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National Conference of Artists
2021 NCA/MLK Commemorative Art Exhibition

National Conference of Artists, 24th Martin Luther King Jr. 

Annual Commemorative Art Exhibition

Call for Artists

The National Conference of Artists is happy to announce its 2021 Martin Luther King Jr. Annual Commemorative Exhibition.  The MLK Exhibition celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and civil and human rights movements.  It also honors those who have worked and are working to eradication of injustice.  

This 24th MLK annual exhibition theme is Hammer of Civil Rights.  Artwork is chosen that highlights the role artists and artistic expressions have in shaping social justice and cultural change in the United States and throughout the world.  Conversely, we acknowledge social and justice change activities influence artists.  The process begins with artists completing an application and paying the $25 submission fee.

The opening reception will be at the Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1731 Baronne Street, New Orleans, Louisiana on January 16, 2021 Saturday before the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday.  Along the opening on-site reception, we will launch a virtual exhibition and distribute the exhibition catalog.  This exhibition is one of the official City of New Orleans Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Activities.


  1. Entry Deadline: November 22, 2020
  2. Acceptance Notification: November 22, 2020
  3. Art Delivery Deadline: January 7, 2021
  4. Opening On-site Reception: January 16, 2021
  5. Opening Online Exhibition: January 16, 2021
  6. Exhibition Closing: March 31, 2021

Submission Agreement:


  1. The application and $25 submission fee must be submitted before consideration.  Entries fees are not refundable.

Submission fees are symbolic and help to cover exhibition costs.

  2. Artists have to submit original artwork they completed within five years.  Jurors have the right to make exceptions. 

  3. Art representing the Martin Luther Jing Jr.’s Hammer of Civil Rights speech will receive selection priority.

  4. There is no limit of age for applicants.

  5. Image should be labeled as Title_FirstName_LastName.jpeg. (example: Untitled_John_Doe.jpg.)

  6. Submit jpeg (300 resolution) of no more than 3 different images of artwork. 3D entries can submit up to 2 alternate views of their work. All images must be under 4 mb.

  7. The width of two-dimensional work cannot exceed 48 inches.

  8. Delivering, installation, and retrieval of sculpture, when accepted, is the responsibility of the artist.

  9. The MLK Exhibition Planning Committee will pay for return shipping of artwork back to artist that is more than 100 miles from New Orleans.

 10. All artwork, even if sold, must remain in the exhibition for the entirety of the exhibition.

 11. Ashé Cultural Arts Center will transact all MLK Art Exhibitions sales at their gallery.  Ashé will take a 25% commission and the artist will get 75% of the sale.

 12. Artists can pick up their work between April 1 and 10, 2021.  

Selection rules:

  1. A panel of judges will select artwork for display.
  2. Submissions are subject to evaluation based on creativity, used medium, originality and quality of work.  We believe that each piece of art has a value we rely on our reviewers’ expertise to better judge the quality of submitted works.
  3. Jurors and a select committee will assign best in show and 5 other awards.  Depending on the number and quality of all submissions received, Honorable Mention and/or Special Recognition awards may also be given. 
  4. The 2021 MLK exhibition jurors, MLK Exhibition Planning Committee and Ashé Cultural Arts Center has the right to refuse or return artwork before installation that arrives damaged or deemed unacceptable.

Contact Person: Charlie T. Johnson at (504) 715-8137 or 

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