Art Purchase Prize

This competition is held annually with works from artists who live, work, or exhibit in the Iowa City/Johnson County area. Pieces selected by the Library's Art Advisory Committee are added to the Library's Art-To-Go collection. See past winners.

Who May Enter

Artists over 18 who live, work, or exhibit in the Iowa City/Johnson county area are eligible. Library employees and their immediate family are not eligible.

How To Enter

Artists can submit two works. Initial submission should be digital representations of the original works. Images should be in .jpeg format with a minimum size of 1024 x 768 pixels and minimum resolution of 72 dpi. Entries can be emailed to: Entries should include artist’s name, address, phone number, and email, as well as:

  • Title
  • Medium
  • Size (unmatted and matted if appropriate)
  • Price

Criteria For Entry

  • Acceptable mediums: any two dimensional or low-relief media including: drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, collage, paper/fiber/textile, and mixed media.
  • All work must be original and created within the last three years.
  • Finished artwork should be at least 12x12 and no larger than 34x34. Archival or museum-quality materials must be used for all aspects. Works should be unframed and suitable for covering with Plexiglas.
  • Artwork should be priced under $300

Selection Timeline

Sat, Apr 1, 2023
Open for submissions
Fri, Apr 28, 2023
Deadline for submissions
Tue, May 2, 2023
First round of judging
Wed, May 3, 2023
Finalists notified
Mon, May 8, 2023
Deadline for finalists to bring artwork to the Library
Tue, May 9, 2023
Final judging
Artists can stop by Meeting Room A 6:30-7:30pm to learn the results, or they will be notified by phone or email.

Questions? Ask Candice Smith at (319) 887-6031 or

ICPL Art Advisory Committee

We are always looking for candidates to fill vacancies on the ICPL Art Advisory Committee. If you're interested in serving on the committee, please return an application to the Info Desk on the second floor of the Library, or by email to