Ends on March 15, 2019

The Visual Arts Fellowship awards three $7,500 Luminarts Fellowships for excellence in visual arts (drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, and moving images). Please note that artists integrating the moving image/video into their work may apply and are welcome to submit short clips of the integrated pieces along with images of the overall installation. However, the Luminarts Visual Arts Fellowship program does not currently accept short films. 


Eligibility and Guidelines

Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements: 


  • Be between the ages of 18 and 30 years old on the date of applying
  • Be currently enrolled in, or have completed, a degree program, conservatory, or other professional artist development program 
  • Live within 150 miles of the Chicago Loop 
  • Be available to hang/setup artwork at the Union League Club of Chicago on Monday, May 6, 2019 between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. (only required if you are selected as a finalist) 
  • Be available to attend the Visual Arts Exhibition and awards on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. (only required if you are selected as a finalist)


If you are selected as a finalist you must be available to hang your work on Monday, May 6, 2019 between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. for final round judging at the Union League Club of Chicago, as well as attend the Visual Arts Exhibition on Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 5:30 p.m. at the Union League Club of Chicago. If you are unable to install your work and/or attend the exhibition you may send another individual on your behalf to install your work, attend the exhibition, and/or accept any awards on your behalf should you be selected as a winner or Fellow. However, you must make arrangements with Luminarts approval prior to sending an individual to represent you. Failure to do so will result in disqualification and forfeit of any Luminarts awards. 


Submission Guidelines

There are four components that must be attached to your application. These include:


  • Three (3) images of your artwork 
  • A career statement outlining what your career objectives are as an artist, how becoming a Luminarts Fellow would help support those objectives, and how you envision your art/career impacting the greater Chicago community 
  • The name, contact information, and relationship to one (1) professional or educational reference
  • An artist statement

Read below for specific details about each of these components.


Images of Your Artwork:

  • Image resolution should be a minimum of 72 ppi 
  • All image file sizes may not exceed 1 MB (video clip limit is 50 MB)
  • File name should be the title of the piece 
  • Files and images may not include your name or other personal information 

All images submitted must be of pieces able to be installed in a shared gallery space within a limited period of time. Any piece you submit should not exceed 60 inches in any direction. Space will be provided on the application to include details about each attached piece. Please include the title, date, dimensions,  and medium for each piece.


Career Statement:

  • Your career statement should outline what your career objectives are as an artist, how becoming a Luminarts Fellow would help support those objectives, and how you envision your art/career impacting the greater Chicago community
  • Your statement may not exceed 500 words in total 
  • This statement will be used in the Foundation's evaluation


Professional/Educational Reference:

  • Space will be provided on the application to include the name, contact information, and relationship to one (1) professional or educational reference.



Artist Statement:

  • Artist statement may not exceed 300 words


Moving Image/Video Clip Guidelines: 

Artists integrating the moving image/video into their work may apply and are welcome to submit short clips of the integrated pieces along with images of the overall installation. However, the Luminarts Visual Arts Fellowship Program does not currently accept short films. If submitting a moving image video file:


  • The file size may not exceed 50 MB
  • The video length may not exceed three minutes
  • The file must be in mp4 format
  • External links are not accepted

Images and videos are reviewed by Luminarts jurors via Submittable. If a particular piece requires multiple angles or views then you may create one image file with all views to be counted as one submission/piece. Please exercise good judgment when submitting images and/or video. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact us at info@luminarts.org for questions about file submission.


After Submitting Your Application

Applicants will be notified via email on Monday, April 15, 2019 regarding whether or not they have been selected as a finalist. Finalists will then select two of their pieces to exhibit for the final round of judging at the Visual Arts Exhibition on Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Please do not contact the Foundation before April 15 regarding your status as a finalist.


While applicants may reapply to the Luminarts Fellowship annually, they are only eligible to receive the Fellowship award once. However, once an individual has been designated a Luminarts Fellow they are eligible to apply for Fellow Project Grants through the Foundation. For Project Grant information visit our Artist Opportunities page.


For questions about eligibility or more information about the Fellowship visit our FAQs page or contact Luminarts at info@luminarts.org or (312) 435-5961.


APPLICATION DEADLINE: Friday, March 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. CST.