Call Detail
Best of Tennessee Craft: 2021 Biennial
Tennessee Craft
PO Box 120066
Nashville, TN 37212

Contact Email:
Call Type: Exhibitions
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Tennessee
Entry Deadline: 6/1/21
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 3
Entry Fee (Best of Tennessee Craft: 2021 Biennal Entry Fee): $40.00

Tennessee Craft seeks entries for its Best of Tennessee Craft: 2021 Biennial exhibition, to encourage and promote a high standard of excellence and design among Tennessee craft artists and to provide public visibility and recognition for the quality and diversity of craft found in Tennessee. The exhibition is open to original works of craft created by artists 18 years or older, who are current residents of Tennessee, including students. 

Up to 75 pieces of artwork will be selected for this craft exhibition, hosted by the Tennessee State Museum, located in Nashville, Tennessee. Dates for the public exhibition are October 29, 2021 through February 20, 2022. A reception is planned; date and time will be announced.

Original artwork only. Any commercially made embellishments must be subordinate to the handcrafted work. Finished pieces must show a manipulation of the materials and originality in design to be eligible. For upcycled/recycled artwork, including jewelry, the finished pieces must show a manipulation of the materials and originality in design beyond the purchased or found components to be eligible. In addition, laser, CAD- or CNC-assisted works are not allowed unless the generated components are subordinate to the finished artwork. Artwork produced with commercial kits, molds, patterns, plans, prefabricated forms or other commercial methods are ineligible. Copyrighted designs not owned by the artist are not permitted.

Eligible craft include: basketry, clay, fiber/textile, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, paper, printmaking, sculpture, wood, other.

Basketry: Functional and sculptural works where the material used is woven or plaited.

Clay: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is clay. All original clay and porcelain work other than jewelry is accepted in this category. No machine-made or mass-produced work is permitted. Molds, if used, must be made by the artist and subordinate to the overall finished work.

Fiber/Textile: Wall hangings, quilts, rugs, wearable items, etc. where the primary material is fiber are to be entered in this category.

Glass: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is glass. No forms of mass production are permitted.

Jewelry: Work made from precious or semi-precious materials as well as other materials such as glass, ceramic, paper, fiber, wood, leather, polymer clay, etc. Any commercially made embellishments must be subordinate to the handcrafted work. No commercial casts, molds or production studio work is allowed.

Leather: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material used is leather.

Metal: Functional and sculptural work where the primary material is metal, and includes all non-sculptural, non-jewelry works crafted from metals. No production studio work is allowed. In addition, laser, CAD- or CNC-assisted works are not allowed unless the generated components are subordinate to the finished artwork.

Mixed Media: Work that is three-dimensional and the primary intention of the work is the union of two or more media. Note: Jewelry is not considered mixed media.

Paper: Functional and sculptural work created primarily from paper.

Printmaking: Printed works from which the artist's hand manipulated the plates, stones or screens and which have been properly signed and numbered as a limited edition, may be entered in this category.

Sculpture: Three-dimensional work using additive or subtractive processes substantially in a single medium. 

Wood: Functional, including furniture, and sculptural work where the primary material is wood. Original works must be hand-tooled, machine-worked, turned or carved.

Other: Work made from components which fall outside of media categories not previously listed. Examples might include, but not exclusive to, stone, musical instruments, brooms, kaleidoscopes.  Photography, painting and digital art are not eligible.

Artists may submit up to three (3) craft pieces for exhibit consideration. Each piece should be represented by one Hi-Res 300 dpi or greater image; no detail views or images depicting the same piece from multiple angles. The competition is open to all craft artists 18 years or older, who are current residents of Tennessee, including students. Work must be original, not previously exhibited at a Best of Tennessee Craft exhibition, and within generally accepted craft media. No person shall be excluded from entry on the grounds of race, national origin, sex, or disability.

Upon notification that a craft piece(s) is selected, you may be required to provide electronically to the Tennessee State Museum additional low-res images of 360 degrees of the piece(s); showing multiple angles and showing mounts/hanging hardware if applicable. Exact weight of each selected art piece will need to be provided.  Weight limit per art piece: 200 lbs per sq ft.

The Best of Tennessee Craft: 2021 Biennial exhibition will be juried by two art professionals experienced in the breadth and depth of craft art. The Guest Jurors will jury by submitted artwork piece and will select the works for the exhibition.  

Guest Jurors will select works to receive cash awards, including a $1,500 Best of Show from Tennessee Craft.

Jurying will be conducted solely from images submitted through  Notification to artists: July 1, 2021.

A single non-refundable fee of $40 ($35 for current Tennessee Craft members using coupon code "MBR21" at checkout) for up to three (3) works, payable by check, credit or debit card, must be included at the time of application at CaFE’.

All entry forms must be electronically submitted no later than 11:59pm MT June 01, 2021. Printed applications and/or mailed submissions will not be accepted.  

Artists will handle all sales.  The Tennessee State Museum will not be involved in financial transactions between artist and buyers. Potential buyers who inquire at the museum as to their interest in purchasing exhibited craft will be directed to the Tennessee Craft website where they will find the artist’s contact information, exhibited craft information, pricing and the contact information for Tennessee Craft.

Sold artwork must remain on display for the duration of the exhibit. If artwork is sold during the exhibition, the artist should notify the Tennessee State Museum in order for the Museum to update the temporary loan agreement to reflect the change in ownership. At the close of the exhibition, it is preferred that the artist continue to be the point of contact for returning the artwork. However, with proof of ownership in addition to the updated loan agreement, a buyer may make arrangements to pick up the artwork according to the guidelines in the “Transportation/Delivery” section below. 

Work must be ready to hang or display. The artist must furnish any special hanging or display devices, including a mount if it is necessary for display, or, if it is meant to hang, including hanging equipment (e.g. a measured slat with pre-attached Velcro).

Hanging pieces without hanging equipment (e.g., cleats/Velcro and corresponding slat/hanging rings, etc.) will not be displayed, or if there is available space, and at the Museum’s discretion, they may be laid flat. Artists should note any special handling or care of artwork on a separate sheet of paper, included in the shipping container with artwork.

Each artist is responsible for the cost of transporting artwork to and from the Museum as well as insurance while in transit to and from the Museum. Artwork may be shipped or hand-delivered. If shipped, all artwork must include an artist-provided prepaid return shipping label included in the shipped artwork at the time the work is received by the Museum. Note: FedEx is the shipping company of choice. All work must be packed in strong reusable containers.  For return or pickup, if shipped, Tennessee State Museum will complete a condition report, complete the Loan Agreement and ship work back to the artist.  If hand-delivered, artist must be present while the Tennessee State Museum completes a condition report at delivery and at pickup.

Neither Tennessee Craft nor the Tennessee State Museum will be responsible for breakage due to incorrect packing or inadequate containers. Artists will be notified immediately regarding work which arrives in damaged condition. Damaged work, or work that is damaged in transit, will not be exhibited and will be returned to the artist using the artist-provided shipping label. Alternatively, the artist may pick up the damaged work from the Museum in person.

If shipping, artists are responsible for checking with the shipper regarding insurance and correct packing procedures. All artwork shipped must include a prepaid return shipping label provided by the artist at the time the artwork is delivered to the Museum for the exhibit. Artists must pack all works in strong crates or containers that allow for materials to be reused. Additionally, please make certain that the package will NOT arrive at the Museum on the weekend when there is no certified staff on duty to receive it and take it to secure storage.

Ship to: 
Tennessee State Museum
505 Deaderick Street 
Nashville, TN 37243
ATTN: Sharon Osofsky, Registrarial Assistant
Tennessee State Museum

All work to be exhibited, whether hand-delivered or shipped to the Museum, must be received between September 1 through September 15.

Artists wishing to hand-deliver their artwork to the Museum at its address at 505 Deaderick Street, Nashville, TN 37243. They may do so between September 1 – September 15 on Mondays through Fridays by appointment. 

Appointments are scheduled Monday – Friday, 9am-4pm CT.

To make a reservation or for any specific hand-delivery instructions, contact registrarial assistant Sharon Osofsky at or 615-253-0137.

For any other questions, please contact curator Annabeth Hayes at or 615-532-6702. 

The Tennessee State Museum will use the same shipping/delivery method used by the artist for return of artwork, unless artwork has been sold and the artist makes other arrangements with the buyer and the Tennessee State Museum. Unsold artwork will be returned using shipping label(s) provided by the artist or may be picked up in person.

If picking up artwork, artists must make a reservation for pick-up between March 1, 2022 and March 15, 2022. Please contact Sharon Osofsky for a specific day and pick-up time. 

Final Note: If invited to exhibit, detailed artwork delivery-related information will be provided to each invited artist.

The Tennessee State Museum will fully insure the exhibit entries against physical loss or damage for the insurance value indicated. The work cannot be insured if no value is indicated. Coverage is from the time of receipt at the Museum until it is shipped out again after the exhibition. The policy contains the usual exclusions for loss or damage that occurs by any event beyond the control of Museum. During return shipment, the insurance regulations of your selected method of return will be in effect. The artist must provide any additional insurance if needed. Upon delivery of the artwork, the artist will also be asked to sign a temporary loan agreement and participate in condition reporting from the Tennessee State Museum. This date of this loan agreement will begin when the artwork is delivered to the Museum and last for the duration of the exhibition until it is picked up by the artist. If the art is being shipped, the loan agreement will have to be signed prior to shipping. If the art is being delivered by the artist, it can be signed upon the artist’s arrival to the museum. 

June 1, 2021 11:59pm MT: Deadline for receipt of entries
July 1, 2021: Notification of selection
September 1 – September 15, 2021: Receipt of selected work at the Tennessee State Museum
October 29, 2021 through February 20, 2022: Exhibition open to public
Reception to be announced
March 1 – March 15, 2022: Artwork pickup by appointment. Work may be returned to artist by the Tennessee State Museum, using artist-provided pre-paid shipping labels or may be picked up in person.

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