Call to Artists

Special Exhibit 2019 — Origin Stories: Comics and Identity

Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts - 56th year

Lake Oswego, Oregon 97034 (9 miles south of Portland)     
Show Dates: June 21, 22, and 23, 2019
Location: Lakewood Center for the Arts (Location)
Application Deadline: FEB. 3, 2019

Apply using the online application form.
Entry requirement: fee waived (sponsored underwriter)

Download a printed info sheet on the call for the 2019 Special Exhibit

View Welcome Artists page

The Call

The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is announcing the Call to Artists for the 2019 Special Exhibit, titled Origin Stories: Comics and Identity.

Scope of the Exhibit
Each year the Special Exhibit strives to explore a single art medium through the display of quality and diverse work from a wide range of artists. As part of a large community celebration of art, the Special Exhibit seeks to offer insight and awareness of the featured art form to inspire and inform visitors.

Exhibit Theme
The 2018 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is proud to present The Special Exhibit - Origin Stories: Comics and Identity, an exhibit exploring the fascinating world of comic art.

The 2019 Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is proud to present the Special Exhibit, Origin Stories: Comics and Identity, an exhibition celebrating the unique formal qualities of comics as a medium, as well as the infinite possibilities of expression the form allows. Curator Andréa Gilroy and Assistant Curator Katie Proctor are thrilled to work with The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts to celebrate this exciting moment in comics’ history by showcasing contemporary comics art in a gallery setting. This exhibition seeks to embrace the here-and-now of comics art, to celebrate the work of known professionals alongside fresh, exciting talent.

While excellent comic art exists in all genres, styles, and modes, the curatorial team encourages artists to present work which applies to the theme referenced in the title: the connection between comics as a medium and the representation of identity. However, this in no way limits submissions to autobiographical comics! After all, even the most mainstream superhero comics deal with questions of identity. Visual and verbal symbols used in tandem, sequence, repetition, physical representation, caricature: these are the building blocks of comics. They are also the tools we use every day to create various identities—whether it is our individual selves, our cultures, or even our frames for understanding the world around us.


Submissions are encouraged from artists working in all media, though you must create an object than can be physically displayed in the gallery space for the duration of the Festival.

Works Eligible for Submission

  • Solo artists or group makers may apply. The person applying for a group must have permission to do so.
  • Artworks must be original designs developed by the applying artist(s), though the designs do not have to be created specifically for the exhibition.
  • If the artwork features intellectual property not owned by the artist, the artist must show they have permission to display and sell the piece.
  • The curators are interested in showing the process of comics art, and thus displaying the work of inkers, colorists, and letterers. If you have questions about how to submit your work in these fields, please feel free to contact the curators.
  • All submitted pieces must be available for sale during the Festival.
  • NOTE: If the finished work does not have a physical original (as in the case of digital art), and you are selected for the show, you (the artist) will need to supply limited edition prints for sale at the Festival. Details of printed editions can be decided upon selection to the show.
  • If selected, artwork must be delivered framed and ready to be displayed (see below).


  • A maximum of five works may be submitted per artist.
        o NOTE: A “work” counts as a single continuous image. Thus, one work could be an illustration, a single page of sequential art, or a double-page spread.
  • The majority of submissions must be sequential art. For every one illustration, you must submit one sequential page.
  • Accepted entries must be received no later than the date listed on the calendar below. The Special Exhibit reserves the right to decline any accepted artwork upon delivery if the condition or quality is other than represented in the electronic entry.


  • Artist application available online: 11/1/2018
  • Application deadline: 2/3/2019, 11:59pm
  • Jury results emailed to artists: 2/25/2018
  • In-person Artwork Delivery:
        ○ Tuesday, 6/11/2019, 1pm – 4:30pm
        ○ Wednesday, 6/12/2019, 9am – 1pm
  • Festival hours:    
        ○ Friday & Saturday, June 21 & 22, 2019, 10:00am – 9:00pm
        ○ Sunday, June 23, 2019, 10:00am – 5:00pm
  • Pick-up unsold art:
        o Sunday, June 23, 6-6:30pm
        o Monday, June 24, 11:00am – 1:00pm

Jury Process/Jurors

Applications will be reviewed by a jury comprised of selected individuals from varied backgrounds who embrace the philosophy and goals of the Festival of the Arts. Artwork for the Special Exhibit will be selected based on artistic merit, originality, personal voice, and technical skill. The three exhibit Jurors include:

  • Dr. Susan Kirtley (Eisner Award-winning author of Lynda Barry: Childhood Through the Looking Glass)
  • Diana Schutz - former Senior Executive Editor, Dark Horse Comics, 1990-2015
  • Melanie Stevens - co-founder and editor of Miss Anthology


All work submitted must be for sale. The price shall be at the discretion of the artist. The Festival will retain a 40% commission from all sales. Prices assigned by the artist shall include the Festival commission. All commission proceeds benefit the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, an event of the nonprofit organization Lakewood Center for the Arts.

Application Process

Applications will be available on November 1st, 2018

  • Apply using the online application form. Artists must register and complete an application on our website with an accurate email that will be valid throughout the registration process until show date. This email address will be used to notify you of your status. Notification of accepted or declined status will be emailed to the email address you use in the application process. Please check your application email inbox for all correspondence.

Your application must include:

  • Detailed information about each submitted artwork, including medium and dimensions of the piece as it will be displayed.
  • Images:
        o Artists may submit 1 static image per art object.
        o Static image sizing requirements: Images must be in JPEG or JPG format, minimum of 1000 pixels on the shortest side, maximum of 4000x4000 pixels. 
  • Note: Need assistance in formatting your images to the correct size? Visit Larry Berman’s Jury Images. When formatting your images, select 1920x1920 ZAPPtm on the order form under Action. ZAPPtm-formatted images are accepted by our application software. There is no charge for this service. However, donations are gladly accepted to keep his free service available.

Payment for Application

Due to generous sponsor support, submission fees for this year’s 2019 Special Exhibit are being waived! Apply now to join Origin Stories: Comics & Identity.  Application deadline: February 3, 2019. Artists whose work is not accepted for inclusion into the Special Exhibit may apply their work to the Open Show. For information about the Open Show, refer to Open Show Call to Artists.

Delivery of Artwork
If your work is selected, artists should deliver their work personally to the Lakewood Center, 368 S State Street, Lake Oswego, OR, 97034 during one of the following two times:
●    Tuesday, June 11 between 1:00 and 4:30 p.m.
●    Wednesday, June 12 between 9:00 and 1:00 p.m.

Should it be necessary for you to ship your work, permission must be granted in writing by the curators prior to sending in your Artist Contract.  Shipped artwork MUST arrive BETWEEN May 20-24th to:
Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts
Special Exhibit
368 S. State Street
Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Should the work not be sold, artists are responsible for picking up their artworks or return shipping. Details for shipping and delivery will be included with the contract following your acceptance to the exhibit. Artwork pickup times are as follow:
●  Artwork pickup: Sunday, June 23, 2019, 6 - 6:30pm
     Monday, June 24th of 2019, 11:00am - 1:00pm


Andréa Gilroy, Ph.D. (Curator) or Katie Proctor (Assistant Curator), Special Exhibit 2019
Phone: 503.636.1060     
Email: festival@lakewood-center.org
Street address:  Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034
Mailing address:  Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, PO Box 385, Lake Oswego, OR 97034

Download the 2019 Special Exhibit Call to Artists
Apply online by FEB. 3, 2019


About the Festival of the Arts: The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts is an arts education event of the Lakewood Center for the Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization. It is held the weekend after Father's Day each year and attracts 22-25,000 people. Contributions to the Festival are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. Our tax ID number is 93-0700108.

Mission Statement: The Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts’ primary goal is to educate by promoting, supporting, coordinating, and exhibiting the arts of the region.

Location/Support: The Festival takes place at the Lakewood Center for the Arts and George Rogers Park, both on State Street in downtown Lake Oswego, Oregon USA. It is sustained by valuable partnerships with the City of Lake Oswego, Clackamas County Tourism and Development Council, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Oswego Rotary Club, the Lake Oswego School District, small and large businesses, the "Friends of the Festival," plus more than 500 volunteers who work throughout the year and the weekend to make the Festival the success it is.