Call Detail
Entry Deadline: 10/13/23
Days remaining to deadline: 129
Number of Applications Allowed: 3
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 5
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 1
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 3, Maximum:Max. 6
Call Type: Exhibitions
Eligibility: International
State: Texas
Event Dates: 12/16/23 - 12/17/23
Jury Dates: 10/16/23 - 10/30/23

For its third exhibition, Crѐche Festival Houston will observe the 800th anniversary of Saint Francis of Assisi introducing the nativity scene to the vast cycle of Christmas customs. Our observance is inviting artists to submit work which explores, depicts, or interprets Christ’s nativity for the juried and judged exhibition: Hands of the People of any media using various and alternative materials.

The exhibition may be viewed in-person, as well as, for a longer time-period online. In addition to cash prizes being awarded, the selected artists may choose to participate in an online auction of their work.


Rev. Johann Roten, S.M. – International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton

The Rev. Johann Roten, S.M., is an internationally recognized scholar and authority on Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Father Roten is familiar with how faith and the church intersect in different cultures and countries, in dimensions ranging from the political to the artistic. This knowledge has deepened his special interest for how artists throughout the world use alternative materials and interpret the birth of Christ and express their faith and cultural perspective in the form of nativities, also called crèches. Father Roten has authored books and writings on the crèche, as well as developed workshops on crèche art.


A Grand Prize in the cash amount of $1,000.00 will be awarded.

Two additional cash prizes in the amount of $500.00 each will be awarded; one for creativity and one for best use of Christian liturgical symbolism/imagery.

Additional ribbons will be awarded for specific Honorable Mention recognition.

Prizes will be announced at an evening artist reception (attendance encouraged, not required) on December 15.

Site of Exhibition

The Festival’s exhibition will be in the Parish Hall on the Rice Village campus of Christ the King Lutheran Church on December 16 & 17, 2023, located at 2353 Rice Boulevard in Houston, Texas. Christ the King Lutheran Church is a welcoming and inclusive community nourished by Christ in vibrant worship and committed to God’s mission of love and service especially to the oppressed and to the poor.

The exhibition Hands of the People: A Crѐche Festival will also be available for viewing online.

Online Auction

Artists selected for the exhibition may choose to participate in the festival’s online auction selling their work. The artist will receive 80% of the sale proceeds and Crѐche Festival Houston will retain 20% of sale proceeds to benefit Bright Stars of Bethlehem (, a program supported by Christ the King Lutheran Church (Houston) in Bethlehem, Palestine. Sales tax is applied. The online auction will open for bidding December 15 and close December 17, 2023.

Important Dates:

Submit application and photographic images by October 13, 2023.

Artists will be notified of selection/non-selection of work by November 3, 2023.

Selected artwork is to be shipped to Crѐche Festival Houston by November 9, 2023, or hand-delivered on November 18, 2023.

Reception for artists and announcement of prize winners (attendance encouraged but not required) December 15, 2023.

Hands of the People: A Crѐche Festival is Saturday, December 16 & Sunday, December 17, 2023.

Online Auction closes 7:00 p.m., December 17, 2023.

Date for in-person pick-up of work not sold in auction and requested to be returned December 18, 2023.

Shipping of artwork not sold in auction and requested to be returned December 19, 2023.

Questions and requests for additional information:

Email –

Crèche Festival Houston is an all-volunteer organized and executed project which began in November 2021. The project produces an annual exhibition displaying the diversity of crèche art from around the world. The project presents a different exhibition each year; its initial exhibition, Finding Bethlehem (2021), followed by Crafting Tradition (2022). Crèche Festival Houston has a presence in social media on Facebook (Creche Festival Houston) and Instagram (creche_festival_houston). Please join - like us - and share with your network.


Click here for a brief history and evolution of the Christmas Nativity:

Other resources:

Biblical account of Christ’s Nativity from The Gospel According to Saint Luke:

Biblical account of Visitation by the Wise Men from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew:

There is no fee for entering artwork to be considered for this exhibition. 

Submission Guidelines

Each application should contain images on one piece of art only. Applicants may submit up to 5 images of the same piece per application. Applicants who wish to submit more than one artwork must do so via a separate application for each artwork. A maximum of 3 applications are allowed per applicant. 

This is a global call for entries open to all (individuals and collectives). All media are accepted.

There is no fee for submitting artwork for consideration in this exhibition. Work will be selected from photographic images.

Submitted original 2D and 3D work must have been made since January 2020, complete and presentation ready, and has not been previously exhibited or produced for sale.

Work should include at least Mary, mother of Jesus and the Christ child.

Subject matter must be family-friendly, specifically no nudes or partial nudity, gore, violence, or obscenity in words or depictions in the artwork or the title.

The maximum size for 2D artwork is 48”W X 48”H and these dimensions include the frame. The 2D artwork is not to exceed 20lbs. An artwork that is gallery-wrapped must be at least one-inch thick, and the sides must be painted. Non-gallery wrapped artwork must be framed and be within the maximum size noted above. 2D artwork will be exhibited on easels. 

3D artwork is not to exceed 20lbs., must be self-supportive. Installation must be simple to assemble.

Time Media (video or audio) have no length restrictions. Submit links to streaming (YouTube or Vimeo). Artists will be required to provide audio-visual equipment with selected time-based works.

No elements of artwork should require hanging or the use of wires for installation.

Crѐche Festival Houston will remove from consideration an artwork outside any part of these guidelines and specifications prior to the judge’s online review.

Handling and shipping costs of selected artwork to the exhibition is the sole responsibility of the artist. Selected artwork may be delivered in person to a Houston location (to be provided later) on November 18, 2023. 

Questions and requests for additional information:

Email –