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


    ENTRY FORM  [ link ]  <<<<






An International Call for Works that Explain, Clarify,
Illuminate, or Communicate

at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati, Ohio


New artist support awards, honoraria, and Grand Jury Award structure announcement below.

“Illustration Beats Explanation” – from an ad for the Western Engraving and Colortype Co.

How much do you want to be understood?

Clarity of meaning is a question, rather than an essential quality of art. We can explore ideas while holding space for uncertainty and mystery, leaving some questions open-ended.

But when is there no room for ambiguity? Visual work is sometimes tasked with answering questions rather than raising them, with conveying information rather than emotion—think of technical manuals explaining which-part-goes-where, books full of images that work in union with text to tell a story (or tell a story without any text at all), advertisements where images are calibrated, targeted, to market products to you, courtroom drawings, maps, and so much more. Before the advent of photography, visual art and design were practically synonymous with 'illustration'. Before the advent of movable type, visual illustration was the primary means of education and non-audible communication.

When communication is the goal, the artist looks beyond their own self expression or self-satisfaction, considering more carefully the audience and the message they are conveying—and when words, even direct words, result in confusion or delay, an image shows us the way.

ILLUSTRATED is a call for works of art (or design, or illustration) that depict, represent, explain, clarify, relate, illuminate, detail, or communicate. This may most certainly include works that are not 'pure' illustration, but which reflect on or reference the above ideas and the role of the visual in similar ways.


Feel free to email us here if you have any questions about submitting work to this exhibit.

HERE. <<<<



ILLUSTRATED is open to everyone. The only limitation is that entries must represent original works which address the broad theme described above.

Open to all traditional and non-traditional genre and media.

Manifest's carefully assembled juries change from project to project, and have no collective predisposition towards any particular kind or style of art.

Unless specified otherwise by the exhibit theme (for example, our Small Works exhibit) Manifest has no size restrictions on submissions other than what can fit in our spaces, on our walls, and through our door. Artists considering submitting who have work which may exceed these limits are welcome to contact us to inquire about specific limits (

Unless specified otherwise by the exhibit or project parameters Manifest has no requirements on timeframe when submitted works must have been made. At Manifest we do not believe great art has an expiration date. Furthermore we believe that older work gains new meaning when contextualized in a new space alongside different works by different artists. Why should an exceptional work of art cease being experienced by the public once it is just a few years old? In fact, why should it ever stop being experienced? While most work submitted to our exhibits has been made within the past five years or so, sometimes works are submitted (and accepted) that are older. Our jury process does not consider this information when scoring or selecting works for exhibit.


Marking Manifest's 20th season, each participating exhibitor will receive a $50 honorarium. The honorarium has no strings attached (other than full participation in the relevant exhibit). It is a modest thank-you for collaborating with us as we chart our future. However, we realize it may also be helpful as practical support for shipping, framing, delivery, or travel to attend the Manifest exhibit reception events.*



Since Manifest's 13th season the annual Grand Jury Award has recognized one exhibited work each year with a significant jury-determined cash prize, representing the 'best of the best' shown in Manifest's many exhibits that year. To mark our transition into Manifest's 20th season as an arts organization by artists, for artists, we are making a change.

For season 20 the new Grand Jury Award format will result in the awarding of $1,000 to one work during each of our nine exhibition periods. This expands our support from one to up to nine artists each year, and allocates 80% more funding to recognize the merits of exhibited works. 

For each exhibition period the winner will be determined by a re-jury process selecting from among the pool of all top-scoring works from each show's initial jury. This process will apply to all shows during our 20th season beginning on September 29, 2023, and applies to each exhibit through August 2024, including this one.*

* All Manifest awards are supported in large part by the Manifest Annual Fund, which is made possible by direct contributions by individuals around the country and beyond. As such, awards are subject to revision based on pandemics, funding circumstances, and circumstances beyond our control. Honoraria will be tranferred by check or electroncially at Manifest's discretion within 30 days of the close of each exhibition.



Manifest's average fee per-work to submit to our exhibitions is the same as it was 20 years ago thanks in large part to the generous donors to our Annual Fund who contribute from around the country to support Manifest's programs.

$40 for up to FOUR entries submitted. $5 per each additional entry. Fees are non-refundable. Number of entries is unlimited. For the purposes of this process an 'entry' is an individual work of art, regardless of number of images used to represent it in this submission. 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.)

Any fee payment must reference your name, or we must be notified if another party is paying your fee.

What is my fee used for?
Manifest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and publicly-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 over a decade and a half Manifest has earned an international reputation for producing quality exhibits, and benefiting the artists involved, and the public, over time on its meager budget. Our board of directors and small mostly part-time dedicated 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.

Simply by participating in a Manifest project you are helping this grass-roots nonprofit organization do its work and achieve its mission.

The average number of works submitted to a typical Manifest project is 4. Some artists choose to submit 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 a few options to select from. Our jury often gains insight into one work by seeing it in context with a few others by the same artist. And we do routinely accept pairs or sets of work by artists once they are determined to be a finalist.

If for any reason you submit the entry form (linked at the top and bottom of this page) more than once, only the most recent form will be retained in our system. All previous forms will be deleted. If you decide to submit additional work later, you will need to submit a new form containing ALL the works for the exhibit.

Detail images should only be included if truly necessary for understanding the nature or quality of the artwork and these files must be named as instructed below. Please do NOT list the details on the entry form.

Manifest's selection process involves a complex two-part system. This exhibit will be juried by an anonymous several member panel of professional and academic advisors with a broad range of expertise relative to art and design. The jury will then pass along their recommendations to the exhibit curator who will make the final selections from the jury-approved pool. (Read more about Manifest's jury process here.)

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.

NOTE! We have a new process:

Images must be uploaded using the Dropbox link 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 specifically 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, after submitting to this project.


ENTRY CHECKLIST (for your reference only)

Completed entry form (online submission is required)

Fee paid by check (mail) payable to Manifest, or via PayPal using the payment button provided after form submission.

Digital images formatted as directed, loaded to the project Dropbox, or linked for video/interactive work referenced on the entry form.


Through nine seasons Manifest Press produced 74 full-color catalogs documenting the works selected for every exhibit presented in our galleries. A decade ago, starting with season 10 (fall of 2013) we shifted to the design of one much larger high quality hard-cover 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 book is much larger in size than our INDA, INPA, and INPHA publications (which themselves are quite hefty), and is designed, printed, and distributed with the same quality and attention to detail as those other award-winning volumes. The MEA does not replace those media specific exhibits-in-print, rather it complements them, and we think rounds out Manifest Press's publication suite perfectly. The MEA for Season 10 won a Silver Medal IPPY Award from the Independent Publishers Association, and MEA for Season 17 recently won a Bronze!

Exhibiting Artists will have the option of purchasing one copy of the MEA for the season in which their work is exhibited at half price at any time while quantities last.

All entrants also have the option to pre-order the season MEA at 40% off at time of entry (the option will be presented on the thank-you page after entry fee payment by Paypal).

All artists also have the option to become a supporting donor to Manifest’s Annual Fund at the eligible level, which includes being recognized as a supporter within all print and public membership materials, which includes a free MEA for the season which is underway at the time. All solo exhibitors receive a copy of the MEA for free.

The publication will generally be designed and printed within the first quarter of the following year after the close of season, and planned to ship by the following spring, although production timeframes can vary. (Manifest's exhibit season runs September to September each year.)

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

Become a supporting member here.

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. 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.

Works will be insured 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.)

Artworks are not required to be for sale in order to be included in our exhibitions. It is required that works are indicated as either "for sale" or not for sale (NFS) on the submitted entry form. Manifest Gallery will retain a commission of 30% of the sale price on all artwork sold during the exhibition. Artists set the sale price on the entry form, and in doing so should account for all logistical costs, framing, etc. related to making the work exhibit-ready. Sale price and status cannot be changed after the deadline to submit.



September 24, 2023 Final Deadline to submit
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.




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



PLEASE feel free to print, share, or forward this information. The success of this exhibit will rely largely on sharing.





 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.

gallery hours:

tues-fri 12-7pm, sat noon-5pm
closed on sun-mon

view calendar

Contribute to our Annual Fund



gallery map
2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

drawing center map (m1)
3464 Central Parkway
cincinnati, ohio 45223



Copyright © 2023