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The Alaska State Council on the Arts (ASCA) invites artists of all ages to submit their design for the 2023 Artistic License Plate Competition. The winning design will be distributed and sold at DMVS across the state through 2027. The spirit of this competition is to encourage creativity, celebrate our unique experiences living in Alaska, and highlight the importance of engaging with art in our daily lives. ASCA administers this competition in keeping with their mission to advance creativity as a core civic value and identity for Alaska.
Semi-finalists will receive a $250 honorarium, and the selected artist will be awarded $1000. Additionally, applicants under the age of 18 are eligible for a $50 honorarium, awarded by grade level.
Submission deadline is 9:59 PM AKT, March 31, 2023.
Alaska’s inaugural Artistic License Plate Competition was hosted in 2017, after House Bill 217 was passed, thanks to the advocacy of Representative Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and former Senator Bill Stoltze. This bill allows ASCA to facilitate a quadrennial call for art, inviting artists from across the state to design a limited-edition license plate. ASCA is a state arts agency, the mission of which is to represent, support and advance the creative endeavors of individuals, organizations, and agencies throughout Alaska.
A small portion from every artistic license plate sale will be reinvested into artistic and cultural programs facilitated by ASCA. These programs benefit organizations, businesses, groups and individuals who serve as creators, designers, makers, educators, administrators, producers, presenters and distributors in the areas of Visual Art, Music, Literature, Fashion, Poetry, Performing Arts, Cultural Practices and Traditions, Culinary Arts, Language Preservation, Graphic Design, Architecture, Public Spaces, Film and Media.
A celebrity jury panel will review submissions and select semi-finalists. Semi-finalist designs will advance to a final round of public ranked choice voting. In 2017 over 140 artists submitted designs and 17,000 votes were cast in the public vote.
QUALIFICATIONS Please read carefully
- Applicants must be an Alaska resident; all ages are welcome.
- Applications are limited to one design per applicant, except in the case of teachers who may submit up to 20 entries with 1 entry per student.
- All applications must be submitted through CaFE; no paper applications will be accepted.
- Design must be original and not a reproduction or a copyright violation.
DESIGN REVIEW CRITERIA
Jurors will review works based on creativity, quality of design and legibility. Imagery must be suitable for the public.
Any form of cultural appropriation will not be accepted. Submissions that use or reference traditional Indigenous designs must be submitted by Indigenous artists or artists who have received tribal approval. If applicants are unsure whether their license plate design is a form of cultural appropriation, we encourage them to seek information from the resources below:
- Anchorage Museum: Considering Cultural Appropriation
- Coffee & Quaq: Art and Cultural Appropriation
- Still unsure? Contact an ASCA staff member at email@example.com
A license plate template can be downloaded here. The template follows these DMV guidelines:
- Plate art area is 11.5669” x 5.5984” (blue area on the template)
- Plates have a white border
- Plates print with 6 embossed plate characters
- Artwork behind the alpha message should not interfere with the legibility of the alpha
- No text should fall within .25” of the alpha on any side
- Artwork should be vector or high resolution (300 dpi or higher) raster art at print scale
- These items must print on the plates where shown:
- Alaska text (color can be changed)
- Alpha (color can be changed)
- Expiration tab (color cannot be changed)
- Barcode (color cannot be changed)
- ASCA logo (black or white, logo location cannot be changed)
- Plate design must meet the standards put out by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. Applicants are encouraged to review their guidelines here.
- Applicants new to CaFE should plan to create a profile and become familiar with the image specifications before the deadline.
- The submission deadline is 9:59 PM AKT, March 31, 2023.
- The celebrity jury will review submissions and select semi-finalists in April 2023.
- Semi-finalist designs will be posted for public voting in May 2023.
- Finalists will be notified by June 2023.
- The production of a custom plate may take up to 4 months following approval of the design by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles.