creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization


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$5,000 Cash Award
The 14th Annual Manifest Prize

Grace Period Deadline for Entry: October 15, 2023


Answers to some FAQ:

— The Prize is open to works of ANY media, ANY genre/style, ANY size*...
The jury and judging process has no stylistic or media-based preference or bias.

— There are almost no restrictions on submissions to The Manifest Prize. Artists who have submitted to or been included in previous Manifest projects are welcome to submit to any future project, including the Manifest Prize. Artists who have never submitted to or participated in a Manifest project in the past may also apply. There is no benefit from having been exhibited previously. A blind jury process is used to determine the finalists and winner.

— Works submitted must have been completed within the past five years (2018-2023 for the 14th Manifest Prize). The winning work must also be available for the exhibition period of early December through mid-January in order to be eligible for the prize, but is not required to be available for sale.

— The Manifest Prize is completely separate from the season's Grand Jury Award.


The Manifest Board of Directors committee has once again approved additional cash awards for the works selected as the runners-up. In addition to being recognized formally and documented in the Manifest Exhibition Annual publication for the season, the artists of these four works will receive $250 in recognition of their accomplishment. This is a small but meaningful step in our nonprofit organization's direction in expanding the reward for the achievement of excellence in visual art. With an increase in anticipated support in the future, our goal will be to increase this second tier of cash prizes significantly in the coming years.**



Open to works of any media, any genre/style, any size... One work will be selected for the award, featured in the gallery, and published. Four finalist works will also be recognized and published.

In our 12th season we were excited to announce that our non-profit board of directors approved an increase in the annual Manifest Prize (ONE) award amount to $5,000. This underscores our organization's strong desire to reward, showcase, celebrate, and document the most exceptional artwork being made today, and to do this in a tasteful non-commercial public context. Further, it is to incentivize the creation of excellent work and to support individual artists in meaningful, career-impacting ways. Manifest's mission is centered on championing the importance of mastery and quality in visual art. This project is one aspect of the realization of that mission.

There are no restrictions on submissions to The Manifest Prize except that works submitted must have been completed within the past five years (2018-2023). Artists and works which have been included in previous Manifest projects are also welcome and encouraged to submit to the Manifest Prize.


We respect the creative principle of reduction (the competitive peer-review jury process) as it is employed to achieve an essential conclusive statement for each exhibit we produce. This is what has led to the high caliber of each Manifest exhibition, and to the gallery's strong reputation.

With this principle of reduction in mind, we have been inspired by the intensity of jury after jury to narrow down a collection of entries to a suitable exhibit. Therefore for the Manifest Prize we set out to push the process to the ultimate limit—from among many to select ONE work to be exhibited in one of our five galleries* for the period of four weeks. This work will be the recipient of the MANIFEST PRIZE 2023, a cash award of $5,000 to the artist of a single work selected by our rigorous multi-member jury process, and presented in a gallery all to itself as the highlight of the competitive process, an honor to the artist, and a poignant statement for gallery visitors. 

* Final space assignment will be determined by Manifest once finalist is selected.

The Manifest Prize was launched in 2010 as an annual offering. The cash award for this competition is now $5000 and a four-week solo exhibit of the single winning work displayed along with juror and artist statements. Four finalist works will be included in the season-documenting publication, the Manifest Exhibition Annual. (NOTE: the Manifest Prize is a separate award from the Grand Jury Award.)



Eligibility: THE MANIFEST PRIZE is open to everyone. The only limitation is that entries must represent original works of visual art, design, or high craftsmanship of any kind and be available and capable of being exhibited in one of Manifest's five galleries. Floor plans are available upon request. Works submitted for this award must have been completed within the past five years (since 2018).

IMPORTANT! Works submitted MUST be available for the exhibition period of early December through mid-January in order to be eligible for the prize. Works need not be for sale. Submission constitutes a formal agreement to provide the work for exhibit should it be selected. Manifest will abide by all tax requirements in disbursing prize money.

Media: Open to any and all traditional and non-traditional visual arts genre and media, (including video, photography, sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, printmaking, etc.). There is no size limit or minimum size required, other than what is capable of being displayed in our gallery space. It would be a mistake to assume that just because the work will occupy a gallery by itself that it must be substantially large. Past Manifest Prize winners have been both very small (15" in size) and room-sized. Size is not a criteria for our jury. Gallery floor plan can be downloaded here.

Jury and Curator: Manifest's normal selection process involves a complex two-part system. This exhibit and award will be juried by an anonymous 7-15+ person volunteer panel of professional and academic advisors and gallery alumni from across the U.S. and beyond with a broad range of expertise. Because of the nature of this project, works approved by the first jury will be passed through a second, and possibly a third jury round, with jurors being shuffled from round to round. The work receiving the highest average score will be awarded the prize. **The four next highest scoring works will be the finalists (runners up). These works will each be awarded $250. Individual artists submitting multiple works may be eligible for multiple runner-up awards. Selected juror comments may be posted in the gallery and may be included in the Manifest Exhibition Annual.

Publication: Through nine seasons Manifest Press produced 74 full-color catalogs documenting the works selected for every exhibit presented in our galleries. Starting with season 10 (fall of 2013) we shifted to the design of one much larger high quality hard-cover retrospective 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. The two-time award-winning book is larger in size than our INDA, INPA, and INPHA publications, and is designed, printed, and distributed with the same quality and attention to detail.

As with all solo exhibitors, the winner of the Manifest Prize will receive their copy of the large-format hardcover book for free once it is produced.

The publication will be designed and printed in retrospect, with the goal to ship in the next two calendar years after end of season. (Manifest's exhibit season runs September to September each year. The previous MEA books are currently in production. Our publication production timeframes can vary significantly due to the nature of our small nonprofit staff and global logistics. But we always deliver quality work.)

Visit Manifest Press to see past catalogs (the old style) and our award-winning INDA, INPA, and INPHA books.

Delivery and Return of Winning Work for Exhibition: All work accepted for the exhibition must arrive ready to install. Works not gallery-ready, or not exhibiting good craftsmanship, may be omitted from the exhibit and declined the prize. Accepted work that differs significantly from the entry images or suffers from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Please note that professional-level presentation and craftsmanship is a must. Work may be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped works must be sent in an easily reusable container/packaging with return shipping prepaid. Works will be returned in the same manner as delivered or via UPS/USPS. All work must arrive at Manifest by the specified date (see calendar below). Accepted work will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Works not claimed within 30 days of the end of the exhibit will become the property of Manifest. The artists are responsible for all shipping costs to and from the gallery.

(Due to the nature of this call the calendar is subject to change slightly. Any significant changes will be updated here, and communicated to all entrants via email).

October 15, 2023

Final Deadline Grace Period

November 6

Notifications sent by email to all entrants by the end of this day.
November 13 (ASAP) Hi-res images needed for season annual and PR
December 9 Artwork due to Manifest by this date
December 14 Special Preview Event (Ticketed, 7-9pm)
December 15 Opening Reception (6-9pm).
January 11, 2024 Zoom-based artists' panel discussion
January 12 Final Day of Exhibition (and the Gallery's anniversary!)
January 13-20 Pick-up hand-delivered work
January 17 Schedule shipped artwork for pickup (arranged by artist)

* dates subject to change due to logistics. Any necessary adjustments will be communicated by email, and kept to a minimum. Notification dates can vary by up to a week.

** note that our notification emails are sometimes not received due to aggressive filtering by email servers on the recipient side. For this reason we also post the results of the jury on the exhibits page of the website after sending the notifications (within a few weeks). We also update the list of in-progress and recently completed juries on our opportunities page here. We encourage all entrants to white list (or allow) email from the domain to help ensure our communications arrive.

Insurance: Works will be insured by Manifest while on gallery premises. Insurance covers theft, vandalism, damage caused by gallery patrons or staff (in accordance with insurance policy). PLEASE NOTE: Insurance does not cover damage caused during shipping due to any reason, including mishandling by carrier or failure of packaging to protect works in transit. Also not covered is damage caused to work by failure of the work itself, its mounting systems installed or provided by the artist, disintegration/degradation due to the nature/quality of materials or craftsmanship, or incidental damage to works whose artist-directed presentation methods put them at risk. For any claim the artist may be required to provide proof of value. In general artists are encouraged to insure their works in transit with the carrier, and/or obtain personal articles insurance that covers works sent for exhibit (not just with us, but anywhere the artwork will travel in the future.)


Entry by September 1
Deadline Entry Fee:
$40 for up to five entries submitted. $5 per each additional entry.

Entry after September 1 and by October 15
Final Deadline
Entry Fee: $60 for up to five entries submitted. $5 per each additional entry.

Fees are non-refundable. Number of entries is unlimited. Entry fee must be paid by U.S. check or money order made payable to MANIFEST, or by credit card via PayPal. (If paying by PayPal PLEASE use the paypal link provided on the page that follows the submission of the online entry form.)


Manifest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and state-funded charitable organization operated by artists, for artists, with no substantial reserve or endowment. All proceeds from entry fees fund project-related expenses. Not unlike paying a fee to enter a marathon race, this democratically enables our organization's projects to happen. For nearly two decades Manifest has earned an international reputation for producing quality exhibits, and benefiting the artists involved over time on its modest budget. Our board of directors and small team of dedicated all-artist staff work hard to make involvement with Manifest projects well worth the effort and cost to do so. It is important to note that this jury fee is the only cost charged by Manifest for participation.

How many works should I submit?
The average number of works submitted to typical Manifest calls is 4. Some artists choose to submit several more, especially if they have a couple different bodies of work which they'd like our jury to consider, or if they have a suite of works that are interrelated. While we have absolutely no minimum number required (other than one), nor do we give an advantage to those who submit more, it is helpful to have some options to select from. Our jury often gains insight into one work by seeing it in context with others by the same artist. Even for this project, having the option to consider from among many choices will be helpful. Having multiple works by one artist, each with high scores, can also be helpful with solving any ties between artists.

Sale of Work: All work, unless indicated as not for sale (NFS), will be available for sale during exhibit. Manifest Gallery will retain a commission of 30% of the sale price on artwork sold during the exhibition. Artists set the sale price on the entry form, and this cannot be changed after submission.

Submission Images: Manifest accepts only digital images/files for consideration. See specifications below. The Gallery will retain the submitted images of accepted artwork and reserves the right to use the images in publications and gallery publicity. Beyond such use, the artist retains full copyright of exhibited work.

Images must be uploaded using the Dropbox button provided after entry form submission. This link will also be included on the emailed copy of your entry form.

Digital Format: Hi-Res, print-quality images will be requested for accepted works upon conclusion of the jury process. If suitable images are not provided, the work may not be included in the exhibit or season publication annual.

Entry images must meet the following specifications:

All entry files (regardless of type or media) must be named with artist's last name (underscore) first name, followed by the entry number as noted on the entry form (for example: Jones_Mike_1.jpg). Please DO NOT include any other information in the file name, such as title of work, etc.

Detail, installation, or alternate view images must include the word 'detail' in the filename (for example: Jones_Mike_1detail1.jpg). If you do NOT include the term DETAIL as part of the filename for any additional, extra, installation, or closeup images supporting your entry these will be counted as additional separate entries and our system will expect a corresponding fee for them. The copy of your entry form sent by email will provide samples for file-naming.

Information for detail images should NOT be included on the entry form. The image files should be in HIGH QUALITY JPEG format, images should be no smaller than 1000 pixels in any direction (about 13”) and be 72dpi. This should result in most image files ranging from 700kb to 2mb in file size but this is only approximate.



** Be ABSOLUTELY sure you are sending files at the correct size.

Additional Entry Image Info: Images must be oriented properly (i.e. top of image is top of artwork) and should not include text or borders that are not part of the actual work. When uploading images, it is preferred that you do not include anything other than the entry images in the upload (no resume, bio, receipts, signature image, or statement) unless this prospectus specifcally calls for it.

Any essential information regarding the nature of entries should be included in the notes section for each work on the entry form. Any communications should reference the exhibit title in the subject of the email.

Artists should keep in mind the importance of very good photographic documentation of the works being submitted. In many cases the nature of the presentation of the work in a gallery setting is critical to our jury's judgment of the work for our projects. This is especially true for works that are presented in any way that could be considered non-traditional (unframed, suspended from ceiling, floor-based, etc.). Good detail images should convey the actual physical nature of the work as displayed. This also holds true for photographic works, which vary widely in presentation options from traditional frames, to aluminum prints, to raw paper, and so on.

Keep in mind that presentation matters! How a work is presented is critical to its success in a gallery setting. Choice of framing, mounting, etc., is paramount in delivering an experience of the work to an audience. Take advantage of the 'notes' fields for each entry on the entry form to explain in simple terms how your work is presented (especially if this is not already evident in your submission images). Regardless of various choices the artist may make, Manifest's bottom line is always to present a museum-quality exhibition.

Manifest requests that all video or interactive submissions, or video details illustrating an entry, be in the form of a link to a viewable online copy of each work AND a single representative jpeg image loaded to the project Dropbox. The work should be shown online in its full length
. Note that a jpeg still image must still be submitted to represent the entry in addition to the video material. Please email us if you have any uncertainty about this (

Video links should be provided on the entry form for each work in the VIEWING LINK section, and should link directly to online or downloadable content that does NOT require a login, password or membership to view. These may be in the form of Youtube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or other similar links. Effort should be made to eliminate confusion or extraneous information that may interfere with the jury's viewing of the work. Any extraneous information, or material not considered to be 'the work' will inevitably detract from the jury score for that work.

Links to video entries must remain valid and active through the notification of jury results.


Submitting the entry form indicates that you agree with the conditions of entry and exhibit as outlined in this prospectus, that you are reserving spots in our jury, that you will send the entry fee, and that you agree to make your work available and will ship/deliver it to the gallery should it be selected for exhibit.

DO NOT submit an entry form if you cannot follow through. Do not double-book your work, commit it to other conflicting exhibitions, or sell it without securing its availability for our exhibit.







If sending entry fee by check, please be sure it is postmarked by the deadline and mailed to:

Manifest Creative Research Gallery
P.O. Box 6218
Cincinnati, OH 45206

e-mail with questions





 Josephine S. Russell
Charitable Trust

Manifest is supported by sustainability funding from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about Manifest's mission for the visual arts.

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