Ends on November 13, 2017

2018 Arts Innovator Award

Due November 13, 2017 at midnight PST

The Artist Trust (AT) Arts Innovator Award (AIA) recognizes artists who demonstrate innovation in their art practice. This unrestricted award of $25,000 is given annually to two Washington State artists of any discipline who are originating new work, experimenting with new ideas, taking risks, and pushing the boundaries of their fields. 

Funding for the award is generously donated by the Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation. Dale recalls receiving grants that supported experimentation early in his career, adding credibility, opening doors, and enabling new connections for him as an artist. Today Dale remembers the importance of this support, and he and Leslie would like to help artists in a similar way. 

Download the 2018 Arts Innovator Award guidelines.

Who is Eligible 

The grant is open to individual artists and artist teams working in any discipline and residing in Washington State. Artist Trust will confirm applicant eligibility during the application process. Those wishing to apply as a team must contact Artist Trust to confirm eligibility. Applications made in the name of collectives, companies, large groups, or organizations will not be accepted.

Applicants must be:

  • 18 years of age or older by application deadline;
  • Washington State residents at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made February 2018);
  • Generative artists (those who are the originators of works of art) with a minimum of five years in professional art practice; and
  • Available for finalist interviews on January 18, 2018. Applicants who will not be interviewed as finalists will be notified on January 17, 2018.

Applicants may not be:

  • Recipients of more than one AT grant per calendar year;
  • Previous recipients of the James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award or Arts Innovator Award;
  • Current graduate or undergraduate matriculated students at the time of both application and payment (payment will be made February 2018);
  • Current AT staff, Board of Trustees, honorary committee, consultants, contractors, AIA panelists, or their family. 
  • Affiliated with Chihuly Studio, Dale and Leslie Chihuly Foundation, Portland Press, or family of Dale or Leslie Chihuly.


Support Programs:

  • Office Hours, October 3rd 2-5pm @ AT Office or via telephone. One-on-one consultations with AT staff about your application.
  • AIA 2018 Webinar, October 4th 12-1pm, online. Get an explanation of the award, hear helpful tips & tricks, and ask questions about AIA. (This webinar will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube).
  • Early Review Submission Deadline, October 16th by 11:59pm, via Submittable. Submit a draft of your application and check the box to request feedback. An AT staffer will provide a review of your application and reopen it for editing by November 3rd.

Contact Artist Trust:

  • with questions about application requirements, guidelines, eligibility, etc.; 
  • for any accessibility accommodations needed for you to complete the application;
  • if you need to access or edit a submitted application if it is still prior to the deadline of November 13, 2017.


Katy Hannigan // Program Manager
katy@artisttrust.org :: 206/467-8734 x25


Brian McGuigan // Program Director
brian@artisttrust.org ;; 206/467-8734 x23

Monday–Friday: 9:30am–5:00pm PST

Contact Submittable:

  • with website access issues;
  • for questions about uploading or formatting images;
  • with other technical support needs.

Ends on October 16, 2017

FEBRUARY 24, 2018

Please read INTRODUCTION, BENEFITS, AND TIMELINE for important details and dates before submitting below.


The Artist Trust Benefit Art Auction is an annual gala fundraiser bringing together artists, community members, collectors, donors, and friends to celebrate Artist Trust's mission of delivering financial grants and business practice support to individual artists of all disciplines in Washington State. Check out the auction website at www.artisttrustauction.org (more info will appear there soon) and the Facebook event here: www.facebook.com/events/1234572883335211/

Artist Trust invites visual and jewelry artists to submit up to three works to be considered for inclusion in the auction. Our aim is to present your best work. Artwork will be juried on the following criteria:
· Quality, originality, and currency of work
· Audience appeal and salability
· Size for ease of transport and installation
· $500 to $4,500 retail value

Artists are welcome to submit works outside these parameters - exceptions to be made on a case-by-case basis. A jury of accomplished collectors, gallerists, and curators will choose works. Recent jurors include: Tim Detweiler, Paula Stokes, Marita Dingus, Edie Adams, Stefano Catalani, Bryan Ohno, Sarah Traver, Chris Weber, Cathy Casteel, Miriam Works, Phen Huang, Francine Seders, Jonathan Wood, Deborah Paine, Mattie Iverson, and many more. Jury will be announced by September 30.

Artist Trust also accepts proposals of "Art Experience" packages, such as a portrait sitting, a studio tour or dinner, tickets to performances, or a home concert. Contact Kristina Goetz, Director of Development, to discuss your proposal: goetz@artisttrust.org.


· Visibility of your artwork, bio, and website to the auction jury 
· Visibility of your artwork, bio, and website to the auction audience on the auction website, in the auction catalog, and in-person at the event
· Social media and email promotion for selected works
· Guided curator tour of selected works on auction night
· One free artist ticket to attend the auction ($250 value includes seated dinner and all-night drinks) –OR– 20% commission on sold art and $50 artist ticket
· One $100 guest ticket ($250 value)
· Auction orientation and networking workshop/happy hour with Artist Trust staff
· A one-year Artist Trust membership ($45 value), which provides savings on Artist Trust business practice programs and discounts at regional arts businesses and museums: artisttrust.org/index.php/show-your-support/benefits
· Infinite gratitude from Artist Trust’s staff and board and the thousands of artists we serve each year!


· October 16, 2017 | Submission deadline
· November 1, 2017 | Jury meets
· November 7, 2017 | Selection notifications sent to artists
· January 26, 2018 | Drop-off and RSVP deadline
· February 7, 2018 | Workshop and happy hour
· February 24, 2018 | Auction


Artist Trust has invested over $10 million in Washington State artists since its founding in 1986, through grant programs and direct support. Artist Trust also provides a comprehensive suite of business practices training and resources to help artists achieve their career goals.

Artist Trust is a nonprofit dedicated to helping Washington State artists of all disciplines thrive. Find out more at www.artisttrust.org.


Emily Dennis, Annual Fund & Events Manager
emily@artisttrust.org | 206/467-8734 x16

Kristina Goetz, Director of Development
goetz@artisttrust.org | 206/467-8734 x21