Call Detail
Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition for Painting 2023

Entry Deadline: 12/20/22
Application Closed

Entry Fee (Entry Fee): $35.00
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 8
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 5, Maximum:Max. 8
Call Type: Competitions
Eligibility: National
State: New York


Biennial Competition - Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition for Painting 2023

 Solo Exhibition: May 20 – June 29, 2023 and $7,500  is cash awards


Pelham Art Center Announces its 12th Biennial

About the Rutsch Award

Pelham Art Center is pleased to announce a call for entries for the 12th biennial Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition for Painting. This juried competition is open to U.S.-based artists aged 19 and older. The winner is awarded a $5,000 cash prize, a solo exhibition and printed catalog at Pelham Art Center and $2,500 is divided among the finalists. Pelham Art Center is proud to sponsor this competition and award honoring the memory and artistic achievement of artist Alexander Rutsch (1916 – 1997). Rutsch actively supported Pelham Art Center for more than 25 years. After his death, friends, family and supporters established a generous fund to support a biennial, open, juried competition in painting.  


The Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition program continues Rutsch’s belief that art transcends all of our humanity. Rutsch saw art as “the stone in the water sending ripples throughout the universe.” His extraordinary work, rich in the celebration of life and our shared human experiences, is included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.

Questions: contact 

Deadline for entries: December 19, 2022



All entries must be submitted through the CaFE website. Entries will be accepted starting August 1, 2022, through December 19, 2022.  Only U.S.-based artists, 19 years of age and older, are eligible to apply.


Entry Fee

$35 per applicant, for five images of available work. Pay by credit card through the secure online entry form. Payment must be made through the entry form. Entry fees are non-refundable.



Entry Receipt Deadline:  December 19, 2022 11:59pm MST (i.e. 1:59am EST, 12:59am CST, 10:59pm PST)


Finalists Notified: January 23rd  2023

Winner Notified March 6th, 2023

Exhibition Dates: May 18 - June 29 2023


Opening Reception & Award Presentation:  Saturday, May 18th from 6-8pm 



The prize winner will be awarded a solo exhibition at Pelham Art Center and a cash award of $5,000. The award finalists will also be receiving cash stipends totalling $2,500.



Submit five (5) digital painting images through the online entry form. Any images submitted MUST be available for possible exhibition.

·         File format: JPEG only

·         File dimensions: No smaller than 1200 pixels on the longest side

·         File resolution: 72 ppi/dpi (standard web resolution)

·         File size: 5 MB maximum


Work Size

Paintings must not exceed 84 x 84 inches.



Finalists will be contacted and required to submit an artist’s statement, résumé, and images of 20 additional available works.


About Alexander Rutsch

Alexander Rutsch was born in Vienna, Austria. After studying voice in Austria, he became an opera singer like his parents, but after WWII, Rutsch’s love for visual expression propelled him to change careers. He was a painter, sculptor, philosopher, musician, singer, and poet. His life as a romantic is reflected in his work, as he sought to perfect his soul and humanity. “I paint my dreams,” said Rutsch. “My dreams are color and life. They soar in my head like millions of symphonies. I can never stop building dreams.”

In 1952, after studying under Josef Dorowsky, Josef Hoffmann, and Herbert Boeckl at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Alexander Rutsch received a scholarship to study in France, where he made contacts and began collaborations with his contemporaries Picasso and Dali, among others. Rutsch said of his experiences with Picasso, “Picasso played a short but important moment in my life in Paris that affected my entire artistic future. I learned from him that it is not important if art is not aesthetically finished. It can be raw, uncooked, rough. If an artist feels he has said it – it is not important to polish or finish it. Because of Picasso, I learned that if I don’t feel the need to finish – I don’t have to.” In 1954, he exhibited his work at the Salon Artistique International de Saceux and won first prize for abstract painting, the first of many awards during his prolific career.

During the 13 years he lived in Paris, Rutsch exhibited in many prominent galleries there and throughout Europe. In 1958, the City of Paris awarded him with the prestigious Arts, Science and Letters Silver Medal. In 1966, Jean Desvilles presented his prize winning film “Le Monde de Rutsch” at the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Biennial.  In 1968, Rutsch moved to Pelham, New York, where he continued to work in his studio and exhibit in galleries and museums worldwide. 

Rutsch’s work, as seen through his mastery of various art forms – sculpture, painting, print-making, and drawing – has been described as “vibrating showers of lines, bold geometries, wounded anatomically rambling scrap-wood skeletons, enigmatic totem figures, and congregations of fetishized, domesticated, and recycled rubbish heaps [that] conspire to a fantasy of Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Fauvism, Cobra, and Primitivism.” His pieces, as described by Emily Genauer, impart silence and the monumentality of primitive statuary. His sculptures are stylized to abstract construction made of “found” objects, welded and reshaped into bronze figures and animals of uncommon wit, airy grace, and individuality. His portraits are crisp, intense, spare linear characterizations that convey empathy. Pelham Art Center is proud to sponsor a competition and award to honor the memory and artistic achievement of Alexander Rutsch. Visit to learn more.


Winners of the Biennial Rutsch Award:

2021 Award Winner: Matthew Cole

2019 Award Winner: Sarah McKenzie

2017 Award Winner: Sammy Chong

2015 Award Winner: Lindy Chambers

2013 Award Winner: Siobhan McBride

2011 Award Winner: Nina Rizzo

2009 Award Winner: Tracy Miller

2007 Award Winner: Liang Guo

2005 Award Winner: Dorothy Robinson

2003 Award Winner: Mitchell Marco

2001 Award Winner: Frank Trankina


About Pelham Art Center

Pelham Art Center is a non-profit educational and cultural institution committed to providing public access to see, study and experience the arts, foster lifelong arts appreciation and thereby strengthen the community.  The Art Center was founded in 1970 and now serves more than 16,000 people each year.


Must submit between 5 and 8 pieces of artwork.  All artwork submitted must be available for the exhibit in the event that you are the award winner 

Artists must be US Citizens. 19 Years of age or older,