Call Detail
Unusual Views
Entry Deadline: Rolling

Entry Fee (Entry Fee): $50.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 2
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 1, Maximum:Max. 3
Call Type: Competitions
Eligibility: National
State: California

Best in Show $500.00
2nd Place $300.00
3rd Place $150.00
People’s Choice $300.00
Entrants are eligible for one award only.

Descanso Gardens is an urban retreat of year-round natural beauty, internationally renowned botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural displays. In 1953, Descanso founder E. Manchester Boddy preserved these 160 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral for future generations to experience the natural heritage and beauty of Southern California. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Descanso Gardens welcomed more than 500,000 visitors in 2017, from local members to international travelers. The Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens was created by restoring the original garage structure adjacent to the historic Boddy House. The building’s design, by the office of Frederick Fisher & Partners, Architects, Los Angeles, creates a composition of both the historic and the contemporary. Gallery hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Gallery admission is free with Gardens admission.

The curatorial mission of the Gallery is to connect the nature and purposes of Descanso Gardens with the art presented in the Gallery, and to offer visitors new ways to look at and think about the natural world as represented by this botanic garden and historical site. In February 2019, the Gallery will host a juried exhibition to which artists are invited to submit work.

Descanso Gardens is a familiar place for many. Parents who once brought their children here to experience nature are now bringing their grandchildren. But gardens change over time and changes are hard to see if they happen slowly. People also overlook the small details, or they might not notice the larger vista – there are many “unusual views” that are missed.

The Sturt Haaga Gallery invites artists to present a different way of looking. Garden landscapes tend to invoke images that reflect reality: trees, flowers and butterflies, etc. This competition is an opportunity for risk-taking, for trying something never attempted. Creatively, we encourage innovative use of media, a personal point of view, and avant-garde representations of the gardens.

Any genre and style is admissible but the key to the selection process will be that an artist will have uniquely interpreted, not simply represented, the garden. For “Unusual Views,” the jurors will be asked to give priority in their considerations to artworks that explore unconventional characteristics of Descanso Gardens and present an uncommon perspective.

“Unusual Views” is an open call for all artists, 18 years of age and older and art made with specific reference to gardens, although work specifically regarding Descanso Gardens will receive priority in the judges' consideration. All work must be original in concept and should have been completed within the last 2 years. Descanso Gardens reserves the right to refuse any work that differs from the work sample submitted. All entries must include a brief statement discussing how the work of art relates to the theme.


  • A non-refundable entry fee of $50 for up to three artworks must accompany each entry.
  • 50 percent discount for Descanso Gardens’ members.
  • Entry fee is non-refundable.
  • Fee is payable by credit card through or by check to Descanso Gardens, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011.

Descanso Gardens’ members receive a 50 percent discount on the artwork entry fee. Please contact the Membership Office for details at


  • Limit 3 original artworks in all media, styles and technique.
  • Only works not previously exhibited in any Sturt Haaga Gallery exhibit are eligible.
  • No artworks installed from the ceiling.
  • 2D works must be framed.
  • Works on canvas may be gallery-wrapped, strip-framed or framed. No unstretched canvas.
  • Size limits: 2D and low relief media no larger than 24” x 36” x 6” (depth), including frame. 3D work 24” x 24” x 12” (height).
  • 2D works must arrive with traditional hanging hardware (D rings, wire or French cleats) in place. The Sturt Haaga Gallery uses hooks and nails to hang artwork. We will not nail or tack an artwork directly to a wall, nor use Velcro, glue or any other substance to apply the artwork directly to the wall. No loose Plexiglas that is clipped or nailed to the wall. No sawtooth hangers or keyhole mounts will be accepted.
  • The Gallery owns a very limited number of pedestals and will provide them for display of 3D work until the inventory is exhausted.
  • If the 3D artwork is odd-sized, heavy or requires a specifically sized pedestal, the Artist must plan on providing that pedestal. The provided pedestal must be at least 18 inches tall.
  • 3D work that does not sit flat/level on a pedestal will not be accepted.
  • 2D artwork will be hung in the Gallery salon-style.
  • Works that require electricity will not be accepted.

All work must be original, designed and created by the artist applicant and must be ready for exhibition. All 2D and low relief media will be considered. Most artworks selected will need to be wall mounted, although there is limited space for 3D pedestal mounted works. All artworks must remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Artists are responsible for transportation of artwork to and from the Gallery. All art made with specific reference to Descanso Gardens will receive priority in the judges’ consideration. Please state in the artist statement if the work was inspired by Descanso Gardens. Video or digital work must be accompanied by a suitable wall-mountable monitor, which can play DVDs or computer files from a thumb drive. Video should be appropriate for a roving gallery audience, rather than a theater screening. Sound may be experienced only with headphones. Submissions that do not comply with rules of entry will not be presented to the jurors. Artwork selected for exhibition that are not accurately depicted by JPEGs will be refused or will not be exhibited at the artistic director’s discretion. Work must be available from January 20 – June 18, 2019.

Learn more about Descanso Gardens: Learn more about the Sturt Haaga Gallery:

At the conclusion of the show, artwork may be picked up on Friday, June 14 or Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 12:00 to 4:00 pm, unless other arrangements have been made. Artists who wish to have their artwork shipped back to them must provide prepaid return shipping labels, including any desired insurance.

Artists must arrange return shipping with their local UPS/FedEx/USPS or other shipping office at the close of the exhibition. Shipping insurance each way is the responsibility of the artist. The Gallery will not accept monies for shipping and is not responsible for works lost, stolen, or damaged once picked up by the shipper.

Artists may include the return label with the shipment of the work to the Gallery or provide the Gallery with a prepaid label by the last day of the exhibition. Art will be packed the day after the exhibition closes.

Due to the lack of available storage, artworks not picked up by the deadline become the property of the Sturt Haaga Gallery. We appreciate your understanding of the need for timely pickup of artworks.

December 1, 2018 

Dec 1                                     Entry deadline
Dec 5                                     Jury process begins
Dec 17                                   Artist notification of results
Jan 27 & 28, 2019                 Artwork received by Gallery, noon to 4:00pm
Feb 10                                   Opening reception and awards presentation, 3 to 5:00pm
Jun 9                                      Exhibition close
Jun 14th & Jun 15th               Art pick-up, noon to 4:00pm


  • All works submitted for this exhibition must be available for the exhibit dates.
  • All artwork must have a sale price or be marked NSF (not for sale). If NSF, please provide an insurance value. If no insurance value is provided, the artwork will NOT be insured while at Descanso Gardens.
  • No works marked “price on request” will be accepted.
  • Artwork prices may not be changed once submitted.
  • The Sturt Haaga Gallery does not broker a sale of exhibition artwork. If interest is expressed, the Gallery will provide the artist’s email to the prospective buyer. The artist is responsible for delivering the artwork to the buyer.
  • Every reasonable precaution will be taken to ensure protection and careful handling of artwork. Sturt Haaga Gallery will insure loaned objects for the stated value while on Descanso Gardens’ property. The artist is responsible for insurance during transit.

Application Requirements

Eligibility Criteria