• Home
  • |
  • VisArts Emerging Artist Award

VisArts Emerging Artist Award

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s Emerging Artist Award was established in 2019 by VisArts’ junior board, the Visual Arts Creative Ambassadors (VACA). This unrestricted cash award is intended to promote, support and encourage visual artists who show creative promise.

The Emerging Artist Award is presented each March at VisArts’ annual Young + Artful fundraiser. One winner will receive a $5,000 cash prize as well as a year of free community studio access to one of VisArts’ professionally equipped studios in the media of their choice.


  • On Dec. 13, 2019, VisArts will begin accepting nominations for the award through its website.
  • The deadline to nominate an artist for the award is January 15, 2020. Shortly after that date, artists who have been nominated will be contacted and offered the opportunity to officially apply for the award. VisArts will let artists know who nominated them. Once nominated, artists must apply in order to be eligible for the award.
  • The Emerging Artist Award application deadline is Feb. 3, 2020.


Applicants will be evaluated based on innovative use of media, unique perspectives and overall creativity. The recipient of the award will be selected by a member of VisArts’ junior board and a panel of rotating judges who are influential in Richmond’s art and culture community. VisArts will notify the award winner in late February and the center’s junior board president will present the the award at Young + Artful on Friday, March 6, 2020. Applicants who were were not selected for the award will be notified on March 9, 2020. 


  • To be eligible for the award, artists must currently live in Richmond and must have resided in the greater Richmond area for at least one year at the time of nomination
  • Artists must be at least 21 years old at the time of nomination and must not be enrolled in an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate or graduate degree program
  • The artist must not have a solo exhibition organized by a professional art gallery on their CV and they cannot be formally represented by a gallery in Richmond or another city. Solo shows associated with an undergraduate or graduate degree program do not disqualify artists from eligibility. 
  • Artists who have been accepted into VisArts’ Emerging Artist Residency Program are not eligible for the award
  • Full-time and part-time staff of the Visual Arts Center of Richmond are not eligible for the award, but VisArts teachers and studio monitors are eligible for the award

For questions, contact VisArts’ Director of Education, Jordan Brown, at [email protected] or (804) 353-0094, ext. 252.