Simply The Best International Competition

 Simply The Best International CompetitionDeadline:  October 15, 2011

 Open to: digital artists and photographers worldwide

For our inaugural exhibit, we invite digital artists and photographers to submit images they consider to be, simply, their best. We expect to see every imaginable kind of image…from dynamic to sedate, from painterly to wildly abstract, from classically composed to innovatively styled, from richly colored to starkly monotone. We can’t wait!

All visual artists and photographers worldwide—whether professional,  nonprofessional, or student—are eligible to submit their digital artwork for this exhibit. Entrants under age 18 may enter only if a parent or a guardian enters on their behalf. Every discipline, genre, style, and school of thought within digital art and photography is welcome.

Important Dates
Entry Deadline: October 15, 2011
Online Exhibit: November 1 – December 1, 2011
Archived Online Exhibit: December 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012
Exhibit: Dates to be announced

All images selected as finalists will appear online. Works awarded First Place, Second Place, Third Place, or Honorable Mention will be invited to appear in a physical, “brick-and-mortar” gallery exhibit at a later time. We reserve the right to extend entry deadlines and change exhibit dates.

Online Exhibits
Jurors will review submissions and will choose, for presentation online, all images they find meritorious. These selected works will appear in solo online galleries, each devoted to only one artist or photographer. These solo galleries will display work distinguished by the jurying process and thus will provide artists and photographers a showcase where art curators, patrons, and collectors can view works that have already been “vetted” by art experts.

Online exhibits begin as a one-month or two-month “Current Exhibit” and are later archived for an additional six months, during which time all selected images remain in the solo artist galleries, available for viewing and, if the artist or photographer desires, for sale. (Artists and photographers may choose not to offer their images for sale online.)

Plans are already being made to create permanent solo galleries that will showcase all of an artist’s or a photographer’s juried selections from previous Digital Arts: California exhibits. We expect that these permanent galleries will become an important source of “vetted” artwork for art curators, collectors, and patrons.

“Brick-and-Mortar” Exhibits
Works that have been awarded First Place, Second Place, Third Place, or Honorable Mention will be eligible for exhibition in a physical gallery setting. Such exhibits will be held periodically and will combine these award winners from various Digital Arts: California online exhibits. How often such physical exhibits are held will depend on the volume of entries to our online exhibits as well as other factors.

Selection of the finalists that will appear online in solo artist/photographer galleries will be made by and Glen Christensen. Virginia has enjoyed a long career as an editor and a publisher of photography and art books, and is, herself, an accomplished photographer. Glen has had a distinguished career as Art Director at major record companies in both New York City and Hollywood. Among his professional accolades have been two Grammy nominations for Best Album Package. To learn more about the backgrounds of Virginia and Glen, see the “About” section of this website.

First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Honorable-Mention award winners will be chosen by a distinguished guest juror.

Entry Fees
Entry fees are $25 for the first 5 (or fewer) images, and $4 for each additional image. You may pay for up to 14 images using the PayPal “Pay Now” button below. If you wish to pay for more than 14 images using PayPal, please contact us via the Contact page of this website for payment instructions.

When using PayPal via the “Pay Now” button below, please type the following into the space below the word “Descriptions” on the PayPal order screen: the exhibit title, your first initial, and your last name. This will enable us to match your payment to your entries.

Payments originating outside the United States must be made via PayPal in U.S. Dollars. Use your own PayPal account, or in some countries, you may use certain credit cards. Click the “Pay Now” button to make payment.

Payments originating within the United States must be made in one of the following three ways:

  1. Via Paypal, using your own PayPal account. Click the “Pay Now” button to make payment.
  2. Via PayPal, using one of the following credit cards: VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Discover. Click the “Pay Now” button to make payment.
  3. By mailing a USPS (United States Postal Service) domestic money order. Purchase a domestic money order at a United States Post Office branch, make the money order payable to “Art and Design Initiative,” and mail it to P.O. Box 9, Murrieta, CA 92564.

Submission Guidelines

Digital Files
Submit jpg files that are 72 dpi, a maximum of 2 MB, and a maximum of about 1,200 pixels on the longest side.

Attach each jpg file to an email (only one jpg file per email, please) with corresponding caption and contact information (see below for required caption and contact information). Use the following email address:


If you do not wish to submit jpg files by email, you may instead mail us a CD containing all jpg files. Include, on the CD, caption and contact information in an MS Word file. Make sure you identify each caption by the file name of its corresponding jpg image. Mail the CD to:

Art and Design Initiative
PO Box 9
Murrieta, CA 92564

If you are submitting your jpgs on a CD but do not have MS Word available to you, you may submit all your caption and contact information in one email. Make sure you identify each caption by the file name of its corresponding jpg. Also, be sure to mention that you are mailing us a CD containing your jpgs. Use the following email address: entry@digitalartscalifornia.com.

Important Note: CDs and other physical material submitted to us will NOT be returned.

Make sure you construct your jpg file names as follows (all lowercase):

First word of exhibit title followed by exhibit year DOT first letter of your first name followed by your last name DOT the image number.

Example of correct jpg file-name format:


File names must not include punctuation marks (other than periods), symbols, or other similar characters.

Caption Information
For each image, please provide the caption information itemized below. This information will appear below the image in the solo artist/photographer gallery if that image is chosen as a finalist.

  1. Your name (as you wish it to appear online with your works that are selected as finalists)
  2. Your city, state/province, and country. For U.S. states, use the two-letter state abbreviation. If you are from a country other than the U.S., please spell out the name of your country.
  3. Title of work (in quotation marks)
  4. Type of digital art. Be as general or as specific as you like. Here are some examples: Digital Photography, Digital Painting, Digital Photopainting, Integrated Digital Art, Digital Collage, , Computer-Generated Art, , , , Glitch Art.
  5. FS (For Sate) or NFS (Not For Sale). If you are offering your work for sale, you must be prepared to deal directly with the customer, and you, yourself, must see to “fulfilling” the order and collecting payment. We at Digital Arts: California will automatically send your email address to any website viewer who expresses an interest in purchasing a work of yours, but beyond that, we will have no further involvement in the transaction. No commission or referral fee is due to Digital Arts: California for works you sell. If you do not indicate FS or NFS, we will list your work as NFS.

Contact information
Include the following contact information in the email, or on the CD, that contains your caption information.

  1. Your name
  2. Your street address
  3. Your email address (which we will pass along to prospective buyers of your work if you have chosen to offer your work for sale)
  4. An alternate email address (if you have one)
  5. Your phone number

Cropping of Work on Website
Our website employs automatic cropping of some images on some web pages. Images appearing in solo artist galleries are never cropped and always appear as submitted. By entering works in any exhibit by Digital Arts: California, artists and photographers agree to allow automatic cropping of any or all of their images, on any web page (excluding the artist’s or photographer’s solo online gallery).

Previously Submitted Work
You are free to re-submit any images to any Digital Arts: California exhibit, except for images that have been awarded First Place, Second Place, Third Place, or Honorable Mention in a previous Digital Arts: California exhibit.

If you are awarded First Place, Second Place, Third Place, or Honorable Mention, we will be happy to notify several publications or media outlets of your accomplishment. Just provide us with the name and email address of the publication or media outlet you wish us to notify (and, if possible, include an editor’s name or an art reviewer’s name). You might, for instance, want us to notify a local newspaper in your community or region or perhaps the newsletter of an arts or photography organization you belong to. We will include your email address when we email notifications.

Juror’s Decisions
By submitting a work to a Digital Arts: California exhibit, entrants represent that they understand and accept that all decisions (1) are solely up to the juror(s), (2) are final, and (3) may be made for any reason, including a juror’s opinion that a work is in objectionable taste.

Rights to Works, Representations, and Indemnification
By submitting works to a Digital Arts: California exhibit, entrants represent that they own or legally control all rights to such works, that such works do not violate rights of any person or business, and that such works are in no way illegal. By submitting works, entrants agree to hold harmless and indemnify Digital Arts: California and its parent company, Art and Design Initiative, for any damages it sustains related to those works.

Works Offered for Sale Online
Every work that appears online in a Digital Arts: California gallery is identified as being FS (For Sale) or NFS (Not For Sale). As a courtesy, we automatically pass along the email address of artists and photographers to prospective customers of their work. After doing this, Digital Arts: California has no further involvement in any sales-related activities. Digital Arts: California will offer no advice or opinion related to the sale of work, and will not be responsible in any way for any outcome between buyer and artist/photographer, or for any obligations of the buyer or artist/photographer, related to the sale of the work. By instructing Digital Arts: California to describe their work, appearing on the Digital Arts: California website, as being for sale, entrants represent that they understand and accept all information presented in this call for entry related to the selling of their work.

Works Offered for Sale through Physical Galleries
Works awarded First place, Second Place, Third Place, or Honorable Mention are eligible for physical-gallery exhibits. Details (including what artists and photographers will be required to submit) will be determined at the time of the particular physical exhibit.


Digital Arts: California offers artists—as well as art curators, collectors and patrons—a unique new showcase. While most art shows are internet-only or gallery-only, Digital Arts: California holds international, juried exhibits that are both. Works selected as finalists are shown in online galleries, each devoted to one specific artist, and works that receive top awards are also exhibited in a physical, “brick-and-mortar” gallery. Artists may offer their work for sale in both venues, or they may use their solo online gallery purely as a showcase for their juried works.

The Internet Challenge for Artists and Collectors
As artists marketing their work well know, the Internet has become both a blessing and a curse. While it has provided unprecedented exposure, it also has attracted a huge volume of artwork, especially by emerging artists, who find it harder and harder to get noticed. This volume has also made it harder for patrons and collectors, who now view much work without the guidance of, or selection by, curators and jurors. Digital Arts: California has been created to help meet these challenges.

On its website, designed to elegantly display artwork, Digital Arts: California presents an artist’s or a photographer’s works in a solo gallery, further setting apart work already distinguished by the jurying process. And, to complement this online presence, selected works are also presented in a physical gallery in Los Angeles, San Diego, or another art center in California. In a traditional gallery setting in one of these art venues, work is seen by art patrons and collectors, as well as curators from museums and other galleries.

Defining Digital Art
Digital Arts: California uses the broadest definition of digital art: any work whose creation or presentation involves a digital process. Works so defined might range from representational photographs taken with a digital camera to fractal images that express complex mathematical equations in visual form. An example of digital art might be an illustration drawn on an electronic tablet, or it may be a “glitch” work, comprised of digital errors.  More traditional artists might do digital painting, while an avant-garde digital artist might do “generative” art, using computer software algorithms. Digital art is nothing if not exciting and wildly innovative.

At this time, Digital Arts: California puts only two limitations on submitted works: they must be two-dimensional, still images.

Website Features To Come
Plans to expand Digital Arts: California are already in the works. Currently, art in a juried exhibit remains online—presented in solo artist galleries—for six months as an archived exhibit. Soon, permanent solo artist galleries will be created—these will be cumulative showcases of all works by an artist that have appeared in juried Digital Arts: California exhibits. In these galleries, art patrons, curators, and collectors will be able to view work distinguished by jurying.

Another feature is also in the works: occasional non-juried exhibits on “fun” subjects that will showcase all works entered. These online exhibits will be held in addition to the regularly scheduled, more serious juried exhibits and will act as fundraisers for Digital Arts: California.

About the Directors of Digital Arts: California
Founder/Director Virginia Christensen has a long history editing and publishing books on art, photography, and design. She is, herself, an accomplished photographer.

She founded Design Press International, which developed and co-published professional design books. Prior to that, she served as Executive Editor of PBC international, a worldwide publisher of books on graphic, interior, and merchandizing design.

Virginia also worked as an Editor for the American Photographic Book Publishing Company (Amphoto), which published both technical and fine-arts photography books. There, she served as Associate Editor of the 14-volume Kodak Encyclopedia of  Practical Photography, a nominee for the prestigious Carey-Thomas Award.

She has also edited books on art and design for England’s Quarto Publishers and the American publishers Rockport and Watson Guptill.

Her goal, in creating Digital Arts: California, is to connect digital artists with art curators, patrons and collectors by establishing venues—both online and in physical galleries—that present, on an ongoing basis, some of the finest, juried digital art from around the world.

Exhibit Director Glen Christensen was, for many years, a major figure in graphic design in the music industry, where he worked as Art Director for Buddah Records, Elektra/Asylum Records, and 20th Century Fox Records. He was twice nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Album Package: for the Carly Simon album Playing Possum and the Joni Mitchell album Hejira.

Glen later founded Glen Christensen Design on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip, where he continued to provide creative design for the entertainment industry, as well as for nonprofit organizations, including the California  Community Foundation.

Complete rules and application form may be downloaded from the web site:


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