Director, Salvation Army and, President and Founder of Sungate Foundation which provides scholarships and educational opportunities to human trafficking survivors.

Carol Smolenski, Executive Director, ECPAT-USA

Alonzo Davis, artist, teacher, galleries and community organizer  

Kate Somers, fine art consultant and director of Bernstein Gallery, Princeton


High res files reproducible in print up to 22 (h) x 16 (w) inches (1600 x 1080 at 300 dpi, not to exceed 5 MB).  Acceptable file formats are: jpg and tiff. 


Winning posters and selected works will be featured in a pop-up exhibit at a Washington DC gallery during the ArtWorks for Freedom | ACTION DC! awareness campaign in October, 2017.  Opportunities also exist for additional exhibits as part of ArtWorks for Freedom on-going awareness campaigns.

The winning posters will be featured on ArtWorks for Freedom’s website, and in  communications and publicity for ArtWorks for Freedom. They will be used for all media and press purposes, including advocacy materials, interviews, press conferences, etc. with full credit to the artist. The work may be distributed to trafficking hotspots as a tool in fighting human trafficking.


The winning posters will be reproduced in a range of sizes up to 22 inches  x 16 inches . 

PLEASE NOTE:  By submitting a poster project, you implicitly AGREE with all of the following.

You retain copyright and artist credit will appear on any printed or virtual copy of the winning posters

ArtWorks for Freedom uses all forms of artistic expression to raise awareness about modern day slavery and human trafficking. Working locally and globally and engaging art in all its forms, we are transforming public perceptions, educating individuals, communities and policy makers, and inspiring action to put an end to modern day slavery.http://www.artworksforfreedom.org/

VisArts, located in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through gallery exhibitions, education programs, a studio artist program, and events. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to a mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.http://www.visartscenter.org/


Ends on September 29, 2017$15.00

The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency

In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts at Rockville.  This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists will present their work in a three-person exhibition at VisArts.

The Bresler Resident Artist is encouraged to initiate community outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It ranks nationally and state-wide as a leader in environmental sustainability and green power use. Rockville is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, well-educated, and culturally diverse population. Artists are encouraged to engage with local resources including: Rockville Library, Montgomery College Rockville campus and other local schools, historical sites, Rock Creek Park, the Potomac River watershed, and Rockville’s diverse community.

VisArts is an independent non-profit art center located in the heart of Rockville Town Square, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary emerging and established artists in four galleries, an Emerging Curator Program, a Studio Artist Program, and an Art Education Program making it an active and important presence in the greater metropolitan arts community. Rockville offers easy access to public transit to Washington, D.C. via the Red Line Metro, an excellent bus system, bike trails, and parking.

The Bresler Residency does not provide housing for artists. Please contact VisArts directly for resources regarding housing during the residency period.

Current Call

The current call is for artists or collaborative artist teams whose primary residency practice will be Sound, Video, New Media, and/or Photography. *

Call for Applications for 2018 Residency opens: May 27, 2017

Deadline: September 29, 2017

Notification: October 27 , 2017

Final Confirmation: November 3, 2017

Available Residency Dates:     January 10 - May 6, 2018

                                                 May 9 – September 4, 2018

                                                 September 5, 2018 - January 6, 2019

2018 Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition: January 2019 – March 2019

*Each year the Bresler Residency will focus on visual artists whose primary residency practice will involve the following:  

  • 2016 - Painting, Drawing
  • 2017 – Social/Environmental/Community Engagement, Performance. Call for 2017  Deadline September 30, 2016.
  • 2018 - Sound, Video, New Media, Photography. Call for 2018 Residency applications opens May 27, 2018.

  • 2019 - Sculpture, Installation. Call for 2019 Residency applications opens May 4, 2018.
  • 2020 - Painting, Drawing. Call for 2020 Residency applications opens May 3, 2019.

Terms of Residency:

·      Qualified applicants are professional individual artists or collaborative artist teams over the age of 18; the program is not designed for program is not designed for undergraduate students or commercial artists.

·      Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but VisArts cannot support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.

·      The studio may be used only for art-making activities.

·      The Bresler Resident Artist will be provided with a 169 square foot studio, free of charge, for a period of four months. Each studio is equipped with a sink, Wi-Fi connection and abundant natural light. Studio access is 24/7 except during special VisArts events (advance notice will be given). The artist must provide his/her own studio furniture.

·      The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe and reasonably tidy manner, and will not make alterations to the space without permission.  The artist must leave the studio in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of the residency.

·      The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of his/her materials and equipment. Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that create additional electrical use must obtain permission for each piece of equipment that they wish to use in their studios.  

·      The Bresler Resident Artist will participate in the following during his/her residencies:
  • Work in the studio at VisArts for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
  • Attend monthly gatherings of the VisArts Studio Artists (possibilities include  pot-luck lunches/crit sessions/studio visits by visiting artists, critics, and curators. A schedule will be provided.)
  • Welcome the public during exhibition opening receptions or at scheduled Open Studio events.
  • Attend artist talks and gallery opening receptions.
  • Present an artist talk, workshop, screening, and/or other mutually agreed upon public event that engages the VisArts and greater Rockville communities and resources.
  • Participate in an Annual Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition of work created independently or collaboratively during the residency.

Application and Selection Process

Required materials include:

Application Materials:

  • Images:  Submit 10 images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution jpgs and time-based media (*up to 10 minutes total). *For collaborative teams, 10 images of collaborative work are required as well as a statement of the collaborative nature of the work. *Two minutes of video, film, sound or performance documentation = one work.  Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or You Tube public accounts for time-based work samples.
    • Image Requirements: You may submit up to 10 images. They must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, or .gif file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Maximum file size 5MB per image. Files must be labeled in the following way: first name last name-title of artwork-1.ext, first name last name-title of artwork-2.ext, etc. The file number corresponds with the number on the list of works. (Ex. John Doe-Untitled-1.jpg) 
  • List of Works Form- Numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions, a description of artwork is optional.
  • Resume/CV
  • Brief Artist Bio (100 words max.)
  • Artist Statement (100 words max.)
  • Residency proposal: 
    • Describe your project, goals for the residency, and how you might engage with the community or use community resources. You may include a drawing or representative images to help describe your specific proposal. (250 words max.)
  • Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):

                         _____January 10 - May 6, 2018

                         _____ May 9 – September 4, 2018

                         _____ September 5, 2018 - January 6, 2019

  • $15 application fee

All applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.

 About VisArts

Located in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, VisArts is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through gallery exhibitions, education programs, a studio artist program, and events. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to a mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.