Media Name: freedom-art-logo-horizontal.jpg

1000 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC, 20001

Monday – Saturday | 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Art exhibition free and open to the public


The Cato Institute, located in Washington D.C., is a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets, and peace.

For its inaugural exhibition, the Cato Institute welcomes artists working in any medium to address the concept of FREEDOM: ART AS THE MESSENGER. We are living in an era where people are finding their combative voice but having little conversation or dialogue. The goal of this exhibition is to provide a medium for that conversation.

This exhibition invites all investigative points of view in all media; 2-D, 3-D, audio, and video. A full spectrum of interpretation is invited — whether personal, emotional, general, realistic or imagined, communal, or individual — addressing Freedom in all its manifestations through art.

Eligibility: National


Submissions will be considered through a blind jurying process and juried on aesthetic value, mastery of craft, and relevance to the exhibition theme. Each artwork will be considered individually.


  • Drawing (including pastel, colored pencil, charcoal, ink, graphite)
  • Fiber
  • Installation
  • Mixed media (2D)
  • Painting (including acrylic, oil, watercolor, etc.)
  • Photography/​Video/​Digital arts (including digital illustration, sound art, and gifs)
  • Printmaking (excluding hand‐​printed photography)
  • Sculpture (3D, including functional craftworks and jewelry)
  • Other


  • Harriet Lesser, curator, Strathmore; former director of exhibitions, VisArts, Rockville; former director of exhibitions, Charles Sumner School Museum & Archives, Washington, D.C.; exhibition artist in the U.S. and overseas
  • June Linowitz, artist; art consultant; board president, Arts on the Block; steering committee, The Resilience Fund; former honoree, “Images and Expressions, Maryland Women In The Arts”, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center


Cash prizes will be awarded to Best in Show, Second Place, and Third Place at the opening reception. Honorable mentions will also be recognized.


All media are eligible. All artwork must be matted, framed, and wired or otherwise made exhibition‐​ready. All hanging artworks must be fitted with 3/​4‐​inch d‐​rings or larger, or use screw eyes with a 1/​4‐​inch diameter opening or larger. If using a metal frame, omni or screw hangers must be fitted to the frame. All d‐​rings, screw eyes, and omni or screw hangers should be installed at 1/4 or less of the total height down from the top of the artwork to ensure that the artwork hangs flush to the wall. Cleats, single sawtooth hangers, steel plates, and wire must be securely attached to both sides of the frame.

All accepted video works will be displayed on a 55‐​inch monitor.

Larger installations will be considered on a case‐​by‐​case basis. Please email exhibition@​cato.​org with any questions regarding larger installations.

All works must be for sale.

The artist is responsible for all arrangements, costs, and execution of the delivery of the artwork to the Cato Institute on the date listed below under “Deadlines and Important Dates.”

Cato will attempt to work with artists outside the regional area to accept deliveries of their artwork via a courier service (e.g., FedEx, UPS, DHL). As space permits, Cato will keep and store the original shipping materials to reuse them for return shipping or shipping to a purchaser. Cato has limited storage space; therefore, there are restrictions on (a) the amount of packing material Cato can accept for storage and (b) storing large crates or shipping containers. Contact Cato before submitting an entry if the artwork will need a large container or crate. The cost of shipping and insurance while artwork is in transit to Cato is the responsibility of the artist.

For artwork received via a courier service that remains for sale at the conclusion of the exhibit, Cato will attempt to work with the artist to return the work by the same service. Cato will repackage the artwork to the best of its abilities using the packing materials in which the artwork arrived. The artist is responsible for scheduling a pick up at Cato and providing a prepaid label to Cato. The cost of shipping and insurance while artwork is in transit to its destination is the responsibility of the artist.

All works submitted must be complete and may not be exhibited if the work that arrives differs from the image submitted.

Any accepted artwork will not, by any exception, be exhibited if not exhibition‐​ready upon drop‐​off.

All artwork on exhibition must remain at the Cato Institute throughout the entire exhibition. Early removal of artwork is strictly prohibited.


Each artist may submit up to 8 pieces (6 for audio/​video) and must provide: title, material (medium), price, dimensions/​running time (for audio/​video), and year completed for each piece entered. All titles, materials, dimensions/​running time, and prices provided in the application will remain final.


Artists must submit high‐​resolution images of each artwork submitted. Images must be a .jpg file, at least 1200 pixels wide and 300 dpi (or 4 inches wide at 300 dpi). Artists with 3D pieces may submit up to three additional images to each piece, rather than submit them as additional pieces. Artists may also submit .gif, .mp3, .mov, or .mp4 files for video, sound, or digital pieces. Video files must have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and must be in the .mp4 or .mov format.


Artists must submit a statement of 530 characters or less in the first person outlining the processes and inspiration specific to their entry.


Artists may include a brief description of each piece up to 260 characters. Artists may briefly outline specific inspiration pertaining to the exhibition or unique processes used to create the work.


Cato will receive a 30 percent commission on all artwork sold. Cato will pay the artist 70 percent of the retail price of sold artwork within 30 days of the close of the exhibition. All artwork must be for sale and priced at a fair market value, and prices reported in the application should take into consideration the commission split. All titles, mediums, and prices provided in the application will remain final.


A submission fee of $32.00 is required for each artist submitting up to 8 pieces (6 for audio/​video). Submission fees are nonrefundable.


Submission fees are collected through PayPal with any major credit or debit card at the end of the submission process. Please do not send payment via PayPal outside of this application.


Checks can be sent to the Cato Institute at the address below to receive a payment‐​accepted code that will allow you to submit your application online. Please post the check in the mail by December 14, 2018, to receive a payment‐​accepted code in time to submit by the deadline.

Attn: Katherine Chacon
Cato Institute
1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001


Application Deadline: Friday, January 11, 2019
Notification of Acceptance: Friday, February 1, 2019
Completed Contracts from Accepted Artists Deadline: Friday, February 15, 2019
Drop‐​off of All Accepted Work: Wednesday, March 27, 2019, 9:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m.
Exhibition Opens to the Public: Thursday, April 11, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 11, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Exhibition Closes to the Public: Friday, June 14, 2019
Required Art Pickup: Friday, June 14, 4:00–6:00 p.m.; Saturday, June 15, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

For all other questions, please contact Harriet Lesser at exhibition@​cato.​org.