Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This document was written for Existing, New, and Potential New Members of AOM
Summary of Changes: October 2023 changed the name of the Spring Show to Spring Conference and revised categories, taking out specific skill levels and reducing the categories from 13 to 8.

Please read areas of interest printed in RED.

Dues, Member’s Spring Conference and other Benefits:
– (Palette Newsletter and Display your Artwork on our web page)A New Member attending the Spring Conference?
– Registration fees for AOM Spring Conference.
Other Information about the Spring Conference.
– Your artwork will be judged!
– See Exhibit Guidelines in the Spring Conf tab
and the spring Palette news too.
– Which Category do I enter?
Categories of Art
– Opaque
– Transparent
– Pastel, Drawing & Graphics
– Mixed Media
– 3D Art
– Master Division
– AOM Newcomer Division
– Exhibit Only Division
Recent works: How old can my art be?
What are original works?
Bringing your art to the Conference

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

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

Artists of

Dues, Member’s Spring Conference, 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 Conference
Artists of Minnesota holds one event per year called The Spring Conference. This weekend conference 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 Conference members are encouraged to submit two pieces of art for exhibit and for judging. Your paintings can be entered within several different medium categories. The art is judged (but not juried to enter) and ribbons are awarded for each category.

On Saturday the art exhibit 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 conference we offer educational opportunities including art demonstrations by artists. There is a membership meeting to discuss issues and interests important to the AOM. An Art Activity is offered and members can create artwork for a local cause. 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 exhibit 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 Conference 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 Conference. Attending just the membership meeting IS open to all paid members.

The Palette News, Artists of Minnesota’s members receive 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 Conference? AOM welcomes painters and sculptors of all levels. For some new members this may their FIRST conference and for MOST it is their FIRST Judged exhibit!

NOTE: Current (paid) AOM members are welcome to register and participate in the Spring Conference without displaying their art in the exhibit.

First you must be a Member (annual fee required). Then you must pay the additional Conference registration fee. Both can be done at the same time. See the Spring Conference tab to download the combined “Spring Conference Registration and Annual Membership Dues form”. 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 CONFERENCE 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 Conference Registration Form” you will provide all your contact information for Membership and the Conference. If you plan on showing your art, you will identify your Category # listed on the Exhibit Guidelines. 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 Conference. The source document for this information is the Spring Exhibit Guidelines. See the Conference Page to click and copy this year’s Guidelines. This FAQ is intended to expand, clarify, or supplement the official Spring Conference 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 in an exhibit. Those accepted would then be displayed, judged and awards given. OUR Spring Conference does not have a jury and is open to all members. Members may submit two pieces of completed artwork for display in our exhibit and be judged by a guest artist. The Judge may Award Individual Ribbons 1st place, 2nd place, 3rd place, and Merits. 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 exhibit favorite called the Peoples Choice.

Which category do I enter?  When registering to enter your artwork for display and judging at the Spring Conference, you will need to choose a category for your artwork. For example if you are displaying acrylic work, this category is #1; displaying transparent watercolor is category #2; A Newcomer displaying work regardless of media is category #7. PLEASE confirm these category numbers listed in the current Spring Exhibit Guidelines Document. See the Spring Conference page to click and download a copy of the Guidelines for this year’s Exhibit. See below for more information on each category.

Categories: See Spring Exhibit Guidelines. This FAQ is intended to expand, clarify, or supplement the official Spring Exhibit Guidelines NOT REPLACE IT. The Guidelines is the final document. Each year it will be published on the Spring Conference Tab on this website

#1.  Opaque Category (Oil, acrylic, gouache, tempera.)

#2. Transparent Category (Watercolor or acrylic used transparently.)

#3. Pastel, Drawing & Graphics Category (Pastel, ink, pencil, charcoal, crayon.)

#4. Mixed Media Category  (More than one medium, collage, 2D.)
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. Painting with surface texture would not be accepted in the transparent category.

#5.  3D Category (Sculptures and artwork with dominant painting elements on a 3D surface. Artwork that has 3D elements attached to a flat surface. Not allowed: pottery, jewelry, carvings, books, fabrics, or textiles without dominant painting elements.)

#6.  Master Division (Artists who have previously won either two “1st Place” awards or one “1st Place” and one “Best of Show” in other categories must move into the Master Division. Artists who consider themselves at the highest skill level should enter the Master Division. All media is judged together.

#7.  AOM Newcomer Division (Artists who are entering art to be judged for the first time can enter in the AOM Newcomer Division. They also have the option to enter categories 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 8 if they choose to. All media is judged together.

#8.  Exhibit Only Division (Entries will not be judged.)

Recent Works. Works must have been completed within the last three years. (Our Spring Conference 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 Conference
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 Conference shall not be liable for any damage or loss of work. (See entry form.)

Hanging Attachment Requirements.
  See Exhibit 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 Conference registration form.

For each entry we will need the following information. You may enter up to 2 pieces of art:
Title ___________     Price (incl. Sales Tax) $ ________Category # _____ Media_______
Name: ________ Cell Phone :_______ (NOT HOME # So we could contact you at the conference)
Address :________      City/Zip :_____    Email :_______

Where: See Spring Conference Tab on the web page for more info. Conference 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 Conference. 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 Conference Committee your paintings and they will hang them by category and size, etc, as they see appropriate.
When. For the Spring Conference you can bring your paintings and register them on Friday night or Saturday morning. See the Palette News or the Spring Conference page for the actual times. When the art exhibit is open there will be someone staffing the tables to help with questions. Conference volunteers will be monitoring 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 Conference. If unable to pick up your paintings at the end of the Conference, you must designate the person by name on the Conference Registration form. If an issue arises during the conference please see a volunteer at the Registration Table.
Can I sell my paintings or sculptures? Yes, on the Conference 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 guests. If the guests of a member wish to attend the demonstrations, they are welcome. Only members may enter their artwork into the exhibit. Guests of members are welcome to pay for and attend the banquet and meals with the member. Guests and the public are welcome to view the art exhibit when it is open. They may also vote for their overall exhibit favorites called the Peoples Choice Award.


 If you have any other question please email us directly.