Visual Arts Festival
The Sublime

May 9, 2019 - August 17, 2019

This exhibition was made possible with funding from
Bernie & Joan Herman
John Edward Powell, Architectural Historian, in recognition of Cheryl D. Peter

The Visual Arts Festival has been a BMoA tradition since 1989. This year marks the 18th biennially held festival. Any artist living in California is able to participate.

The sublime has long been understood in the arts to mean a quality of greatness or grandeur that inspires awe and wonder. It became a signature element of the Romantic period in eighteenth-century Europe and was initially articulated in relation to the natural landscape.  The sublime was repurposed in modern art as a means of investigating the infinite and unfamiliar rooted within the artist - the sensations of these spaces prevail as unrelenting entities to the psyche of human life.

Philosophically, the sublime refers to the phenomenon generated by the deepest emotions of the mind. Elation, melancholy, awe and horror: the immeasurable intensities of these feelings become visual articulations and ruminations as part of the 2019 Visual Arts Festival. The work by the artists serves to exalt these spirits of universal experience to the viewer.

Today we live in an age with endless cycles of super-saturated spectacle and growing desensitization. Therefore, we hope that visitors can consider this exhibition to decelerate their real-time emotional responses to the world around them, investigating notions of reason, wonder and transcendence.

Ruta Saliklis, Ph.D   San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

Ruta Saliklis, Ph.D
San Luis Obispo Museum of Art

2019 Festival Juror

Ruta Saliklis has extensive curatorial experience stemming from her work as Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, a position she has held since 2011. She also served as Associate Director at the Ball State University Museum of Art and as Curator of Textiles at the Allentown Art Museum. Dr. Saliklis received her Ph.D. in Textiles and Design at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an MFA in Museum Studies from Syracuse University, and a BA in Comprehensive Studio Art with a minor in Art History from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  She lives in San Luis Obispo, CA. She will be the Interim Executive Director of SLOMA starting in May of 2019.

Submissions for 2019 Visual Arts Festival are now CLOSED.


Artists may submit up to three (3) pieces per entry.
All mediums are welcome. Works must have been executed within three years of submission and pertain to the theme of “The Sublime.”

2D pieces must be 10 x 10 inches.
3D pieces must fit on a base that is 10 x 10 inches. The height of the piece must be close to (but not exceeding) 10 inches.

Work must be unframed. Drawings, photographs, and other works on paper must be mounted on canvas, wood, or board. All work must be fitted with hanging devices and ready to hang. Sculptures must be mounted or able to stand on their own.

$40 for BMoA Members,
$50 for Non-members

Thursday, April 25th at 11:59pm.

Exhibition is open to all artists living/working in California (18 years of age or older).

Best in Show - $800
Second Place - $500
Third Place - $200
Honorable Mention - No Cash Prize


After the Online Entry Form and Entry Fee have been submitted,
all physical artwork must be hand delivered or mailed to the Museum on April 26 or 27, 2019 for judging.

If mailing artwork, all shipping, insurance, and packing materials are the sole responsibility of the artist and must be paid for/arranged by the artist. Artists are responsible for ALL return shipping fees. Fees may be prepaid through the shipping company or paid with a check or money order made payable to: Bakersfield Museum of Art. Work will not be returned without delivery confirmation or required signature. Please check with shipper for fee schedule. If you require insurance on your return shipping please provide the amount and additional postage labels and fees with artwork. Please mark envelope clearly and place in a visible area for easy retrieval during unpacking.

Attn: Curatorial Department
Bakersfield Museum of Art
1930 R Street
Bakersfield, CA 93301

Artists will be notified of their acceptance of one to three entries by e-mail on May 4, 2019.  Details regarding artwork pick-up will be given at that time.

All works must be for sale and may not exceed the price of $2,000. All work submitted must have the sale price included on the application. A 50% commission will be retained.

The Bakersfield Museum of Art’s opening reception for the 2019 Visual Arts Small Works Festival will be held at the Museum on May 9, 2019, from 7-9pm.The awards will be posted the night of the opening reception.