The Northampton Arts Council is an organization whose goal is to support and promote the arts in Northampton. Originally created as a Local Arts Lottery Council, it began its work by administering a grants program in which proceeds from a state lottery are distributed to local artists, arts groups, and public schools.


From Seed to Fruition

2019 Western Massachusetts Visual Arts Biennial

OPEN CALL: May 15th - Aug 1st, 2019, 11:59 pm

Submit HERE (or scroll to the bottom of this page for further instructions on how to submit)

The Northampton Arts Council enthusiastically invites submissions for their 2019 Visual Arts and Poetry Biennial, to be held at Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery from October 1st through October 30th, 2019. The Arts Council Biennial is a juried art exhibit and poetry event with free entry, open to artists and poets from Hampden, Hampshire, Franklin, and Berkshire counties. Artists and writers are asked to interpret the theme “From Seed to Fruition”, artists are asked to interpret this literally or as a work/body of work that has been fully developed and most closely represents the artist’s personal artistic vision.

All two and three-dimensional art in any style, as well as video and performance art will be considered for the visual arts component. The Arts Council also encourages submissions of performance art, and large 3-dimensional, weather tolerant art for the outdoor exhibition space on the Forbes Library lawn.

Poets can submit up to 3 poems and previously published work will be accepted. Accepted poems will be displayed in the form of a poetry booklet in Forbes Library Hosmer Gallery throughout the Biennial for viewing by the public. The Northampton Arts Council will host the Biennial Poetry Reading, held at Forbes Library’s Calvin Coolidge Reading Room

The submission deadline for visual arts and poetry is August 1, 2019, 11:59 pm.

The Arts Council is proud to announce a well rounded panel of professionals in the field who represent various aspects of the art community in western Massachusetts. The 2019 Biennial jurors for visual art will be Donna Gates, Gallery Director and Curator, Salmon Falls Gallery; Jameson Johnson, Founder and Editor in chief, The Boston Art Review; Robert Wiesenburger, the Associate Curator of Contemporary Projects for The Clark Art Institute. Poetry jurors include Nellie Prior, co-organizer of the Departure Reading Series; Karen Skolfield, poet laureate of Northampton; and spoken word poet Catherine Weiss, co-organizer of Northampton Poetry and founder of the community arts space, The Endopolis Poetry Room.

By hosting the Biennial, the Northampton Arts Council hopes to nurture connections between artists, writers and art lovers and contribute to a vital, sustaining art community in Western Massachusetts.

Conditions: The Northampton Arts Council reserves the right to use any accepted image for promotional purposes. The Northampton Arts Council reserves the right to reject an accepted artwork if it is misrepresented by the submitted digital image.

Hanging in the Hosmer Gallery: 2 Dimensional work is hung from molding hooks and heavy weight monofilament. All framed work must be wired for hanging. Work without hanging wire will not be exhibited. The walls do not support nails. Pedestals and glass display cases are available for sculpture and small works. Using these guidelines, please frame and prepare your work to be hung in a professional manner. Put a label on the back of your piece with your name, the title, and price. ART DISPLAYED IN THE HOSMER GALLERY IS NOT INSURED!

Artists may offer their work for sale. If a piece is sold, a donation of 15% of the proceeds goes directly to Forbes Library.

Submission Deadline: August 1, 2019, 11:59 pm
Notification of work accepted (Visual Art): September 1, 2019
Notification of work accepted (Poetry): mid-September, 2019
Delivery of accepted work (Visual Art): Sunday, September 29, Monday, September 30. Specific times to be announced. (Please be in touch with us directly to arrange an alternative time for drop-off if the specified time does not work.)
Reception: In conjunction with Arts Night Out, Friday, October 11th, 5:00 - 8:00PM
Poetry Reading: TBD
Exhibition closes: Wednesday, October 30th, 5:00pm
Pick-up (Visual Art): Thursday, October 31, 9:00am - 7:00pm or specific times to be announced. (Please be in touch with us directly to arrange an alternative time for pick-up if the specified time does not work.)

How to submit for Visual Arts and Poetry:

1. Visit the link:
2. Click “register” to register a free account with “” (if you are not already registered)
3. Fill out the “Profile Data” page accordingly including your Bio, phone number, and address.
4. On the “User Dashboard” click “Add New Application”; you will then be prompted to select a category for either Poetry or Visual arts.
5. Up to three poems may be submitted. Poems must be combined into a single file in a .doc or .docx (Word), or PDF format. All identifying information (name and address) must be removed from the file name and from within the file. Submitted poems may be previously published or unpublished. In regards to the size of the work, when submitting poetry please fill these fields with “0.”
Images for the Visual Arts Submissions should have a minimal pixel dimension of 540px and a maximum of 1920px

Past Themes:

2017: Give us your best
2015: Motion Emotion
2013: Be Here Now
2011: Water

Past Jurors:

2017: Rosemary Tracy Woods from Art for Soul Gallery in Springfield; Justin Kimball, photographer and faculty member at Amherst College; and H. Emerson Blake, Editor-in-Chief at Orion Magazine. Poetry jurors include Northampton’s poet laureate Amy Dryansky; Diana Babineau Owen, Managing Editor at Orion Magazine; and Robbie Dunning, poet.

2015: Aprile Gallant, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Smith College Museum of Art, Paul Gulla, Gallery Manager for R. Michelson Galleries, and Julia Courtney, Curator of Art at the D’Amour Museum of Fine Arts.

2013: Gordon Thorne is a visual artist. He is the Director of A.P.E. which he founded in 1977 and the Open Field Foundation, created in 1996. Mara Williams is the Chief Curator of the Brattleboro Museum & Art Center.

2011: David Teeple, Visual Artist whose work focuses on water.

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