2021-22 Engage Art Contest Update

Engage Art | In the Know | April 28, 2022

Stunning Artwork

Over the 12 months that our contest was open, the 2021-22 Engage Art Contest received an amazing, diverse range of original artwork in both Visual and Video Arts. Here are some fast facts about the contestants in the 2021-22 Engage Art Contest.

Worldwide Tribe

There are 86 countries represented in the 2021-22 Engage Art Contest, including: Argentina, Austria, Barbados, China, Cuba, Egypt, Finland, Ghana, India, Iran, Kenya, Mexico, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, and Ukraine!

Artists from 86 countries participated in the 2021-22 Engage Art Contest.

Art of All Kinds

Exodus 35 is a wonderful chapter of Scripture for artists and art appreciators. Have you read it recently? Moses and the Israelites—who are nomads, reinventing themselves in the wilderness—begin preparing a sacred place to worship the Lord. Who does the community need? Artists! “Come, all of you who are gifted craftsmen,” Moses says in 35:10 (speaking for the Lord), “Construct everything that the Lord has commanded.” 

Moses goes on to describe a wide variety of precious gifts that are necessary: ”Gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and scarlet thread; fine linen and goat hair for cloth; tanned ram skins and fine goatskin leather; acacia wood; olive oil for the lamps; spices for the anointing oil and the fragrant incense; onyx stones, and other gemstones.” (Exodus 35:4-9) Beauty and abundance will be important to help this community redefine itself after generations of poverty and slavery. Each of these gifts has an important part to play in creating the place of worship.

The community responded eagerly, donating their gifts and skills: “So the people of Israel—every man and woman who was eager to help in the work the Lord had given them through Moses—brought their gifts and gave them freely to the Lord.” (Exodus 35:29) The rest of the chapter describes men and women alike employing their creative skills, whether in textiles or metalwork, in the service of God. 

Perhaps in a somewhat similar spirit, we have artists of all kinds bringing their artwork to the 2021-22 Engage Art Contest. Nearly 800 artworks (782, to be precise) have been accepted and all are available to explore in our Gallery. There are 700 Visual Arts entries of all genres—oil paintings, pencil sketches, sculptures, textiles, installation art, and more. We also have almost 100 incredible submissions in Video Arts, including gospel music, modern dance, performance art, spoken word, and short films. 

Down to the Wire

Hundreds of artists submitted all throughout the year (see our previous posts spotlighting some summer, fall, and winter staff Quarterly Picks), but hundreds more were polishing their submissions right up until the very last minute: 

  • In the last month, we received more than half of our Visual Arts entries and nearly 3/4 of our Video Arts entries. 
  • In the final week, we received about 40% of the Visual Arts entries and almost 2/3 of our Video Arts entries. 
  • In the last 48 hours alone, we received over 200 submissions! 

The artists in our Tribe showcase some major talent. Explore all 782 artworks from the 2022 contest in our Gallery by choosing “2022” under “Contest”! You can also search for keywords, filter by genre, or pour a cuppa tea and page through everything.

Celebrate Artists

When you find artworks that speak to you, please Upvote the artists!

Upvotes celebrate and affirm artists for their creativity. They have no role in selecting contest winners. Upvotes don’t play any role in the Contest results at all, actually. 

Why do we have Upvotes? Because we are more than just a contest. Engage Art has always been about much more than competing for prizes. Making art is a vulnerable calling. An artist shares from their inmost self, putting their work on display for all the world to see. 

Upvoting is a way to thank these creators and affirm their gifts. We want artists in our contest to receive affirmation from everyone, not only the jury. Regardless of whether an artist places in the contest, we want them to tangibly see that their artwork has blessed others. That’s why anyone can give an Upvote to as many artists as they want. It’s as simple as that!

What’s Next?

The Jurying Process

Now that all contest entries have been screened and finalized, it is time for the jury to begin its evaluation. Here’s how that works.

  • There are separate juries for the two contest categories—Video Arts and Visual Arts. 
  • Each of these two categories will ultimately have a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winner.
  • The jurying is “blind” throughout. The jurors won’t know who the artists are until the winners are chosen. 
  • Jurors have access to an art historian and Bible scholar to consult with as desired.

Three Stages

Each juror will review 2022 submissions in their category up to three times. 

First is an evaluation based on artistic quality. Typically, this is the “big cut,” with about 1/3 of the artworks progressing to the next stage. The juries will review all submissions throughout the month of May to choose the Semi-Finalists. We expect to announce the Semi-Finalists in June.

Next, in June, the jury will evaluate the Semi-Finalists a second time. This time, they will evaluate based on two criteria evenly. 50% of the score is for “artistic quality”—looking at the strength of the creative interpretation and the artist’s command of the artistic medium. The other 50% is for “theme and impact”—how well the artwork engages the topic of the Spiritual Battle. (This is where those written statements become important!) Historically, approximately 5-10% of the original entry pool is selected as Finalists. We plan to announce Finalists in July.

At that point, each jury comes together in a half-day video conference call to discuss each Finalist entry at length. Each juror brings their considerable experience, individual perspective, and discerning insight, which creates a fascinating and dynamic conversation. The Bible scholar and art historian interject their observations, as well. 

All of the jury work up until this point is confidential so the jury members can be completely candid with each other.

Each group has finished their work when they have agreed upon a slate of winners—1st, 2nd, and 3rd places, and the number of Honorable Mentions they deem appropriate.

This process takes time! We can do it well or we can do it fast, and we choose “well.” We anticipate announcing the winners in late July or early August. 

If you’d like even more detail, you can read more at https://engageart.org/jury/ or listen to our Contest Director explain the process here

Meet the Jury

We are delighted to introduce the experts who will jury the 2022 Engage Art Contest.

Visual Arts

Video Arts

  • Nathan Lucrezio is an actor, dancer, and singer for Broadway and Television, a recording artist, and a world Irish Dance Champion. Most recently, Nathan played Andrew Morton in the new musical Diana, first on Broadway, and now streaming on Netflix. 
  • Dr. Alysia Harris is a poet, performer, editor, and educator. Alysia serves as arts and soul editor at Scalawag Magazine and she is a regular arts contributor for Dallas Morning News.
  • Dr. Kutter Callaway is an author, professor, podcast host, pastor, and expert on the intersection of film, culture, and religion. Kutter is the Associate Professor of Theology and Culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and co-director of Reel Spirituality at Fuller Studio.

In addition to serving as a Video Arts juror, Dr. Kutter Callaway will also serve as a Scripture scholarship resource for both juries.

Art History Consultant

Keep Engaging

While our jury is working, we want to take this opportunity to encourage you that our contest is just the tip of the iceberg! Engage Art offers so many ways to stay connected. Here are 4 ways to engage Scripture and art in this season:

1. Dive into the Engage Art App

We add new posts every Monday to inspire and encourage you, all featuring artists around the world. In Level Up, for example, one Engage Art staff member chronicles her process of creating artwork rooted in Scripture—a process you could try too, if you’re interested. 

2. Find us on YouVersion and Bible.com

Look for our new Bible Plan “Suit Up: The Spiritual Battle”—featuring artwork from the Engage Art Tribe.

3. Join us on social media

We post Scripture, artwork, and conversation starters on our Facebook Page and in the private EAC Artist Community Facebook Group several times a week. 

4. Join a monthly Bible Cluster

We read Scripture, talk about it, feature presentations from artists, and pray. Engage Art’s Bible Clusters are always on the last Tuesday of the month. Save the date for May 31st at 9pm ET. Email info@engageart.org for the Zoom details. 

Whatever you choose, we are praying for you. In the words of Paul: “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15:13)

Submit Your Artwork Today!

Curious? Interested in submitting artwork to our contest? Know someone who might be? Through April 14th, 2022, the Engage Art Contest is open to the whole world! Get your foot in the door by claiming your Artist Page now!