Commissions from arts, cultural and state arts funding organizations

Another way for artists to receive financial support is by actively applying for the commissioning of new artwork. Artists may be selected to participate in commissioned art projects on a local, state, regional and national level. Sometimes these projects are administered by local arts and cultural organizations around a specific need or community event. Other times the commissions are part of an organization’s annual programming:

  • A visual artist may be selected to design and lead a hands-on community mural project in collaboration with a local city school on a topic of current interest.
  • A landscape artist may be commissioned to help design a healing garden as part of collaboration between a city hospital outreach program and local greenhouse nursery.
  • A composer may be selected to write a new work for an organization’s Centennial anniversary.

Commissions are an effective way for artists to receive funds directly to create a new work or body of work in partnership with a sponsoring organization. Most often these commissions use a process for selection that is centered on a juried review or curated selection process. Artists are asked to submit proposal and work samples that become part of the review process. Occasionally, in the case of large-scale sculpture commissions, finalists may also be selected to create models of proposed work and visit sites for location as part of the final selection process.

To find out more about organizations in your community that might offer artists commissions visit CPAC’s Creative Compass calls for artists listings for upcoming opportunities.

There are also Percent for Arts programs administered by state arts councils and funding organizations like the Ohio Arts Council that engage artists directly by notifying them of upcoming commission deadlines for specific projects and commissions. For example, a sculptor may be commissioned to design and create a new work for the interior atrium space of a university science building.

Learn more about networking opportunities and art commissions in your community and state-wide:

  • View calls for artists
  • Visit our event calendar
  • Sign up for email blasts and announcements at your local arts and cultural organization websites
  • Become a member of local artist service organizations
  • “Like” or “follow” arts and cultural organization’s social media pages and blogs

Research specific programs like the Ohio Arts Council Percent for Art Program, review the legislation and guidelines and receive commission notices for upcoming projects.