The Annual International Competition is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in the United States. The Print Center is particularly interested in highlighting local, national and international artists who utilize photography and printmaking in intriguing ways, both in content and process.

Any artist using Photography and/or Printmaking as critical components in their work can enter. Artists whose work pushes the boundaries of traditional photographic and printmaking practices are encouraged to enter.


About the Jurors

Keliy Anderson-Staley’s work was first introduced to The Print Center through our 84th Annual International Competition. Subsequently, her work has been included in two exhibitions at The Print Center: Stalking the Wild Asparagus (2011) and By the Book: New Photography Publications (2016). Her photographs have also been exhibited at the Akron Museum of Art; Bronx Museum of Art; Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; California Museum of Photography, Riverside; and Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC. Her work is in the collections of Cedar Rapids Museum of Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Portland Museum of Art, ME; and Library of Congress, Washington, DC. Anderson-Staley book of tintype portraits, On a Wet Bough, was published in 2014 by Waltz Books. She lives in Houston, where she is Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media at the University of Houston. She is represented by Catherine Edelman Gallery, Chicago.


Katherine Ware is Curator of Photography at the New Mexico Museum of Art in Santa Fe, where she has organized exhibitions including the yearlong Focus on Photography series and the exhibition, book and website Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment. She was invited to serve as curator for Art Photo Index’s inaugural online exhibition and is a frequent juror and reviewer of work by living artists. Ware has written essays on contemporary photographers and is most interested in work that uses mediums inventively and challenges their boundaries.


Keliy Anderson-Staley's practice is diverse, but she is best known for using the wet plate collodion process to shoot tintype and ambrotype portraits and landscape. She is preparing for upcoming exhibitions of her work at Vincennes University, Vincennes, IN and George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Houston. Anderson-Staley is also working on a major public art project with funding from the Houston Arts Alliance and the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, which will be unveiled in 2018.

We asked her about her commitment to historical photographic processes:

"It's interesting that new art forms don't replace old. There are artists making work in every form of print that has ever been practiced. Artists have always made use of whatever media and tools are available, and I don't think our moment is any different in that regard. The fact that a process is traditional or historic certainly does not mean that artists who use it aren't making relevant or contemporary work. In a lot of cases the history implicit in a particular art form makes it a powerful vehicle for comment on our current culture. And, of course, digital media and "analog" printing methods are not pursued in discrete bubbles - developments in one inform developments in the other. It also amazes me that after centuries of print history and nearly 200 years of photography, so much experimentation and originality is still possible."

Anderson-Staley's work is also notable for how it results in striking objects that are difficult to reproduce. We asked her thoughts on the relationship between image and object.

"I am very interested in conceptual art forms and in works that only exist in digital form, but there is something to be said for engaging with an artwork as a physical object. Whether it is produced by hand or mechanical means, once an image has been printed on paper, it becomes something we can interact with physically - touch (or at least look at its texture), look at it closely or from far away. A print is also an artist's final say on the presentation of an image. Even with a digital image that has been carefully prepared for presentation on a screen, as a viewer, I can adjust brightness or crop it or zoom in or change the way I experience it as a final product."

Katherine Ware's work as a curator has included projects that have explored the possibilities of photography in both experimental and traditional ways, often linked to topics of current urgency, for example Earth Now: American Photographers and the Environment, with its accompanying book and website.

We asked Ware to discuss the continued relevance of print in our digital age:

"The fact that we see so many images on a screen now is a big change in the field. One of the issues with that is the inability to see the image precisely as the artist intended or imagined it. The printed image is something that has almost always passed through the artist's hand and been released into the world. I think that is still a tremendously resonant gesture, that even when a press or a printer is involved it is from the hand of the artist to you, the viewer. Phone screens are small enough to be hand-held, but I think it is a different experience, there is a remove to it. So the print, the object, the thing, holds our attention in a different way."

Ware emphasizes the importance of both process and content when she is looking at new work.

"I am deeply interested in how medium and content interact to create meaning in a work of art. The images that excite me -- whether made with one medium or a mix - incorporate materials and techniques in a way that is integral to the overall communication."

Ware's museum, The New Mexico Museum of Art, is one hundred years old this autumn and is planning a big celebration for November 25th, when they will launch three new exhibitions.

"In working on this project, it's been interesting to reflect on New Mexico as a place for innovation and experimentation. I was attracted to come here by the work of artists who work primarily with printmaking and photography but have incorporated elements of other mediums in their work to amplify meaning and expression. That quality is one of the strengths of the museum's collection and we enjoy seeing work that successfully brings together those elements."



November 14, 2017, 11:59pm (EST)


Entry Information

Entries are accepted online only. Click here to apply

Click here to download the Prospectus as a pdf


Entry Fee - $45

Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover cards are accepted.



Any artist using photography and/or printmaking as critical components in their work can enter. Work submitted must have been completed in the last three years. Up to five images may be submitted and only one submission per person is allowed.

Accepted formats:

Images: Up to 5 MB/each: jpg, png, gif

Videos: Up to 250 MB/each: mov, wmv, flv, mp4

Each uploaded file must be labeled with Title, Date, Medium (e.g. etching, inkjet, gelatin silver, lithograph) and Size (paper size, video duration or installation size).

TR Ericsson: Jeanne, 2017, Installation view, one of three solo exhibition winners of the 91st Annual International Competition. Photo: Jaime Alvarez


Jeffrey Dell: Sightings, 2017, Installation view, one of the three solo exhibition winners of the 90th Annual International Competition. Photo: Jaime Alvarez


Serena Perrone: Fata Morgana, 2017, Installation view, one of three solo exhibition winners of the 91st Annual International Competition. Photo: Jaime Alvarez


Awards + Prizes

Three solo exhibitions at The Print Center to be held May - August 2018; inclusion in online exhibition of portfolios; The Stinnett Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection Award; Michener Art Museum Photography Patrons Circle Purchase Prize; and over $2,000 in other purchase, cash and material prizes, including a new prize from the Awagami Factory, Japan.


Online Exhibition

An online exhibition of the Finalists and Semifinalists selected by the jurors will be mounted on The Print Center’s website. This will be comprised of the images submitted to Slideroom by those artists as part of their application, as well as biographical information and links to the artists’ own websites. Finalists will have more extensive entries on the site, including additional images (Finalists will be contacted by The Print Center to obtain additional information and images).


Solo Exhibitions

Three artists will be selected from the Finalists to receive solo exhibitions May - August 2018 at The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA. These artists will receive a $200 honorarium (pending funding, especially for international artists, this amount could be larger). Artists are responsible for delivering or shipping their work to and from The Print Center and all related costs, including framing when appropriate. The Print Center will install and de-install work and promote the exhibitions through a press release, mailed announcement cards, website, email newsletter and other social media outlets.


The Stinnett Philadelphia Museum of Art Collection Award

Selected by the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, one work will be accessioned into the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Permanent Collection.


Michener Art Museum Photography Patrons Circle Purchase Prize

Selected by the Curatorial Department of the Michener Art Museum, one photograph by an American artist will be accessioned into the Museum’s Permanent Collection, with a preference for photography representing the Mid-Atlantic region.


Click here for a floor plan of The Print Center.


Entry Deadline: 11:59 PM (eastern time), November 14, 2017

Notification (by email): January 31, 2018

Solo Exhibitions: May – August 2018

Online Exhibition: Begins May 2018



If artworks are available for sale, The Print Center will facilitate those transactions for the solo and online exhibitions of the Competition. The Print Center will receive a 50% commission on works sold. The Print Center will pay the artist’s commission within 90 days of the close of the sale. Payment will be made by check and will include a statement listing work sold and the purchaser (if available).



The Print Center is not responsible for damage to work during shipping or delivery, although care in handling onsite can be assured. Works will be insured against fire and theft while on The Print Center’s premises.


About The Print Center

In 2016 The Print Center began its second century of encouraging the growth and understanding of photography and printmaking as vital contemporary arts through exhibitions, publications and educational programs. An international voice in print, The Print Center presents a variety of programs for the public including exhibitions; an extensive series of educational programs and special events; the longest running Annual International Competition for photographs and prints in the country; and The Print Center Gallery Store, which offers the largest and most diverse selection of contemporary prints and photographs in Philadelphia.


Contact Information

Please direct questions relating to the competition to: John Caperton, Jensen Bryan Curator,

For technical questions contact Slideroom at

Click here for more information about The Print Center's Annual International Competition and its history.