Call Detail
Are you Really Winning?: Public Art Competition for Problem Gambling Awareness
Entry Deadline: 4/19/23
Application Closed
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Call Type: Competitions
Eligibility: Local
State: Illinois
Jury Dates: 4/20/23 - 4/25/23

Are you Really Winning?: Campaign and Public Art Competition for Problem Gambling Awareness

To bring attention to a statewide educational campaign addressing problem gambling, Illinois-based artists ages 21 and over are called to shine a light on the journey from darkness to hope for individuals challenged with gambling addiction. Problem gambling can affect anyone; about 400,000 people in the State of Illinois, from teens to adults, struggle with gambling with another one million people at risk. Admitting a gambling problem is the first step toward recovery and education about the signs of addiction is crucial to get help.

Co-presented by Way Back Inn and a5 Branding + Digital in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services, Are you Really Winning? is a public service campaign that aims to help people with gambling issues and provides ways to prevent losing it all to gambling. The call to action drives people to and to the help line at 1.800.GAMBLER. The integrated campaign includes digital, advertising TV, radio, social media, and sponsor partners that include the Chicago Fire and Chicago Wolves sports teams and colleges across Illinois.

Are you Really Winning? invites artists to participate in this statewide campaign through the submission of artwork that will bring a powerful voice to problem gambling issues and motivate those afflicted with gambling addiction to seek help. Entries will be reviewed by a jury panel and three selected works will be publicly unveiled (via digital and/or print representation) at the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling Conference in May, and featured on the Are you Really Winning website and social media channels. As determined by the jury, a stipend of $2,500, $1,500, or $500 will be awarded to three selected artists, who are invited to attend the public unveiling and media event at the conference, which will be held on May 15-18 at the Double Tree Hilton Libertyville-Mundelein.

Importantly, the selected works will provide a platform for building a public art program that supports education about gambling addiction and recovery. 

Learn more at

Jury Information & Criteria:

The jury panel will review submissions and make selections based on the following criteria:

  • Compelling expression of subject matter pertaining to problem gambling or themes that communicate journeys of conflict, hope, and resolution. Emotive, non-representational work will also be considered.
  • Originality, creative use of material/technique, visual design, innovation, and aesthetic appeal.
  • Written statements about how artwork addresses problem gambling.

Chuck Benya is the Executive Director of Artspace 304, a multi-disciplinary creative hub and cultural space dedicated to providing access to the arts and supporting artists in Southern Illinois. Prior to joining Artspace 304, Benya worked for arts organizations across the United States, including the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, The Kings Arts Complex, and the Illinois Alliance for Arts Education. He has additionally served on the National Endowment for the Arts, Ohio Arts Council, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and Illinois Arts Council Agency grants panels, as well as numerous organizations and committees to strengthen arts funding, education, and policy. Benya’s extensive nonprofit experience includes over 20 years of human services leadership within Heartland Alliance, CARE USA, and Vital Bridges. His consulting service to former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and her Institute for Caregiving led to her blueprint for a national caregiving network. Other former clients include the ISS Center for Advancement of Science and Space, Eat Right, SOLV, and Michigan Community Service Commission.

Kathy Osler, ATR, LCPC, has been working as an art therapist in the mental health sector for more than 30 years, consistently developing new ways to utilize creative expression in her mental health practice. Osler provides art therapy, group art therapy, and opportunities for artists to connect with the greater art community in Chicago. In addition to her art therapy practice, Osler has curated exhibits and art installations for artists challenged with mental health issues to empower them and find strength in their recovery. In 2022, Osler was invited to serve as a panelist for Artist First Conversations, a symposium series at Chicago’s Cultural Center that addressed inclusivity for artists with disabilities.

Pablo Serrano is an artist and prolific muralist whose work is transforming public spaces across Chicago. Born in Chicago to Mexican immigrants, Serrano’s work is informed by democratic educational practices along with strong beliefs of social justice and equality for underserved communities. As an artist, educator, and music event organizer, he believes that every creative means possible should be used to find and make meaning in this complicated world. Serrano studied Graphic Design at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and received his Master of Arts in Teaching from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He has worked as a high school art teacher for Chicago Public Schools and is the founder of The People’s Stage Karaoke and co-founder of Kombi Chicago, which provides meaningful musical experiences to the Latino community of Chicago.

Application Requirements

Entry Information:

  • Entry is FREE. Upload submissions through CaFÉ submission management platform*. Artists must create a brief profile and login to submit an entry.
  • Submission deadline: April 19, 2023 midnight MST
  • Artist notification will be in late April.
  • Accepted mediums include: Drawing, illustration, painting, printmaking, photography, mixed media, collage, digital art, fiber art, textiles, glass art, ceramic art, assemblage, and sculpture.
  • All works submitted must be of your own original creation. Works by multiple artists or AI-generated works will not be accepted.
  • Artists may submit one entry, which can include up to three works.
  • Entry must include artwork(s) information (Title, medium, size, year of creation).
  • Entries must be submitted via high-quality photos in JPEG/JPG formats-Under 5MB. 1,200 pixels or greater on the longest side.
  • A brief written statement (300-word limit) about how artist work(s) address problem gambling must accompany the submission.
  • Selected artwork will be professionally photographed in advance of the media event and public unveiling. Artwork must be available and accessible for photography.

*Please note that CaFÉ is a third-party entry management platform. If you have any problems submitting and/or technical issues with the platform, including password resets, please contact CaFÉ support at: or 1-303-629-1166. Customer support hours are Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MST. Helpful troubleshooting information is also available on the CaFÉ website at:

Eligibility Criteria


Open call for emerging and professional artists from Illinois, ages 21 and over.