Celebrating visual art of the human form / Célébrer l’art visuel de la forme humaine

2019 Call for Artists
Submission Guidelines

The 2019 Call for artists is closed

Figureworks is calling artists in all media to submit to the 10th annual juried Figureworks Prize and award show. The submission deadline is September 30, 2019. Figureworks is an annual juried art prize and celebration of the art of the human form held in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. We believe in being inclusive and accept figurative works in all media from Canada and internationally. The show is open to all living artists working in all mediums who wish to submit recent works that represent the human form or parts thereof.

Although based in Canada we accept artworks from anywhere in the world. Please see the section on International Submissions to understand your shipping obligations.

Why enter?

Figureworks is more than an annual prize; it is a community of artists passionate about the human figure. Each year we come together to celebrate the figure through the Figureworks Prize. Artists will have their work reviewed by our professional jury and the opportunity to win cash prizes — $7000 was awarded last year. Those in the show will have their work displayed in Ottawa, Canada’s capital and published on the Figureworks website. Artists may also sell their works at the show should they choose. Note that Figureworks takes no commission on sales – sales go directly to the artists.

Eligibility of the Artwork

Making Your Submission

Electronic submission and online payment via CaFÉ (Call for Entry) are primary means of submission for Figureworks. CaFÉ is a program of the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) a regional nonprofit arts service organization dedicated to strengthening the financial, organizational, and policy infrastructure of the arts.

Image submissions must include a high quality image 1-5 MB in size that is a minimum of 1280 pixels wide. Tip: poor quality photos do not generally get good grades from the jury, it is worth taking your time to do it properly or having your artwork professionally photographed.

Should electronic submission not be possible, you may contact submissions@figureworks.org to request an alternative.

By submitting to Figureworks you agree to our Submission Guidelines.

Deadline Dates

Submission Deadline September 30th, 2019
Artwork Drop-off November 18th, 2019
See full list of dates.

Submission Fees

Artists are limited to two submissions. Please note that the fee is in US dollars this year because we are using an art call submission system to manage entries and the facilitate the jury process and unfortunately we can't charge Canadian funds. This new submission system called CaFE provides more support for you and the opportunity to work on, update and submit your entry when you are ready, much better than before! The fees should work out to be about the same as they were last year.

1 Artwork 2 Artworks
$35 (USD) $50 (USD)
Student: $20 (USD)* Student: $30 (USD)*

*Students: use the following coupon codes:
For your entry fee: FWSENTRY
For an additional image (2nd artwork): FWSADD

Jury Process

The Figureworks competition is evaluated by a jury of peer professional artists representing a broad range of media and forms of art.

Our Jury will perform two levels of evaluation;

Electronic Round 1: The jury will conduct two initial rounds of reviews electronically. The end result will be a shortlisted selection of works that will move onto Round 2 and be presented in the Figureworks exhibition. Artists will be notified of the jury decision by email.

Round 2: The Jury will convene together to view and rank all the artworks in person for the Figureworks prizes.

Ready to Hang

Artworks must to be ready to hang in a professional manner.

If framed, the frame is clean, undamaged and suitable to the artwork and has d-rings and a wire for hanging on the reverse. It is preferably archival, and if it is a work on paper, it is protected by glass or plexiglass. (International submissions may want to use conservation-grade plexiglass to avoid possible damage.) All paper or embroidery works will be framed.

Works that don't require a frame, such as gallery wrapped paintings, will come with d-rings and a wire on the back. Other media that is unsuitable to framing, such as wall hangings, will come ready to hang in a manner that does not require extra hardware and can be hung with a hammer and nails, which is what the Figureworks hanging team have available.

Should your work require an installation that does not including hanging on the wall or sitting on a plinth, you are expected to provide the necessary materials and be available to install the piece.

Figureworks will not pin works to the wall. We do not accept rolled up paper works, embroidery or photos unless they are properly framed.

Artworks that do not comply with our hanging standards will be refused and the submission fee will not be returned.


Figureworks will take all due care with all artworks received, but will not be responsible for any loss or damage to artworks whatsoever, however caused, while in its custody. Each entrant is responsible for maintaining his/her own insurance coverage.


Works may but do not have to be for sale. Neither Figureworks nor Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts charge a commission. Figureworks will reserve works for interested buyers but all sales are to be conducted directly between artist and buyer.

International Submissions

International and domestic shipments to be sent to:

Care of: Swift Delivery Systems
80 Colonnade Road North Unit 8
Ottawa, Ontario,
K2E 7L2

They must arrive no later than November 15th, 2019.

Please indicated that a signature up receipt is required, this will ensure that the package either delivered at the door or picked up at the depot and avoid any packages being left unattended at the delivery address.

Proforma Invoice. The shipment must include a proforma invoice stating the name, address, phone and email of both the sender and receiver, the title of the artwork, the year it was produced, the materials used, the size of the artwork, the gross and net weight of the package. The artist should state in which country the materials were bought and the work was produced.

Custom Payments. To avoid custom payments the artist needs to contact the customs agency in the country of origin and send the necessary customs forms with their shipment. This may include a temporary export permit and an art declaration.

Return Shipment. Artists must pay for the return shipment and include the necessary documents to do so. Most convenient is to open an account with Fedex and include the return shipment documents with your Fedex account number and return address.

Labels should state that the artwork will be returned to the artist after the show and that the work is not for sale.

If Figureworks is required to pay any duties when receiving or shipping works we will inform the artists and send an invoice accordingly. It is up to the artists to seek a resolution with customs and the shipping agent.

Return labels for artwork from the US or other countries are only accepted by FedEx if FedEx Express is used, not FedEx Ground.

Failure to arrange for return shipping within 30 days of last day of the Figureworks exhibition may result in the artist receiving a monthly bill for artwork storage.

Important Dates

September 30th, 2019 Submission Deadline
October 18th, 2019 - Delayed until Oct 21st, 2019 Public announcement of list of finalists selected for exhibition. Note: artists may be notified privately in advance of this date.
November 15th, 2019 end of business day Deadline for national and international shipments
November 18th, 2019 Delivery of accepted works to the Kildare Room at Saint Brigid's Centre for the Arts, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Please be on time. The show will be set up between 1:00 and 6:00 p.m.
November 20st, 2019 Vernissage from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m., prize winners announced at 7.30 pm.
November 30th, 2019 Pick-up artworks at Saint Brigid's Center for the Arts from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Submit Online

Contact Information:

For PR and Communications: communications@figureworks.org

For technical issues: website@figureworks.org

For all other inquires please contact Mark Stephenson at submissions@figureworks.org or by phone at 613-797-7192