First Place: Emma Hall, Time

Second Place: Norah Wagoner, Untitled


First Place: Shreya Mokashi, Chasing Ghost

Second Place: Louis Jockisch, Bite my Shiny Ceramic Ass


First Place: Ellaysn Loudenberg, Vibrant Confections

Second Place: Madelynne Hoover, Ellie Singing in the Shower

Photography/New Media:

First Place: Erin Lowery, Kaboodle



First Place: Amy Yeager, Feathered

Second Place: Natalie Maloy, Weight of It


First Place: Aja Martin, Flourish

Second Place: Lucas Walker, Teapot


First Place: Billie Jean Hill, I Don't Know How to Paint Anymore

Second Place: Alexis Evans, Bowl of Candy

Photography/New Media:

First Place: Sarah Eckstine, Emigrant, Montana

Second Place: Javier Fialek, House in the Alley



First Place: Meghan Roller, In Chemistry Class

Second Place: Aaron Henkelman, Folded Poem


First Place: Allison Harris, The World Is Watching

Second Place: Deb Neumayer, Enter at your own risk


First Place: Becky Altic, Appalachian Path

Second Place: Joyce Cole, Lake Life

Photography/New Media:

First Place: Laurie Bergner, Bathing in the Sacred Ganges River

Second Place: Jayme Banzhoff, These Wounds that Bind Us


DIRECTOR'S CHOICE AWARD: Elizabeth Lendenbaum-Gaudio, Light and Stone

BEST IN SHOW: Vickie Fitzgerald, Sylph Emerging

The 96th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition will open on March 10th, 2023.

All accepted artists will be notified via email by Noon on February 24th, 2023. 

Featuring work by high school, university, and adult artists, this juried exhibition highlights the diverse creativity of our community. Professional artists external to the MCAC serve as paid jurors.

All submitted works will be juried and judged for cash merit awards based on the artist category (high school, university, or adult) and by their medium (painting, graphics, photography/new media, or sculpture). 

At the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 11th, 27 awards will be presented, totaling over $2,000 in cash prizes. Each year, the Best of Show Merwin Medal is awarded to the most outstanding artwork, and the Ashley C. Ritter Most Promising Art Award is given to the artist exhibiting the most future potential.

Guidelines for Application

  1. An "amateur" artist can be many things -- for the purpose of this exhibition, we broadly define an amateur artist as anyone whose primary source of income is not generated by their art. 
  2. Each artist may submit up to two artworks for consideration by the jury. The artworks can be in two different mediums, but please note that each individual only has two submission opportunities -- not two submissions per medium. 
  3. If a collaborative artwork is to be submitted, all contributing artists must be listed on the submission. Collaborative artworks will still count as one of an artist's two submission opportunities. 
  4. As this is a community exhibition, the artworks submitted must be appropriate for all ages. 
  5. All artwork must be original to the submitting artist. Submitting work that is a reproduction, plagiaristic, or misrepresentative in nature is grounds for dismissal from the exhibition and may result in future restrictions for application. 
  6. Submitted work(s) must have been produced by the artist within the last three years. 
  7. All pieces (unless sculptural) must be wired for hanging. We will not hang work with sawtooth hangers.
  8. All exhibiting artwork is considered for sale unless marked "NFS". The MCAC utilizes a standard 40/60 gallery price policy (40% of the sale goes to the gallery, and 60% of the sale goes to the artist). Please price your work with this in mind. 
  9. If you have exhibited at the MCAC before (NOT including Holiday Treasures or previous Amateur Exhibitions), you may enter the exhibition, but you will NOT be eligible for awards).
  10. A non-refundable application fee of $5 per artwork entered can be made through the application form. If you need help completing the form, please email us at info@mcac.org, call us at 309-829-0011, or visit us in person at the MCAC (601 N. East St Bloomington, IL 61701). 

Important Dates

Application Deadline: February 20th, 2023

Date of Notification: February 24th, 2023 

Accepted Art Drop-Off Dates:

  • Friday, February 24th, Noon to 4 pm
  • Saturday, February 25th, Noon to 4 pm
  • Monday, February 27th, 10 am to 5 pm 

Exhibition Dates: March 10th - April 20th

Award Ceremony: Saturday, March 11th at 1 pm 

Accepted Art Pick-Up Dates: April 21st - April 24th (during MCAC's regularly scheduled hours)

Mission Statement: We encourage and promote the appreciation, study, cultivation, development, and practice of art for the benefit of all the people, cultures and communities of McLean County. 

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software