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Competition Guidelines

Types of competitions.

Generally there are three types of competitions:

  1. Competitions held by art-related organizations to award excellence in the field.
  2. Contests where entries are created specifically for the contest and winning entries are used for commercial purposes. Three issues to consider:
    • Requesting the creation of work on speculation
    • Copyright and ownership of work
    • Reasonable compensation
  3. Contests held by nonprofit organizations or where the winning entry is used for nonprofit, non-commercial purposes.

Competition Guidelines

  • The call for entry must clearly define all rules governing contest entries specifications for work entered, any and all fees for entry and any and all rights to be transferred by any entrants to contest holder, under what circumstances. The information, if placed on a website, must be in the main body of the rules and not in separate parts of the website.
  • AICAD schools will not accept competition or contest listings, which ask those other than prizewinners to transfer any rights for any period of time.
  • Jurors for the contest and their affiliations shall be listed on the call for entry. No juror or employee of the organization holding the contest shall be eligible to enter the contest.
  • Criteria for jurying the entries and specifications for the artwork to be submitted in all rounds shall be clearly defined in the call for entry as a guide to both entrants and jurors.
  • Deadlines and process for notification of acceptance or rejection of all entries shall be listed in the call for entry.
  • Any and all uses for any and all entries shall be clearly listed in the call for entries with terms for any rights to be transferred.
  • For the first round, tearsheets, slides, photographs or digital representations of existing work shall be requested in order to judge the appropriateness of style, technique and proficiency of entrants. (This step can be taken by the school itself) This round shall result in the choice of finalists. All samples from this round must be returned to entrants although a self-addressed return envelope can be required.
  • The number of finalist chosen after the first round shall be small. The finalist may then be asked to submit sketches or comps for the final judging.
  • Agreements shall be made with each finalist prior to the beginning of the final stage of the work. The agreements, which might be GAG contracts, shall include the nature of the artwork required, deadlines, credit line and copyright ownership for the artist and the amount of the award.
  • Any work of the finalists not received by the required deadline or not in the format required and agreed upon, shall be disqualified. All rights to the artwork that has been disqualified shall remain with the artist.
  • The winners shall produce camera-ready or finished art according to the specifications listed in the call for entries. Artwork submitted shall not be altered in any way without the expressed permission of the artist.
  • The value of any award to the winners shall be at least commensurate with fair market value of the rights transferred. The first place winner shall receive an award significantly greater than that of the other winners.
  • The contest holder shall insure original artwork in its possession against loss or damage until it is returned to the artist.