97th Annual Amateur Art Exhibition, Brandt Gallery

Congratulations to all participating Artists!



1st place: "Grandpa"s Chevy" by Hailey Warfel

2nd place: "Unspoken” by Emersyn Moore


1st place: "Metamorphic Butterflies" by Shreya Mokashi

2nd place: "Sugar Rush” by Ellasyn Loudenburg

Photo/new media:  

1st place: "Surrounded by Sound" by Vivian Wright

2nd place: "Pressure" by Mary Doll


1st place: "Horrible Flesh Cube" by Oliver Oscar Grant

2nd place: "Chunky Jewelry Set" by Rylee Mosier



1st place: "Falling Back On Nothing To Fall Back On" by Kolin Wilkins

2nd place: "Poise" by Katherine Novotny


1st place: "My Emotional Support Bottle of Sriracha" by Alex Cox

2nd place: "This Beautiful Fantastic" by Amy Chiappetta

Photo/new media: 

1st place: "Blessing" by Jade Nguyen

 2nd place: "Looking In" by Jacqueline Buehler


1st place: "Artifact 01" by Ian Cooper

2nd place: "Fasciated Orchid Series" by Melanie Portnov


1st place "Leco" by James McGurk



1st place; "For Your Health" by Susan Holifield

2nd place: "The Morrigan" by Sean-Thomas Gunnell


1st place: "From the Cocoon" by Natalie Maloy

2nd place: "TT" by Meghan Roller

Photo/New media: 

1st. place: "Fishing in the Congo" by Laurie Bergner

2nd place "Foggy Morn at Angler's" by Mardell Klasen


1st place: "Steam Punkin" by Gina LaMonica

2nd place: "Idyllic Tower" by Vickie Fitzgerald


1st place: "Something So Indisputably Beautiful" by Didi Skidmore

 2nd place: "Tattered Evolution" by Melanie Shellito

The Ashley Ritter Award for Most Promising Young Artist:

Kolin Wilkins


“Ketchikan” by Carl Olson


"Coffee Table Series" by Natalie Troyer

The 97th Annual McLean County Amateur Art Exhibition will open on March 1st, 2024.
The Awards Ceremony will be on Saturday, March 2nd at 1 PM.

All accepted artists will be notified via email by Noon on February 14th, 2024. 

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, sculpture, fiber/textile, and video). 

At the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 1st, 33 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 or otherwise not installation-ready.
  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. 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: Noon, February 9th, 2024

Date of Notification: February 14th, 2024

Accepted Art Drop-Off Dates:

  • Saturday, February 17th, noon to 4 pm
  • Monday, February 19th, noon to 4 pm
  • Tuesday, February 20th, noon to 4 pm 
  • Wednesday, February 21st, noon to 4 pm
  • Thursday, February 22nd, noon to 4 pm
  • Friday, February 23rd, noon to 4 pm
  • Saturday, February 24th, noon to 4 pm

Note: All pieces (unless sculptural) must be wired for hanging. We will not hang work with sawtooth hangers or otherwise not installation-ready.

Exhibition Dates: March 1 - April 24th, 2024

Award Ceremony: Saturday, March 2nd at 1 pm 

Accepted Art Pick-Up Dates: April 25th - May 4th (during MCAC's regularly scheduled hours)

*Any items not picked up within 30 days from the closing of the show will be considered property of the McLean County Arts Center.

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. 

        "This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts"

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