THE OBSERVED – International Exhibition, Manifest Gallery

THE OBSERVED - International Exhibition, Manifest GalleryDeadline: 30 September 2011

Open to: international, to everyone, rofessionals as well as students are encouraged to enter.

THE OBSERVED – An International Exhibit Exploring Works Made from Direct Observation


The process of , from direct observation, is more than just a convenient way of providing a clear platform for judging achievement of the mastery of technique and form. Of course everyone who has been an art student realizes that this is an excellent rationale for doing so – so that our work can be compared directly with its source. However, too often does the mistake occur in assuming this is the only reason for working from life. Even professional artists sometimes get lost in the art-school loop, and forget that mastery is not the only content of their artwork. Those who manage to overcome this simple drive often leverage mastery and pure dedication to the light the eye sees, while also elevating the work to a level beyond, to one of enlightenment, even from the simplest of subjects. It is this, the distillation of precious insight from our tangible world, discerned first through meticulous observation, that The Observed sets out to explore, present, and document.

Manifest continues its eighth season with a project intended to feature and explore a wide variety of works made from direct observation. While the first assumption may be that pure objective realism is the expectation, Manifest is also eager to see just how artists make work, even non-traditional art, still using the process of looking, working, and looking again. We are curious just how this is done in the world today.

Postmark Deadline for Entry: September 30, 2011

Eligibility: THE OBSERVED is open to everyone. Professionals as well as students are encouraged to enter. The only limitation is that entries must represent original works of art that rely upon a process of direct observation of a subject or source.

Media: Open to any and all traditional and non-traditional visual arts genre and media, (including video, photography, etc.). Photographers should note that it is a foregone conclusion that most photography is made via observation through the camera lens. Excellent photographic candidates for this exhibit will speak even more than usual to the process of observation.

Jury and Curator: Manifest’s selection process involves a complex two-part system. This exhibit will be juried by an anonymous 5-9 member panel of professional and academic advisors with a broad range of expertise. The jury will then pass along their recommendations to the exhibit curator who will make the final selections from the jury-approved pool.

Catalog: Manifest will produce a full-color catalog documenting the work selected for exhibit. Each exhibiting artist will receive one free copy of the catalog. Artists will receive their copy either in person when picking up work after the exhibit, or with the return shipment of their artwork. Additional copies can be purchased via the online bookstore. For examples of past catalogs visit Manifest Press.

Delivery and Return of Work: All work accepted for the exhibition must arrive ready to install. Works not gallery-ready, or not exhibiting good craftsmanship, may be omitted from the exhibit. Accepted work that differs significantly from the entry images or suffers from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Please note that professional-level presentation is a must. Work may be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped works must be sent in an easily reusable container/packaging with return shipping prepaid. Works will be returned in the same manner as delivered or via UPS/USPS. All work must arrive at Manifest by the specified date (see calendar below). Accepted work will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Works not claimed within 30 days of the end of the exhibit will become the property of Manifest. The artists are responsible for all shipping costs.


Insurance: Works will be insured while on gallery premises. Insurance covers theft, vandalism, damage caused by gallery patrons or staff (in accordance with insurance policy). PLEASE NOTE: Insurance does not cover damage caused during shipping due to any reason, including mishandling by carrier or failure of packaging to protect works in transit. Also not covered is damage caused to work by failure of the work itself, its mounting systems installed by the artist, or disintegration/degradation due to the nature/quality of materials or craftsmanship.

Entry Fee: Each work submitted must be accompanied by a $10 non-refundable entry fee. Number of entries is unlimited. Entry fee must be paid by U.S. check or U.S. or International money order made payable to MANIFEST, or by credit card via PayPal. (If paying by PayPal PLEASE use the paypal link provided on the page that follows the submission of the online entry form.) Detail images may be included at no additional cost, but should only be included if necessary for understanding the nature or quality of the artwork.

How many works should I submit?
The average number of works submitted to typical Manifest calls is 3. Some artists like to submit several more, especially if they have a couple different bodies of work which they’d like our jury to consider, or if they have a suite of works that are interrelated. While we have absolutely no minimum number required (other than one), nor do we give an advantage to those who submit more, it is helpful to have a few options to select from. Our jury often gains insight into one work by seeing it in context with a few others by the same artist. And we do routinely accept pairs or sets of work by artists once they are determined to be a finalist.

Sale of Work: All work, unless indicated as not for sale (NFS), will be available for sale during exhibit. will retain a commission of 30% on all artwork sold during the exhibition.

Submission Images: In an effort to conserve resources Manifest accepts only digital images/files for consideration. See specifications below. The Gallery will retain the submitted images of accepted artwork and reserves the right to use the images in publications and gallery publicity. CD’s of works not selected will only be returned if accompanied by a SASE.

(emailed entries submission preferred, online entry form required)

Digital Format: Digital images can be submitted on CD or by e-mail (send to: show@manifestgallery.org). The email and online submission process is HIGHLY PREFERRED because it makes our process more efficient and saves postage and materials for the artists. Hi-Res, print-quality images will be requested for accepted works upon conclusion of the jury process. If suitable images are not provided, the work may not be included in the catalog.

To send via email: (send to: show@manifestgallery.org). The email should include the artist’s full name as subject along with ‘THE OBSERVED submission.’ The images must meet the following specifications:

All entry files (regardless of type or media) must be named with artist’s last name (underscore) first name, followed by the entry number as noted on the entry form (i.e. Jones_Mike_1.jpg). Please DO NOT include any other information in the file name, such as title of work, etc.

Detail, installation, or alternate view images must include the word ‘detail’ in the filename (i.e. Jones_Mike_1detail1.jpg). If you do NOT include the term DETAIL as part of the filename for any additional, extra, installation, or closeup images supporting your entry these will be counted as additional separate entries and our system will expect a corresponding fee for them.

Detail info should NOT be included on the entry form. The image files should be in HIGH QUALITY JPEG format, images should be no smaller than 1000 pixels in any direction (about 13”) and 72dpi. This should result in most image files ranging from 700kb to 2mb in file size.

Be ABSOLUTELY sure you are sending files at the correct size AND that your email app. does not automatically downsize the attached images when sending. Apple Mail, for example, provides a setting for resizing attachments in the new message composition window (lower right corner).

Images must be oriented properly (i.e. top of image is top of artwork) and should not include text info or borders that are not part of the actual work. Video work should be sent with similar naming conventions in a quicktime compatible format file (preferably not DVD format for the jury process). If selected, a DVD copy will be requested for gallery presentation.

If for any reason you submit your entry form more than once, only the most recent form will be retained in our system. All previous forms will be deleted. If you decide to submit additional work later, you’ll need to submit a new form containing ALL the works for the exhibit.

If sending through the USPS, mail materials to:
(the online/email submission process is preferred)

P.O. Box 6218
Cincinnati, OH 45206

e-mail info@manifestgallery.org with questions

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



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