Call Detail
Are You Really Winning? Public Art Competition for Problem Gambling Awareness
Entry Deadline: 4/4/24
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

Are You Really Winning?  Public Art Competition for Problem Gambling Awareness

To bring attention to a statewide educational campaign addressing problem gambling, Illinois-based artists ages 14 and up, are called to shine a light on the journey from darkness to hope for individuals challenged with gambling addiction.

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 provide ways to prevent losing it all to gambling. The call to action drives people to and to the helpline at 1.800.GAMBLER. 

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 professional jury and stipends of $2,000, $1,000 and $500 will be awarded to selected emerging and/or established artists. Additionally, Visa gift cards of $100 will be awarded for up to five artists in the Student category. Selected artwork will be unveiled at the Illinois Council on Problem Gambling conference in June 2024, and will be featured in several public exhibits throughout the state. Learn more at


The professional jury 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 statement about how artwork addresses problem gambling

Application Requirements

  • Entry is FREE. Upload submissions through CaFÉ submission management platform. *Artists must create a brief profile and login to submit an entry.
  • Submission deadline is March 31, 2024 midnight CST.
  • Artist notification will be in Spring 2024.
  • Open call for emerging and professional artists, ages 14 and up from Illinois.
  • High school students are encouraged to submit and will be juried in the student category.
  • Work by multiple artists, AI-generated works, and artwork with trademarked imagery will not be accepted.
  • All art mediums 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).
  • Photo submissions of all media types will be accepted.
  • 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 (200-word limit) about how artwork addresses problem gambling must accompany the submission.
  • Selected artwork will be unveiled at an event in Spring 2024 and will be part of a public exhibit.

Professional Jury:

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. 

Elizabeth Thielen is a Senior Director and Licensed Professional Counselor and Problem and Compulsive Gambling Counselor at Nicasa Behavioral Health Services in Lake County, Illinois, with over 20 years in the addictions field. 

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. 

Pablo Serrano is an educator, artist and prolific muralist whose work and passion for social justice and equality for all, is transforming public spaces across Chicago.  

*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, ages 14 and up from Illinois