11th Semiannual Competition

Katherine Pill
Curator of Contemporary Art
Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Ron Platt
Chief Curator
Grand Rapids Art Museum

Kelly Shindler
Associate Curator
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

Jurors' Biographies


Katherine Pill is a Curator of Contemporary Art, and is currently the Assistant Curator of Art After 1950 at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, Florida, where she organized the permanent collection exhibitions Color Acting and Marks Made: Prints by American Women Artists from the 1960s to the Present, and has worked to bring new media art into the collection.

Previously she held the position of Assistant Curator at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri. She earned a BA in Art History from McGill University in Montreal and a dual MA in Art History and Arts Administration from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

While in Chicago, she was administrative director of the Student Union Galleries and co-director of Concertina Gallery, which exhibited the work of emerging and mid-career artists. For further information, please visit

Katherine Pill
Photographed by Todd Bates
© 2015 Todd Bates Creative
Ron Platt is Chief Curator at the Grand Rapids Art Museum, where he plans and executes the Museum’s program of changing exhibitions, leads the presentation and growth of GRAM’s permanent collection, and works with donors, the art community, and the public to broaden GRAM’s audience and mission.

Prior to joining GRAM in 2014, Ron served as Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Birmingham Museum of Art, and Curator of Exhibitions for the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He began his career as Curatorial Assistant for MIT’s List Visual Arts Center, and was subsequently promoted to Assistant Curator. He received a BA in American Studies from University of Maryland and an MBA in Arts Administration from Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Among the more than fifty exhibitions he has curated are Nature / Nurture: ArtPrize Seven at GRAM, Under the Skin: Tattoos and Contemporary Culture, Dawoud Bey: The Birmingham Project, and one person shows by Dona Nelson, Luca Buvoli, and Tom Friedman. For further information, please visit
Ron Platt
Photographed by Will Olsen
Image provided by Ron Platt
© 2015 Ron Platt

Kelly Shindler is the Associate Curator at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (CAM), where she has organized the group exhibition Occupational Therapy as well as solo exhibitions with Sheila Hicks, Lari Pittman, Anthony McCall, Rosa Barba, Geta Brătescu, Takeshi Murata, Kevin Jerome Everson, and Josh Faught, among others.

She is the curator of the mid-career survey, Dear Nemesis, Nicole Eisenman 1993–2013, which traveled from CAM to the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia (2014) and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (2015).

She holds Master’s degrees in Modern Art History, Theory, and Criticism and Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. For further information, please visit

Kelly Shindler
Photographed by David Johnson
Image provided by Kelly Shindler
© 2015 Kelly Shindler
Note: To ensure objectivity and fairness artists should not contact the jurors.  Any questions you may have should be directed to Dave Bown
at +1 (917) 365-5265 or

Dave Bown Projects
The initiatives of the privately held U.S. company focus on advancing the field of visual arts by conducting research, buying works of art for the Collection of Dave Bown Projects, and providing unrestricted monetary awards to visual artists.

Click here to read more about Dave Bown Projects.

$10,000 USD (1 artist will receive $5,000 USD and 5 artists will each receive $1,000 USD) in cash prizes.

In addition to the cash prizes listed above; Dave Bown Projects will be buying works of art from artists as submissions are received.

What our past prize recipients are saying
"receiving an unrestricted monetary award is extra money, and extra money is art money. i didn't spend it slowly. i spent it immediately. i bought two things that i needed: 5 days in a darkroom and a roll of 40" photographic paper. the large photographs that i've created recently have become some of my most successful work thus far."
— Liz Nielsen

"Receiving an unrestricted monetary award from Dave Bown Projects was a very pleasant surprise for me. It afforded me the opportunity to be able to buy additional supplies I needed, in particular, larger panels to paint on. Also, the recognition on their web site gained me more web site traffic and I got the opportunity to work with a new gallery as a direct result of the recognition from the award."
— Brenda Hope Zappitell

Click here to read more about What our past prize recipients are saying.

The top 25 artists will be selected by the jurors and featured under Competitions on this website. Each artist will have their own page that will feature an image, caption information, and a link to their website (click here to view an example). You will retain the copyright to your images.

Currently the Dave Bown Projects network reaches over one hundred thousand people who are committed to the visual arts. We will have an announcement sent via email to an aggregation of tens of thousands of subscribers (collectors, curators, galleries, museums, writers, etc.). We have over 28,000 Fans (Likes) on our Facebook page ... click here to see that. And we have over 60,000 Followers on Twitter ... click here to see that.

Each of the artist from past competitions receive thousands of views on this website. We will produce a press release (click here to view a past press release) and organize opportunities for dialogue. We will not handle the sale of your work. All inquiries will be forwarded to you and / or your gallery.

Note: Gallery owners have contacted artists that are featured under Competitions on this website.

This competition is open to all visual artists who are 18 years of age or older. All styles and mediums are eligible.
During the previous competition, we received submissions from over 40 countries.

Note: Artists that have been exhibited by the jurors are not eligible. Artists that have worked with the jurors are not eligible.
Employees of the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and Grand Rapids Art Museum are not eligible.

Selection Process

Early entries are encouraged. Previewing will occur on a daily and weekly basis by Dave Bown Projects as submissions are received.

Selection will be based on merit (your skills and abilities, via images of your work). All images will be considered and viewed by Dave Bown Projects. Dave Bown Projects reserves the right to reject a submission (images of work) at any time and for any reason.

The jurors will only have access to the images of your work and a document that list a reference number, medium, and dimensions per image. We will change the file names of each of your images (e.g., c-11_0123.jpg) so that the jurors will not have access to your name, gender, ethnicity, or any impermissible criterion or circumstance. The jurors are interested in viewing images of work from emerging artists from all styles and mediums.

What our past jurors are saying
"It was an honor ... The variety of submissions was impressive, ranging from intimate figurative drawings to large-scale abstract paintings and from sculptural constructions to gallery-sized installation work. The creative impulse evident across the works was inspiring. I hope this important program will continue to grow and reach more artists in the future. It is a rare, generous, and much needed support for artists."
— Diane Mullin, Senior Curator, Weisman Art Museum

“Being a juror a couple of years ago [2011] for the Dave Bown Projects 2nd Semiannual Competition was an informative and enjoyable professional experience for me. I was impressed with the number of high-quality submissions which required me to be very attentive and thorough in my deliberations. I would be delighted to serve as a juror if ever asked again.”
— Peter Surace, Founder, RARE Gallery, New York

Click here to read more about What our past jurors are saying.

5 December 2015, 11:59 p.m. EST

The list of 25 artists, images, caption information, and press release will be posted on 19 December 2015 under Competitions on this website. The 6 prize recipients will receive a phone call. All artists that enter a submission will be notified after 19 December 2015 via email.

Entry Fee
A non-refundable entry fee is required with your submission. There are no additional fees.
2 images for $45 USD, 4 images for $65 USD, 8 images for $95 USD
Please note the following options for payment of your entry fee:

You can pay your entry fee using PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account to use your debit or credit card to pay your entry fee using PayPal, simply click on one of the Pay Now buttons below. A new secure browser window will open up, which may take a few moments depending on your internet connection speed. If you have a PayPal account, you can send money to or 917-365-5265
..2 images
..$45 USD
4 images
$65 USD
8 images
$95 USD
You can call us at +1 (917) 365-5265 and we can securely process your debit or credit card. Or we can call you at your preferred time. Send an email to with your name, phone number, time zone, and the best time to call (e.g., morning, afternoon, evening).

After you pay your entry fee, copy and paste your Unique Transaction ID (e.g., 2JJ26549JM340074E) or Receipt Number (e.g., 1782-5181-1974-4707) into the Subject line of a new email from you to

Attach 2, 4, or 8 images of your work. JPEG format and no larger than 2 MB each.

Please name your files after the following manner:
FirstName_LastName_01.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_02.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_03.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_04.jpg
FirstName_LastName_05.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_06.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_07.jpg ___ FirstName_LastName_08.jpg

Note: Video, web-based, and performance artists need to include a URL and an image (video still) for each piece.

Caption Information
After you attach your images, copy and paste the caption information (title, year, medium, and dimensions) for each of your images into the body of the email and click send.

We look forward to viewing images of your work.

Pay your entry fee.
Send an email to with your images attached and the caption information in the body of the email.
Tell your friends and colleagues about this competition.

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about your submission.

Dave Bown
+1 (917) 365-5265
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