The Northampton Arts Council works to support and nurture the arts in the city of Northampton. The Council awards grants twice each year to artists and arts groups from both state and locally-raised funds, and seeks to improve public awareness of the arts. Its' goals include maintaining and preserving the rich and diverse cultural heritage of Northampton, programming such annual events of interest to the community as First Night Northampton and Transperformance.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Call to Artists: 2017 Northampton Arts Council Biennial

Image by Sally Clegg


Visual Arts & Poetry

The Northampton Arts Council enthusiastically invites submissions for their 2017 Visual Arts and Poetry Biennial, to be held at Forbes Library’s Hosmer Gallery from October 2 through October 28 2017. 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 submit their best work created over the past two years, including pieces they are most proud of and most closely represent their 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 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, on Monday, October 23, 2017.

The submission deadline for visual arts and poetry is August 1, 2017, 11:59 pm.

The Arts Council is proud to announce a well-rounded panel of jurors, professionals in the field who represent various aspects of the art community in western Massachusetts. The 2017 Biennial jurors for visual art will be 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.

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. For more information on the submission process for both visual arts and poetry, please visit the Northampton Arts Council website. Submission to the Biennial is always free!


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. If framing, place hanging hardware near the top of the sides. 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.

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, 2017, 11:59 pm
Notification of work accepted: September 1, 2017
Delivery of accepted work: Friday, September 29, Saturday, 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.)
Installation of work: Monday, October 2, 2017
Reception: In conjunction with Arts Night Out, Friday, October 13th, 5:00 – 8:00pm
Exhibition closes: Saturday, October 28, 5:00pm.
Pick-up: Monday, October 30, 9:00am - 9:00pm
(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 poetry:
Submit poems as a pdf attachment to an email addressed to with Biennial Poetry in the subject line.
Judging will be blind. Include your name, address, email address, and phone contact in the body of your email but not on your poems.


How to submit visual work:

Click here to submit your work

Please read instructions for uploading images before beginning your submission. Artists may include up to 3 images. On this page and the next pages, follow the instructions. Complete and accurate information about your artwork will help in the jury process. You have now completed Steps 1 and 2 and may continue on to Step 3.

Step 3 UPLOAD Digital Files:

  • Allowed entry file types: .jpg .png .gif .mp3 .pdf .doc .mov .mp4 .wmv
  • The maximum file size is 20mb, the minimum file size is 1500kb(1.5mb), and the minimum image width is 600 pixels.
  • Up to three digital images may be submitted per artist. Submit only one digital image for diptychs, triptychs, etc. Do not hit the submit button until you have uploaded and reviewed in the next step all of your images.
Step 4 REVIEW: After uploading all your digital files, you may view your entry files.

Step 5 SUBMIT: If satisfied with your images, go on to Step 5 and submit your entry. Do not hit the submit this entry button until you are satisfied with the way your images look. You will not be able to change your entry files after hitting the submit button.

This exhibition is proudly hosted by the Northampton Arts Council, in cooperation with the Hosmer Gallery at Forbes Library.


Email: Ellen Augarten

Email: Brian Foote

Brian Foote at 413-587-1069.

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