Monthly Art Opportunities: The Best Grants, Residencies & Calls in May

Katie Carey | April 20, 2021 (Updated August 3, 2021)

Every month, Artwork Archive compiles a list of the best opportunities for artists. 

This month is full of calls for entry, new residencies, and grants —including Artwork Archive's Art Business Accelerator Grantwhich grants ten unrestricted awards of $2,500 each. Plus, there is no application fee and it is open to artists worldwide! What's more, every applicant will receive career-building online educational materials to help support their art business as well.

Get your application in before May 14 to be considered for the grant and to ensure that you receive the career-enhancing worksheets, videos and more. 

Ready to find the next big opportunity for your art business? Check out our May guide for artists (sorted by those deadlines coming up first):

2021 NOT REAL ART Grant for Artists

Founded in 2018 by arts entrepreneur Scott “Sourdough” Power and Chairman of Warner Brothers Television Channing Dungey Power, in partnership with Art Share LA, The NOT REAL ART Grant is a $12,000 annual award designed to empower the careers of 6 contemporary artists, each of whom receive $2,000 — with no strings attached.

The NOT REAL ART Grant encourages artists to explore, experiment, question and disrupt the status quo of today’s art world. While the Grant annually awards 6 artists $2000 with no strings attached, it also provides a platform to help them tell their story and promote their work to a wider audience. All grant recipients are featured on the NOT REAL ART Podcast and Blog and showcased in an annual Gallery Exhibition.

Categories: US-based artists in the Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture

Deadline: May 1, 2021

Award Info: $12,000 Grant; 6 artists receive $2000 each


Artwork Archive's Art Business Accelerator Grant

Artwork Archive's Art Business Accelerator Grant provides visual artists with unrestricted funds, resources, and a curriculum to help establish, grow and manage their art careers. The grant is designed to arm artists with the necessary business skills to succeed as artists and entrepreneurs—and to make a living through their artwork.

Open to both emerging and established artists, the Art Business Accelerator grants resources to invest in your art business as well as six weeks of career-building modules that increase business skills, economic proficiency, marketing knowledge and more.

Recipients receive funding and expert guidance in order to make the growth process easier, to gain confidence, and establish a solid business foundation for their art practice.

Grant recipients will receive grant funding, a lifetime account to Artwork Archive, and one-on-one access to expert career guidance.

Deadline: May 14, 2021

Entry Fee: Free

Award Info: 10 unrestricted cash grants of $2,500 each. A lifetime Master Account with Artwork Archive (valued at $1,000). Educational resources/expert guidance.

Who: Open to visual artists worldwide.


The Hopper Prize

The Hopper Prize offers unrestricted cash grants to individual artists through an international open call juried by leading contemporary curators.

The Hopper Prize supports artists working in all media, from diverse backgrounds, in wide-ranging geographic locations. There is no restriction on genre, style or subject matter–all media is eligible. Artists must be at least 18 years of age at the time of their submission.

Deadline: May 18, 2021

Entry Fee: $40 to submit 10 images

Award Info: Two (2) artists will each receive $3,500 grants & four (4) artists will each receive $1,000 grants

Who: Artists worldwide working in Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Film/Video/New Media, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture


Ongoing grant deadlines


Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant

Established as part of Lee Krasner’s legacy, the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant was set up to support and strengthen the creative lives of artists. A competitive grant for artists with extensive exhibition records, this grant has a long list of impressive alumni. Since its start in 1985, the foundation has granted over 65 million dollars in award money to artists in over 77 countries.

WHO: Mid-career professional artists with demonstrable financial need.  Artists must be actively exhibiting their current work in professional artistic venues, such as gallery and museum spaces.

FIELD: Painters, sculptors, and artists who work on paper, including printmaking.

AMOUNT: Awards range from $5,000 to $30,000, depending on need and circumstance.


FINE PRINT: Commercial artists, video artists, performance artists, filmmakers, crafts-makers, and computer artists are not eligible. Students not eligible. Requirements for consideration are the application form, a cover letter, a current resume including an exhibition record, and ten digital images of current work with a corresponding identification list. Detailed FAQ here.


The Adolph & Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant

The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Emergency Grant program is intended to provide interim financial assistance to qualified painters, printmakers, and sculptors whose needs are the result of an unforeseen, catastrophic incident, and who lack the resources to meet that situation. Each grant is given as one-time assistance for a specific emergency, examples of which are fire, flood, or emergency medical need. 

WHO: Artist who can demonstrate a minimum involvement of ten years in a mature phase of his or her work

FIELD: Painting, sculpture or printmaking

AMOUNT: The maximum amount of this grant is $15,000; an award of $5,000 is typical


FINE PRINT: The program does not consider requests for dental work, chronic situations, capital improvements, or projects of any kind; nor can it consider situations resulting from general indebtedness or lack of employment. Learn more here.


Awesome Foundation Grant

A micro-granting organization, funding “awesome” ideas, The Awesome Foundation set up local chapters around the world to provide rolling grants of $1000 to “awesome projects.” Each chapter defines what is “awesome” for their local community, but most include arts initiatives and public or social practice art projects.

WHO: Anyone is eligible for a grant — individuals, groups, and organizations alike.

FIELD: Any Field. Each chapter has their own requirements, most consider arts projects.

AMOUNT: $1000

DEADLINE: Ongoing—monthly grants offered.

FINE PRINT: Grants not given for studio space or strictly salary or supplies. Needs to make the community more “awesome.” Think public works. More info here.


Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant

Created in 1993 to further FCA's mission to encourage, sponsor, and promote the work of a contemporary, experimental nature, Emergency Grants provide urgent funding for visual and performing artists who: Have sudden, unanticipated opportunities to present their work to the public when there is insufficient time to seek other sources of funding or incur unexpected or unbudgeted expenses for projects close to completion with committed exhibition or performance dates.

WHO: U.S. artists

FIELD: Visual and performing arts

AMOUNT: Grants range in amount from $500 to $2,500, and the average grant is now $1,600


FINE PRINT: Each month FCA receives an average of 95 Emergency Grant applications and makes approximately 12-15 grants. Artists should review all eligibility guidelines and FAQs before applying. Learn more here.


The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant

The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grant is one of the most prestigious grants available to emerging figurative artists, as well as one of the most substantial. It is one of the longest-standing foundations, with an illustrious history of recipients spanning more than half a century. It is also unique in its scope, in that it is available to students and artists around the world.

WHO: Young artists pursuing their studies or in the early or developmental stage of their career. 

FIELD: Painting, drawing, sculpture or printmaking in the figurative / representational tradition.

AMOUNT: First grants are in the amount of CAD $15,000 each, and subsequent grants are in the amount of CAD $18,000 each (maximum three grants).


FINE PRINT: The Foundation does not provide funding for the pursuit of abstract or non-objective art. Grants are intended to assist applicants in the study or practice of their art, and the costs associated therewith, such as tuition, studio rental, model fees, travel and living expenses. Eligible courses of study or training include undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate studies and diploma programs from accredited institutions, recognized residencies, apprenticeships/internships and studio training. Grants are not intended as work or project grants for more experienced or mature artists.

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age to be eligible to apply.

Learn more here.

Earth Photo

Earth Photo is an international competition giving photographers and videographers the opportunity to show their work in London and on a tour of England, and to win cash prizes. Created by Forestry England and the Royal Geographical Society, this well-respected exhibition is regularly covered by outlets such as the BBC, the Guardian, the Daily Mail, Vice, National Geographic, and more. We encourage you to enter if your photos or videos document our world, its beauty, its fragility, and/or its inhabitants. 

Who: Photographers and videographers based all around the world.

Amount: £500 + extra prizes

Fine Print: The exhibition and awards will be selected by an expert panel of selectors from the fields of Photography, Film, Geography and Environment. The selection panel of distinguished photographers, curators, geographers, environmentalists, and writers are listed below. The panel will be chaired by the award-winning photographer, Marissa Roth. An entry fee of £15 will be charged to each entrant for up to 10 images.

Deadline: May 4, 2021


6th Annual Waterscapes Art Competition

For this competition, both 2D and 3D artists, worldwide, are invited to submit their best art depicting waterscapes. The theme includes any art which depicts any type of body of water including the ocean, lakes, rivers, ponds, streams, coastal living, any ocean activities, seaside vistas, beaches, and any related seashore or lakeside subjects. It can also include rain, puddles and frozen waterscapes.

Who:Categories: Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture

Deadline: May 1, 2021

Event Dates: May 5, 2021 - June 4, 2021

Entry Fee: $20 for 1 image / $35 for up to 5 images

Award Info: Cash prizes and an invitation to Fusion Art's Annual Group Show in Palm Springs in 2022 for 



41st International Exhibition

The San Diego Watercolor Society is pleased to announce the Call for Entries for the 41st International Exhibition to be held October 1- October 31, 2021. At this time, the exhibition is scheduled to be virtual, but this could be modified depending on the local COVID-19 situation. This year’s juror is Michael Holter. $19,000 in cash and merchandise awards are anticipated. 

Who: International artists in Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting

Deadline: May 2, 2021

Event Dates: October 1, 2021 - October 31, 2021

Entry Fee: Members:$35 for first entry, $10 for each additional. Non-members:$45

Award Info: $19,000 in Cash and Merchandise anticidpated. First Place, $5,000.


Wassaic Project 2021 Haunted Mill

The Wassaic Project seeks artists to participate in our Haunted Mill on Saturday, October 30, 2021. The Haunted Mill is our annual, one-day-only Halloween event in the hamlet of Wassaic. Artists are invited to transform the hamlet of Wassaic into a PG-13 haunted village. Throughout the event, the Wassaic Project will host family-friendly activities, trick-or-treating, and performances. All work must be considered PG-13. We want artists who are excited to be in Wassaic, participate in the Haunted Mill, and get weird.

Who: Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Film/Video/New Media, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture for a public art project.

Deadline: May 5, 2021

Event Dates: October 30, 2021 - October 30, 2021

Entry Fee: $25.00

Location: Wassaic, NY 12592


18th “Solo Art Series” – Online Solo Art Exhibition Opportunity

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery invites online submission of all 2D and 3D art (including photography) from artists around the world for possible selection for one the Gallery’s monthly solo art exhibitions or into the gallery’s Artist Showcase. The gallery encourages artists regardless of where they reside to submit their best abstract and/or representational art to this competition

Deadline: May 5, 2021

Event Dates: May 15, 2021 - September 14, 2021

Entry Fee: $24

Award Info: This competition will result in an award of 4 monthly solo art exhibitions. In addition, the gallery will award the next 8 juried artists to be featured in the gallery’s Artist Showcase Section.

Who: International artists in Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture


The Printmaker’s Hand V: exhibition of original prints

THE PRINTMAKER’S HAND V is a biennial juried show of fine, hand-pulled prints by contemporary printmakers, sponsored by Corvidae Press. Showcasing both traditional and new approaches to techniques including intaglio, relief, lithography, serigraphy, and mixed media hand-pulled prints, this show will be juried by Marit Berg, Art Professor, and Printmaker, Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, WA.

The show will be held at Northwind Art, Main Gallery, 701 Water Street, Port Townsend Washington from September 2-October 31, 2021. Note: (We are expecting to postpone the submission ddl by a couple of weeks, so stay tuned.)

Who: US artists in the Craft/Traditional Arts, Film/Video/New Media, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline

Deadline: May 5, 2021

Event Dates: September 2, 2021 - October 31, 2021

Entry Fee: $45

Award Info: Best of Show 2nd Place 3rd Place Merit Award Juror’s Choice People’s Choice JUROR 500 300 200 (3X) 100 200 100


Call for Art Painterly

Las Laguna Art Gallery presents Painterly. This exhibition is open to artists working in Acrylic, Gouache, Oil, or Watercolor. This is an Open Theme exhibition so any and all subjects are acceptable.

Note: All artists who submit to this show will be accepted and have at least one of their submitted works posted and promoted on our website. A select number of artists will be selected to send their work to our gallery for our in-person exhibition at our brick-and-mortar gallery in Laguna Beach, California.

Deadline: May 9, 2021

Event Dates: June 3, 2021 - June 26, 2021

Entry Fee: $35

Who: Open to international artists working in painting.


Paperworks 2021

Paperworks 2021 International fine art competition for artists using paper as their primary medium, as a substrate, or the subject of a video. It is hosted by b.j. spoke gallery and will be presented virtually on the gallery's website.

Deadline: May 16, 2021

Event Dates: August 1, 2021 - August 31, 2021

Entry Fee: $35

Award Info: several small cash awards and an online show for winners

Who: International artists working in Photography, Drawing, Film/Video/New Media, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture

Wells Art Contemporary

Artists from all around the world, working in all media can enter to exhibit their work in the beautiful Wells Cathedral, in Somerset, and win a range of awards including cash prizes, exhibition opportunities, residencies, mentoring and more. 

Who: All artists, all styles, all techniques and all nationalities are encouraged to take part in the open exhibition. Creatives over the age of 18, based in the UK or internationally can enter up to 4 works in any medium – painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation or video.

Amount: Up to £2,000 

Fine Print: The entry fee is £12 - £15. If you are a student, you can use the code WAC21student to enter one work for free. The first 90 students to enter will receive this discount.

Deadline: 25 May


Dot Dot Dot

Submission Deadline: May 24, 2021

Event Dates: July 24, 2021 - August 31, 2021

Who: Artists worldwide working in Drawing, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting


Signs of Rural Life juried exhibition

Open to artists of all career levels from emerging to professional, 18 years of age or older.

Artwork accepted for the exhibit must be for sale. Blue Cat Gallery will receive a 25% commission for each work sold from the exhibit.

Submission Deadline: May 29, 2021

Event Dates: July 7, 2021 - August 28, 2021

Entry Fee: $25/three entries

Award Info: Best of Show: $250, People's Choice: $75

Who: US-based artists working in Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture

Location: Wayne, Nebraska 68787


PleinAir Salon $33,000 May Online Art Competition

The PleinAir Salon $33,000 Art Competition is a monthly online competition consisting of 18 categories. We award $33,000 each year for this competition. The Annual Grand Prize winner receives a check for $15,000 and is featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine. We award an additional $6,500 to the annual winners and we award $1,100 to the top three winners of each monthly competition. Each of the 21 monthly winners will be automatically entered into the Annual Competition. The annual awards are presented live at the Plein Air Convention & Expo.

Submission Deadline: May 31, 2021

Entry Fee: $38/$16

Award Info: $33,000 in cash awarded annually. $1,100 monthly

Who: Open to artists working in drawing and painting worldwide.

Figurative Art Now

To celebrate the Federation of British Artists’ 60th anniversary, artists based in the UK have the opportunity to exhibit in a new online exhibition: Figurative Art Now. All entries will be considered by an eminent panel of judges including artists, curators and gallerists. Selected artists will show their work with the Mall Galleries and win prizes including £5,000 in cash, a solo exhibition, and mentorship. 

Deadline: 1 June

Entry Fee: £10 - £15


Summer 2022 Residencies at Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park

NPAF is again offering FOUR summer Hawaii Volcanoes National Park residencies, and close to some of the best beaches on the island. The first of these for a one-month term in June 2020. The residency includes a $2000 stipend, a studio, housing, events, publicity, a Dolphin & Manta Ray Excursion and much more…the chance of a lifetime for Artists!

WHO: Artists working in all media and genres

DATES: June 1 - September 30, 2022

LOCATION: Big Island, Hawaii

DEADLINE: May 1, 2021

FINE PRINT: Open to Families, Single Artists, Artist Couples, artist collectives or arts troupes. Features a Public Presentation at the Park, and a converted studio space at the house. There will be a solo recording booth in the house for music, podcast, all sound recording and an external mixing area. Learn more here.


NXTHVN 2021 Studio Fellowship

Each year, NXTHVN selects six early-career artists from a competitive pool of applicants to receive a professional studio space and a generous stipend to cover material expenses throughout the Fellowship year. 

In addition to participation in a culminating group exhibit, Studio Fellows have the unique opportunity to form new creative partnerships within the art communities at Yale University, as well as in Greater New Haven and New York City. 

WHO: All artists 

DATES: Dates for 2022 Fellowship to be announced


DEADLINE: Application opens May 2021

FINE PRINT: Studio Fellows are required to commit to a minimum of 20 hours of studio time per week and 5 hours of mentorship time with their high school Apprentice. Additionally, Studio Fellows are required to engage in a series of group critiques, studio visits, and workshops with art world professionals. A stipend of $20,000 and housing for eligible candidates.  More info here. 


Wassaic Project's 2021/22 Winter Residency and Winter Family Residency Program

The Wassaic Project accepts 3 – 6 month proposals for our Winter Residency program (November 2021 – April 2022). This call is individual artists, collaborative teams, and groups of 2 or more individual artists opting to live together. The residency fee is $1,600 per month PER GROUP/TEAM, which includes: semi-private studio space(s), a private 4 bedroom house (all utilities included), access to our Wood Shop and kiln, staff support, and programming such as our Visiting Artist program (Zoom studio visits) and Virtual Open Studios.

Deadline: May 5, 2021

Event Dates: November 1, 2021 - April 30, 2022

Entry Fee: $25.00

Who: International artist working in the Craft/Traditional Arts, Photography, Drawing, Film/Video/New Media, Mixed-Media/Multi-Discipline, Painting, Sculpture

Location: Wassaic , NY 12592



Willowtail Residency

Willowtail offers one-week to three-week residencies during the entire year for scholarship-funded, partially-scholarship-funded, and fully self-funded residencies for practitioners in The Arts and Ecology. Each resident is required to deliver a community offering within one calendar year of their residency. Whether this takes the form of a lecture, presentation, demonstration, teaching, a slideshow of work, exhibition in the local community, is up to the resident and director.

WHO: Emerging, established or mid-career practitioner in the visual arts, performing arts, film/multi-media, literature, music, ecology or natural sciences

DATES: Rolling


AMOUNT: $3,000 per week for fully-funded residencies, $1,500 for partially funded 


FINE PRINT: Residency includes one fully furnished cabin with kitchen facilities and standard amenities, such as breakfast items, full use of the property, canoes, spa products, hot tub, and fresh-cut flowers in your cabin. The residency includes 24-hour access to the Working Studio. Seven (7) night minimum stay. Single-person occupancy.  Learn more here.


18th Street Artist Residencies

18th Street Arts Center’s visiting artist residency program has hosted more than 500 artists from dozens of countries around the world since it first began in 1992. There are four live/work artist studios at the center where artists are in residence from 1 to 3 months at a time (sometimes longer).

WHO: Artists, curators, writers, musicians

DURATION: 1 - 3 months

LOCATION: Santa Monica, CA


FINE PRINT: The program is open to artists of all generations, nationalities, and disciplines.  

Funding for each residency is on a case-by-case basis. Many international artists have access to funding through their cultural ministries or other programs, and we work with artists to secure funding or encourage them to apply to cover the costs of the residency through various funding programs. Learn more here.


You can check out new opportunities as they are published by bookmarking these websites:

Artwork Archive | Call for Entry

Free to peruse, we feature everything from dream residencies and life-changing grants, to fun festivals, art business workshops, and competitions for some extra cash. We make it easy to search, too! Filter by opportunity type, location, event dates, eligibility, and more to find exactly what your art practice needs to flourish.


While you may know this site for its wide array of calls for shows, exhibitions, and residencies, this site also boasts a collection of grants and awards. Search through the listings at no cost which covers all the need-to-know details for applying, including entry deadline, fees, location eligibility, and more.

The Art Guide

Not sure if you want to apply through a third party, Art Guide is the free artist opportunity site for you. This call for entries website allows you to apply directly to the organization offering the grant. The list is updated daily so there'll always be a great new opportunity to pursue.

Formerly Artist Opportunity Monthly, all you need to do is sign up with your email and they send you thoroughly screened opportunities every month, including grants. AOM prides itself on ensuring each opportunity is worthwhile. A more comprehensive monthly list is offered at $5 a year.

Another site you may have heard of is According to their website, it is “the largest and most respected source for artists seeking income and exhibition opportunities.” The site may cost you a subscription fee of $20 a year to view the majority of its opportunities, but you can still browse many grants listed for free on their homepage and the @ArtDeadline Twitter account.

Curator Space

CuratorSpace is a project management toolkit for curators, organizers, galleries, and artists. It is designed to take the hassle out of managing exhibitions, competitions, fairs, and a whole lot more. Plus, they are a great site for finding art opportunities worldwide!

Re-title is a service for professional contemporary artists searching for opportunities, such as competitions, exhibitions, residencies, etc. A site for international contemporary art, this is another great site to find opportunities around the world! There’s even a map you can click on to search opportunities regionally and world clocks at the top of their site so you can submit applications on time!

Res Artist is a Worldwide Network of Arts Residencies from around the globe. The network comprises more than 700 vetted members in over 85 countries. They aim to support and connect residencies, engage and advocate the importance of residencies in today’s society by providing artists with resources and upcoming residency information. 


Ready to apply?

Applications can be extensive. After all, organizations need to ensure their funding will be in good hands. 

Be prepared to present yourself in the best light by having your information and images in an organized manner—and avoiding the last-minute stress of scrambling to find files.

Art inventory software like Artwork Archive can help you get ready to apply for grants and opportunities without the hassle. 

With Artwork Archive, you can manage jury-ready photos of your work and their inventory details, as well as generate professional documents like portfolio pages and inventory reports. If asked for a list of past exhibitions and competitions to validate your professional status, you can see your complete show history with the click of a button. Just think of the time you’ll save not having to remember or dig up all of this information!

You can even add application deadlines to the “My Schedule” feature and receive email reminders before it’s time to submit so you never miss out on these opportunities.

Get started with a free trial of Artwork Archive, and see how easy it is to stay on top of opportunities for your art business.

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