By Magdalene Paniotte
Aspiring artists looking for exposure or a chance to showcase your talent and artwork, the following Chicagoland organizations provide competitive opportunities to develop your artistic potential through fellowships, residencies and contests.
The Ragdale Foundation
1260 N Green Bay Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
The Ragdale estate was built in 1897 by Howard Van Doren Shaw, a Chicago architect who came from a family of working artists. Originally designed as a summer retreat, the ancestral home was recently renovated and rests on more than 50 acres of prairie in beautiful Lake Forest, Illinois. A truly inspiring atmosphere conducive to high productivity, this is a place where dreams can come true for interdisciplinary artists whose creative expression shows promise. The Foundation’s Alice Judson Hayes Writing Fellowship is annually awarded to talented writers whose work demonstrates an awareness about the environment, peace or social justice issues. The fellowship is a four-week residency with a $500 stipend for qualified writers who submit materials by September 15th. Alternate residencies include the Creative Sabbatical or involvement through internships, workshops and volunteer opportunities.
Northern Illinois University Press
2280 Bethany Road
DeKalb, IL 60015
Putting the finishing touches on your first fictional manuscript? Or perhaps you’ve completed a book and are wondering if it’s time to submit the fruits of your labor for an objective, scholarly opinion. Unpublished creative writers who live in Chicago and surrounding areas in the region, if your novel is set in the midwest or focuses on some aspect of the midwestern experience, Switchgrass Books of Northern Illinois University Press seeks to promote talented authors who want to develop a voice of their own. Launched in September of 2008 as part of a marketing strategy to expand readership for outstanding literary fiction, Switchgrass publishes two books per season and offers a unique ongoing opportunity to review your work for professional publication consideration.
Ravenswood Art Walk
4064 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
The Ravenswood Art Walk Poster Contest is underway. Aspiring artists are invited to submit two samples of their designs online by September 16th (click here for important submission guidelines). Finalists will be required to submit their printed poster art for further consideration and exhibition in the Central Gallery. Selected winners will receive a $200 prize and will have their art promoted on over 10,000 posters, various ads, the web, postcards, etc. The 12th Annual Tour of Arts and Industry is scheduled on September 29-30 and will stretch a mile along the historic Ravenswood Corridor (between Irving Park and Lawrence Avenues). With more than 150 artists displaying their work in all mediums, a VIP reception and a silent auction, the event promises to be another great success.
Beverly Art Center
2407 W 111th St
Chicago, IL 60655
A thriving and vibrant non-profit arts organization established in 1967, The Beverly Arts Center is dedicated to the growth and development of emerging Chicago artists at all ages and levels. Among several competitions showcasing quality artwork each year, the 36th Juried Art Exhibition is currently accepting paintings, sculptures, photographs and artistic submissions in all mediums through October 1st. Finalists will be selected by an esteemed panel of judges and exemplary work will be awarded a prize of $5,000. The opening reception for the show will be on November 9th. Located in Chicago’s historic Beverly/Morgan neighborhood, the company offers numerous art classes and workshops designed to stimulate the imagination and regularly hosts a variety of events, gallery exhibits and festivals for public enjoyment.
Claire Simon Casting
1512 N Freemont St
Chicago, IL 60622
An established Chicago talent agency in business for more than 15 years, Claire Simon specializes in casting talent for feature film, commercials, television and theater productions. With three state-of-the-art studios in its modern Lincoln Park facility, the company receives a constant stream of industry professionals each day and is extending an ongoing invitation for artwork submissions by local photographers and painters in search of exposure, and who wish to showcase their work for three months in the ambience of a high-profile artistic atmosphere. Interested artists may submit portfolios to Catlyne at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Magdalene Paniotte is from Chicago and very pleased to be a CBS Contributor. She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and has studied creative writing at the graduate level. Maggie enjoys composing articles and developing her voice as a freelance writer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.