Black Creativity

Call for Artists 2020

Yemonja Smalls, Wisdom II (detail), 2017, mixed media.

Celebrating its 50th year, the Museum of Science and Industry has been host to the nation’s longest-running exhibition of African-American art since 1970. This show presents over 100 works of art from emerging and professional African-American artists every year.

The call for artists opens in the fall each year. The entry guidelines are as follows:


Contemporary works created in any visual medium are accepted, including:

Architecture + Design • Ceramics • Digital Art • Drawing • Mixed Media • Painting • Photography + Video • Print Media • Sculpture • Textiles

The Exhibition may not be able to accommodate artworks with special technical or spatial needs. The artist may be required to provide any special installation equipment or materials for accepted works. Accepted work must be finished, dry, and ready for professional installation.


General Category
All African-American artists over the age of 18.

Youth Category
African-American artists who are age 18 or younger OR who are enrolled in grades 9–11 (or the equivalent).


Each artist may submit up to four original works for consideration. Work must have been completed in the past three years and not have been selected for any previous Black Creativity Juried Art Exhibition.

How to Apply

Jurying will be from digital images* only. Submissions must include one (1) high-resolution digital image of each complete individual artwork in JPEG format. Images should be 9" at the widest/tallest dimension (or 2250 pixels) with a resolution of NO LESS THAN 250 ppi. Optimal image size is 9" x 6" (2250 pixels by 1500 pixels) and NO LARGER THAN 5MB. Images should accurately reflect the color and detail of each piece and file names must correspond with the artwork titles listed on the entry form. Images of three-dimensional objects should illustrate the height, width and depth of the artwork. Images should be of good quality. MSI reserves the right to reject submissions that present images of poor quality.

Applicants whose art medium is Video may provide a hyperlink to the relevant work on YouTube, Vimeo or on a personal website. Video for submission judging will not be accepted for other types of media entries.


Fees are non-refundable, and must be remitted with online entry form.

General entry$50
Reduced General entry$25 with student ID or other proof of educational status
Youth entryFree


A panel of jurors reviews and selects the artwork to be exhibited and awards the prizes. All artists whose work is featured in the 2020 Juried Art Exhibition will receive a certificate of recognition.

General Category

First Place: $3,000
Second Place: $2,000
Third Place: $1,000

Youth Category

First Place: $500
Second Place: $300
Third Place: $200


All submissions must be received by November 3, 2019, no exceptions.

For questions, contact Tiffany Malone at 773-753-1765 or


Artists will be notified via email whether or not the jury selected their submissions. Please make sure your contact information is accurate. Accepted Works Instructions and a loan agreement will be sent along with your notification of acceptance into the Juried Art Exhibition.  

Accepted Works

All works accepted for the Juried Art Exhibition must be ready for professional installation and presentation in accordance with the Accepted Works Instructions. Wall-mounted pieces must have adequate framing and quality hanging hardware. If submitting audio or video the artist is responsible for supplying the appropriate media player to present the work. Any artwork that is not ready for immediate installation will not be included in the Exhibition.

Participating accepted artists are responsible for delivery and pickup of their works on the dates specified in the schedule below. All shipped works must be packed in sturdy, reusable container(s) and include clear instructions for packing, shipping and installation. MSI is not liable or responsible for any damage to work(s) that occurs during packing, unpacking, or repacking of works or for any damage that occurs during shipment or transit of the work. MSI reserves the right to refuse any work delivered in inadequate packaging or received in damaged condition. Please take all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of your work.


By submitting a work for inclusion in the Juried Art Exhibition, the artist agrees that the Museum is permitted to use images or footage of the artist’s work(s), including those submitted as part of the entry, in advertising, signage, mailing, programs and other materials related to the promotion and display of the 2020 Juried Art Exhibition.

Sales and Commissions

All sales inquiries will be forwarded directly to the artist. No commission will be taken from sales. Work does not have to be for sale to be exhibited in the Juried Art Exhibition, but cannot have already been sold to a third party.


  • MSI reserves the right to disqualify entries that, upon receipt, differ markedly from submitted images or are not ready for professional installation and presentation.  
  • All works must remain in the Juried Art Exhibition for the duration of the Exhibition. MSI is not responsible for any works left after the scheduled pick-up date.      
  • MSI will not be responsible for minor wear and tear resulting from normal handling.
  • Submission of your entry will be understood to indicate your agreement with these terms and conditions. Accepted artists will be required to sign a printed contract agreeing to these terms. 


Contact Tiffany Malone at (773) 753-1765 or