Raphael Founder’s Prize F.A.Q.

The Competition

What is the Raphael Founder’s Prize Competition?
In 1997, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Society for Contemporary Craft, a $5,000 prize for excellence in the field of contemporary craft was established. The biennial award, which is given in conjunction with a catalogue and juried exhibition is funded by the daughters of Elizabeth R. Raphael, the founder of Contemporary Craft and a nationally known figure in the contemporary art scene for many decades.

Prizes are selected by medium, with the designated medium changing with each biennial award. The 2017 prize will be awarded for a work in found materials.

When is the competition entry deadline?
The competition deadline for receipt of images, resume, entry form and entry fee is June 9, 2017.

Can I enter if I don’t live in the United States?
Yes, the competition is open to artists anywhere in the world, and all receive equal consideration.

Who is the juror?
The jurors change with each competition. A six-member panel will select finalists from the initial submission and also select the prize-winning entry. Jurors for the 2017 prize include Susie Ganch, head of the Metal Program for the Department of Craft and Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University and director of Radical Jewelry Makeover; Fabio J. Fernández, executive director at The Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston, Massachusetts, Alexandra Raphael, enameller, Catherine Raphael, metalsmith and storyteller, Janet McCall, executive director and Kate Lydon, director of exhibitions, Contemporary Craft.

How will I know if my entry has arrived and been entered in the competition?
You will receive an email confirmation for your entry. If you do not receive a confirmation please contact submissions@contemporarycraft.org.

How do I find out the results of the competition?
All artists will be emailed, and finalists will be notified on August 5, 2017.

Where can I see the results of previous years’ competitions?
Previous Raphael Prize videos may be viewed here.

Entry Fee

How much does it cost to enter the competition?
There is a $45 entry fee.

Can I send the competition fee in cash?
NO – The competition fee may only be paid by Paypal, Credit Card, or Checks (U.S. banks only).

Are Entry Fees Refundable?
Entry fees are not refundable.

To whom should I address the check?
The competition fee may be paid by check drawn on a US bank. Please make your check payable to “Society for Contemporary Craft”.

Can I pay the entry fee by debit card?
Yes.

Aside from the entry fee for the contest, will there be additional charges?
If an artist is selected for the exhibition he/she will be responsible for all shipping charges and insurance to Contemporary Craft, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Contemporary Craft will be responsible for return shipping and insurance.

What To Enter

Can I upload a PDF file of my entire portfolio?
No. Applicants must use the online submission format provided.

Can I send a digital image of my artwork as an entry?
Yes. All entries, without exception, must be in digital format.

How do I get a digital image of my artwork?
You can hire a professional photographer, or you can photograph the art yourself with a digital camera. You may also scan your artwork directly or from a photograph using a flat bed scanner.

How important is the quality of the photograph I send?
Image quality is very important. This is the only exposure to your artwork that the juror will have, and a poor representation such as a blurred image, or one affected by glare, dim lighting or unnecessary background objects will reduce your chances of being selected.

Should I enter artwork that shows the different styles that I can create or should I keep the art to one style?
You should try to keep your entries to the same style.

I was not selected in the last competition. Does that mean that my chance to be selected is lower than the other artists?
No. There are 3 factors that affect the results:
Artists have the opportunity to submit different images.
The artists you are competing against change with each competition.
The juror who judges the competition changes every competition.

If I am selected to receive a monetary award, how do I receive the cash prize?
It will be paid in the form of a check.

Should the entire artwork be made from found materials?
We recommend that at least 50% of the work submitted be made from found materials.

Should I include a resume with the entry?
Yes, you must include a resume to submit your entry.

Can artwork that is not for sale be considered for the competition?
No – all participating artwork must be available for sale.

Can selected artwork be replaced if sold prior to the exhibition?
Yes, pending our approval, and only with artwork similar in style and medium to the selected one.

Can I submit multiple views of the same piece?
Yes, you can but we recommend unique images of different artworks to demonstrate the breadth of your work.

Will the judging be based on actual artwork or will it be based on the images that are sent?
For the first round of jurying, judging will be done based only on image files. For the second round of jurying judges will select the winner from an actual work.

When is the deadline for finalist submissions?
The deadline for finalist’s submissions is July 13, 2018

Is there a time frame in which the work must have been produced?
Yes. The prize will be awarded to a work created between January 2017 and January 2018, that addresses the theme of “transformation.” Artists are encouraged to submit work made within six-months of submission. The work must be available for sale.

Is collaborative work accepted?
Collaborative work is accepted as long as the collaboration does not exceed two people.

Is kinetic work accepted?
Kinetic work can be accepted – however we are not set up to accept mpg or QuickTime files – please send a few JPG files of your work.

Do you accept installations for the competition?
Yes, installations are accepted but may not exceed 10’ x 10’ of floor space.

Shipping/Insurance

Who pays for shipping?
Selected artists are responsible for all arrangements and cost of shipping to and from the gallery and for insuring the artwork while it is in transit.

Do you arrange the customs entrance of the work being shipped?
No, if you are selected to take part in the exhibition then you will have to arrange it. Most shipping companies can take care of this for you.

Insurance in transit: Contemporary Craft, its officers and agents will not bear liability for any loss or damage to any work while in transit to the gallery – you should arrange insurance with the shipping company when sending your artwork.

While on our premises – Your artwork will be insured while it is on our premises for 70% of the retail value.

Sales/Commission

What is the commission structure on work sold?
Contemporary Craft’s commission structure is 50/50, the artist receives 50% of the List/Retail price and the gallery receives 50% of the List/Retail price.

What is the payment date?
You will be paid within three weeks after Contemporary Craft receives full payment for the sold artwork.

If the artwork doesn’t sell, will it be returned to the artist?
A national tour of the exhibition is planned. Yes. The artwork is the property of the artist and will be returned at the end of the exhibition tour if it is not sold. Contemporary Craft is responsible for paying for the return shipping of the artwork.

How long will the show travel?
The show will travel for approximately two-years after the close of the show at Contemporary Craft.

Who is responsible for shipping and insurance of the artwork while on tour?
Upon receipt, works will be insured by Contemporary Craft for the entire exhibition period and storage. Each host venue on the tour will be responsible for wall-to-wall insurance and shipping between exhibition venues.

Please email submissions@contemporarycraft.org if you were not able to find an answer to your question