Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This document was written for Existing, New, and Potential New Members of AOM
Summary of Changes: Dec 2019 removed extra requirements on 3D category, Mar 2019, Updated this years Show Guidelines, 16 Dec 2018, Changes removed the fall meeting.
Rewrote the Annual Spring Show Info section to align with our New Member’s web page.
Clarification to Membership, AOM Welcomes Painters and Sculptors of all Levels
Other topics of continued interest: We created a new 3D Category in 2018. See what defines 2D vs. 3D

Please read areas of interest printed in RED.

Dues, Member’s Spring Show and other Benefits:
(Newsletter and your Artwork on our web page)

A New Member attending the Spring Show?
Registration fees for AOM Spring Show
Other Information about the Spring Show.
Your artwork will be judged!
See Show Guidelines
Which Categories do I enter?
See Skill level and Category of Art
Skill levels

Super Gold
Exhibit Only
Category of Art
Pastel, Drawing & Graphics
Mixed Media
Examples of 2D & 3D Art
3D Art (or 3D Painting)
Recent works: How old can my art be?
What are original works?
Bringing your art to the show

Size Requirements, Hanging Attachment
and labeling your art.
Where and When Show details

Can’t drop off or pick up my paintings?
Can I sell my paintings?
Guests of Members

Artists of

Dues, Member’s Spring Show, and other Benefits:

The fiscal year for Artists of Minnesota (AOM) runs from January through December. Membership dues are $25/year. AOM welcomes painters and sculptors of all levels.

Annual Spring Show.
Artists of Minnesota holds one event per year called The Spring Show. This weekend show is held in different locations throughout the state.

We gather as fellow artists of all skill levels and artistic experience from different communities around the State. It is a wonderful opportunity to: 1. display art for our fellow members and the public; 2. learn from artist demos; 3. find out what’s going on from groups in other parts of the state; 4. meet with old friends and make new ones. Many other social and learning opportunities complete the event.

For the Show, members are encouraged to submit two pieces of art for display and for judging. Your paintings can be entered within several different medium categories. Categories may be divided by skill level, such as beginner, intermediate, and advanced. The art is judged (but not juried to enter) and ribbons are awarded for each category and level, depending upon the number of entries.

On Saturday the show is open to members and the public who both have the chance to vote for their favorite art work. During unscheduled time, you can view art displayed and have the opportunity to catch up with old friends and meet other artists to discuss shared interests and techniques. As part of the show we offer educational opportunities including art demonstrations by artists. There is a membership meeting to discuss issues and interests important to the AOM. Local tours may be available Saturday afternoon. A banquet is held Saturday evening during which the judge presents the awards. Sunday offers time for the show judge’s demonstration and the opportunity for the judge to offer personal critiques of entered art for those interested (time permitting). It is a fun and learning filled weekend!

Attending and participating in the Spring Show requires a registration fee, see below. The Annual Membership dues alone does not allow access to demonstrations, or to enter artwork for display, judging, or critique at the Spring Show. Attending just the membership meeting IS open to all paid members.

The Palette News, Artists of Minnesota’s members receive approximately 4 issues of the newsletter per year. Our newsletter keeps members connected throughout the year with news, updated events, changes, artistic tips, etc.

Display your Artwork. As a member you have the opportunity to display a sample of your artwork free on our website.

See Membership page for application forms 
What do I need to know as a new member attending the Spring Show? AOM welcomes painters and sculptors of all levels.  For some new members this may be their FIRST show and for MOST it is their FIRST Judged show!

First you must be a Member (annual fee required). Then you must pay the additional Show registration fee. Both can be done at the same time. See the Spring Show tab to download the “Spring Show Registration and Annual Membership Dues forms”. Registration allows the member to participate in showing two pieces of their art, have it judged, and attend the workshops/demos and the Membership Meetings etc.. See more about the SHOW below. (Annual Membership alone does not allow access to demos and to participate in showing your work.) NOTE: Non-paid guests are not included in the member’s benefits. See more on Guests below.

On the “Spring Show Registration Form” you will provide all your contact information for Membership and the Show. If you plan on showing your art, you will identify your Category # listed on the Show Guidelines. This number indicates your artistic skill level and the medium of art you are submitting. If you wish to sell your work you will need to enter the price. (more on that in Sell My Paintings below) also see Categories below for more information.

Other information about the Spring Show. The source document for this information is the Spring Show Guidelines. See the Show Page to click and copy this years Guidelines
This FAQ is intended to expand, clarify, or supplement the official Spring Show Guidelines NOT REPLACE IT. The Guidelines is the final official document.

Your art work will be judged but not Juried.  Many art shows have participants submit their art (mostly photos) to a jury ahead of time to determine if their art work would qualify to be shown at a show. Those accepted would be then be displayed, judged and awards given. Our Spring Show does not have a jury and is open to all members. Members may submit two pieces of completed artwork for display in our show and be judged by a guest artist. The Judge may Award Individual Ribbons (blue-1st place, red-2nd place and green-Merits) based on each skill level and the numbers entered in each category (see info on Skill and Categories below). The judge will also award the Best of Show Ribbon. In addition AOM members vote for their favorite (Members Choice Awards) in each category and the AOM members and public can vote for their overall show favorite called the Barton Award (aka Peoples Choice).

Which category do I enter?  When registering to enter your artwork for display and judging at the spring show, the skill and specific media categories are combined and given a designated category number. For example if you are Intermediate and displaying acrylic work, this category is #1; Advanced displaying transparent watercolor is category #4; Beginner displaying work regardless of media is category #12. PLEASE confirm these category numbers listed in the current Spring Show Guidelines Document. See the Spring Show page to click and download a copy of the Guidelines for this year’s Show. See below for more information on each skill category and description of media categories.

Categories: See Spring Show Guidelines. This FAQ is intended to expand, clarify, or supplement the official Spring Show Guidelines NOT REPLACE IT. The Guidelines is the final document.

The Artists of Minnesota is an organization open to painters and sculptors of all levels. We define categories so as to group artists with like skill levels. See the Artists of Minnesota’s Purpose Statement on the Home Page.
Beginner Category.  The Beginner Category is intended for artists whose work is at the “beginner level” regardless of the medium/media used (very hard to define!!!). The AOM welcomes artists at every level. For some new members this may be their FIRST time they have shown their work and for ALL new members it is their FIRST judged show!  If you have been painting for a number of years and have had your own named show displaying your art, you are not a beginner.  If you teach art at any level you are not a beginner (see Intermediate or Advanced Categories). If you sell your paintings to the general public you are not a beginner. If you are a new AOM member and have only been part of group art shows then you might be a beginner. You might qualify as a beginner if you have been working on your art for several years but now feel you are ready to show and have your work judged. Welcome!! You can ONLY be in the Beginner Category FOR ONE Spring Show. If you don’t show your paintings your first year of membership you can enter your first Spring show as a beginner, if you still qualify as a beginner.

You are welcome to be an AOM Member, register for the Show and attend the demos and meetings without showing your art.

Intermediate Category. If you have participated in the AOM show in the Beginner Category you are now Intermediate. If you have had your own named show you are at least Intermediate or Advanced. If you are new to the AOM and have painting skills above that of a beginner you are at least Intermediate. A member can participate in Intermediate category until they receive two ribbons (Blue or Red or Best in Show) from the show Judge in the Intermediate Level, the member must then move to the Advanced Level. (Ribbons not counted for advancement are Yellow for Member’s Choice for your category, Green for Merit, or White for the Barton Award, aka People’s Choice Award for the show.) If a member chooses they can enter any higher level without winning ribbons.
Advanced Category. This level is for new or existing AOM members who have advanced artistic skills. Included are members who received any two qualifying ribbons in the Intermediate Category (See Intermediate Category above). You might be Advanced if you have had your own named show. Advanced members who are awarded TWO BLUE RIBBONS OR ONE BLUE in Advanced category and a BEST of SHOW from any previous show must move to the Super Gold division or to Professional if appropriate.

The Super Gold and Professional categories are AOM’s most skillful and accomplished artists! The distinction between the two is a Pro member is doing art as a profession, to make or try to make a living and the Super Gold is doing art as an avocation, a hobby or for the love of it. Making money involving your art as an avocation does not automatically make you a professional. If you have been awarded signature status in any national or equal artist’s society or highly awarded level of achievement, you will be a Professional or Super Gold.

Super Gold: This is the highest Category for our Non-Professional members!! These include recipients who have won TWO BLUE RIBBONS in the Advanced Category, OR ONE BLUE in Advanced category and a BEST of SHOW from any previous show. New members who feel they are at this skill level can choose to compete in Super Gold. If you have competed in SG in the past and have now become a “Professional” through your art, you must move to the Professional category.

Professional: We are honored to have several professional artists as members. Artists who compete in the professional category do so because they choose to or they make or try to make a living mainly or entirely through their art. Members who occasionally are paid for teaching art are not necessarily professionals, unless they choose to be.

Exhibit Only: Not judged. This category is often used by our professional judges, demo artists, or guests. It is for those who are not members and are displaying their works for our pleasure. It is also for Members whose art does not fit into one of our judged categories.

Media Category Details: NOTE: If there are less than ten entries (paintings) in a category that category MAY be combined with another category. This gives the Board and Show Committee some discretion to decide based on numbers in different categories.

Opaque Intermediate and Advanced (oil, acrylic, gouache, tempera, etc.)
Transparent Intermediate and Advanced (watercolor, acrylic used as watercolor)
Transparent Mediums are primarily transparent, meaning you can see through the pigment to the surface of the paper.  Use of cadmium, other opaque watercolors, or water mediums, or pen and ink are permissible but should be kept to a minimum. If watercolor, or acrylics are primarily used opaquely, or with any surface texture then this piece would be in the Opaque Category. If you use different mediums in your painting it would be entered in Mixed Media.
Pastel, Drawing & Graphics Intermediate and Advanced (pastel, ink, graphite or other colored pencil, charcoal, crayon)
Mixed Media Intermediate and Advanced, (more than one medium, dimensional, collage) paintings are on a flat substrate. Note, attaching 3D materials such as wood, rock, beads, feathers, etc. onto a flat substrate painting would be entered in the 3D category.

Beginner. All media judged together.
3D. All media judged together.
Super Gold. All media judged together.
Professional. All media judged together.
Exhibit Only. Entries will not be judged.

Three Dimensional (3D). New Category Spring 2018.
What are examples of 2D painting with texture and 3D art?  Examples of 2D art with surface texture: Paintings on a FLAT substrate or surface. Collage on a flat surface with texture or paintings with thick paint and surface texture. These may be entered in Beginner, Mixed Media, Opaque, Pastel, Super Gold, or Professional as appropriate. Painting with surface texture would not be accepted in the transparent category.
Examples of 3D Art. Sculptures are 3D. Also, artwork with a dominate painting element on a 3D surfaces such as paintings on feathers, driftwood, bark, chairs, or painting or glazing artwork onto bowls or ceramics. Attaching 3D materials such as wood, rock, beads, feathers, etc. onto a flat substrate painting would also be considered in the 3D category. Also included in the 3D category are sculptures (dominate painting elements not required). Not included is pottery, jewelry, carvings, fabrics or textiles. Items without dominate painting elements.
Recent Works. Works must have been completed within the last three years. (Our Spring Show is in May 20XX minus 3 years) It can be works that you have shown in other shows, just not the AOM shows.
Original Works. A statement must be signed by the artist stating that the entry is the artist’s own work. (See entry form.) The work cannot be one that you did in a workshop or with another artist where the instructor had significant influence or a hand in your painting. You cannot copy another artist’s work or use a photo without permission. For example, you can not copy a reference photo of a painting and call it your own.
Bringing My Art to the Show
Size Requirements.  There is a maximum dimension of 32″ x 40″ to be hung by the AOM. For larger pieces the artist must bring their own easels or support. If your artwork is of an unusual size or shape please contact the to give them a heads-up so they can plan accordingly. A statement must be signed by the artist stating that Artists of Minnesota and others involved with the Spring Show shall not be liable for any damage or loss of work. (See entry form.)

Hanging Attachment Requirements.
  See Show Guidelines. For the security of your paintings we REQUIRE all framed work to have wire for hanging. No sawtooth metal hangers. Paintings not complying will not be displayed. Plexiglass is the preferred glazing material. Artists using glass will be responsible for any breakage/damage to paintings or injury to others or objects marred or ruined by broken glass.

Label your paintings with this information (taped on the back). We don’t want any painting misplaced or lost.  You can type or write this info or get this from the Palette News or the show registration form.

Entry #1 (and #2, attach to back of each piece of art)
Title ___________     Price (incl. Sales Tax) $ ________Category # _____ Media_______
Name: ________ Cell Phone :_______ (NOT HOME # So we could contact you at the show)
Address :________      City/Zip :_____    Email :_______

Where: See Spring Show Tab on the web page for more info. Show location will typically be in a banquet room at the host hotel or venue. Look for signs at the venue directing you to the Artists of Minnesota Spring Show. When open, expect tables staffed by volunteers who will provide you a packet of information, schedule of event, name tags etc. They are there to help you and try to answer your questions. You will give the Show Committee your paintings and they will hang them by category and size, etc, as they see appropriate.
When. For the Spring Show you can bring your paintings and register them on Friday night or Saturday morning. Typically  8-10: am. See the Palette News or the Spring Show page for the actual times. When the art exhibit is open there will be someone staffing the tables to help with questions. Show volunteers will be watching the art exhibit for security. If not the doors will be secured.

What if I can’t be there to drop off my paintings or I can’t be there to pick them up? Anyone can drop off your paintings as long as you are registered for the Show. If unable to pick up your paintings at the end of the Show, you must designate the person by name on the Show Registration form. If an issue arises during the show please see a volunteer at the Registration Table.
Can I sell my paintings or sculptures? Yes, on the Show Registration Form you will note how much. (Price must include MN sales tax) You can also identify that the buyer needs to contact you (SA – See Artist    or    NFS – Not for Sale).
Guests: Members may bring non-members as a guests. They are welcome to view the free show as is the public.  If the guest wishes to attend the demos they must pay the show registration fee plus meals as appropriate. Only members can enter their artwork into the show. The registration fee helps cover the cost of show. Guests can not vote at the Membership meeting.

Non-paid guests are welcome to view the art exhibit when it is open. They are welcome to pay for and attend the banquet or lunches with a member.

 If you have any other question please email us directly.