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Art Purchase Prize

The Library is seeking original artwork for inclusion in Art-To-Go, a collection of framed posters and juried, original artwork available for loan to Library cardholders.

View Past Winners

Who May Enter

Any artist over 18 who lives, works, or exhibits in the Iowa City/Johnson County area, and who has participated in at least one juried competition may enter. In order to foster new talent, previous winners who have had two or more works purchased by the Library are ineligible for entry. Previous winners who have had one work purchased must sit out for two consecutive contests before entering again. Library employees and their immediate family are ineligible for entry.

How To Enter

Each artist may enter two artworks. Artists should submit a digital image representation of their original work(s). Digital images should be in .jpeg format, with a minimum size of 1024 x 768 pixels and a minimum resolution of 72 dpi. Entries can be emailed to: or mailed on disc to Candice Smith / Iowa City Public Library / 123 S. Linn St. / Iowa City, IA 52240. Entries should include the artist's name, address, phone number and email, as well as the following information for each artwork:

  • Title
  • Medium
  • Size
  • Matted size (if appropriate)
  • Price

Criteria For Entry

Any two-dimensional or low-relief media are acceptable, including drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, collage, paper/fiber/textile, and mixed media. Artworks must have been created within the last three years. Original art only!

Finished artwork must be at least 12 x 12 and no larger than 34 x 34. Works chosen for final judging should be UNFRAMED and matted and/or mounted as needed to create a finished piece. Archival or museum-quality materials must be used for printing, mounting and matting. Works must be suitable for framing and covering with Plexiglas. The Library takes responsibility for framing works chosen for purchase.


Artwork should be priced under $300, as the committee hopes to acquire several pieces for the total available funds of $1,500.


Judging is a two-step process. The Library Art Purchase Prize Committee will view digital images on October 6. Finalists will be asked to bring their artwork to the Library on October 12 for the final jurying. Artists not chosen as finalists will be notified by mail. Final judging will occur the afternoon of October 13, and artists may pick up their artwork between 6:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. that evening, at which time they will be notified of the Committee's decision.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Candice Smith at 319.887.6031 or