Call for Artists – 2020 Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour

 Submit on or before February 28, 2020

$15.00 USD per entry to submit; Two maximum submissions per year

The Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour in conjunction with the Ravalli County Museum is currently seeking Montana artist proposals.  Winning and honorable mention artworks will be featured in the Museum from April to June 2020.  The Winning artist will receive a $250 cash award and postcard-sized copies of the winning art will be included in the gift bag given to 300 ticket holders.

If you’d like to enter the 2020 Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour Art competition:

Ravalli County Museum, 205 Bedford Street, Hamilton, MT  59840.  406.363.3338

Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour – Saturday, July 18, 2020

Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour Art Competition Rules

Prize: $250.00 cash will be awarded to the artist for the winning submission. Winning and honorable mention artworks will be featured in the Museums’ lobby April to June 30, 2020.

Eligibility: Artists who are residents in the state of Montana are eligible to enter the competition. Exceptions to entry are Secret Garden Club members and Museum staff or their immediate family members.

Theme: Artwork should be representative of the appealing nature of gardens and gardening as places and spaces for beauty, solace, and creativity. The Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour recognizes that gardens are personal statements reflecting the passions and creativity of their gardeners. They may be places of refuge and retreat or active environments that invite engagement. The gardens featured in the tour should exhibit those qualities as well as an artful mix of design, rich color palettes, texture, and contrast, creative and inspiring use of plants, art, and hardscaping. Submissions should be reflective of this narrative with a focus on use of color, composition, texture and contrast to excite interest in the tour.

Specifications: Original, two-dimensional artwork submission(s) may be created in any fine arts medium (paintings, drawings, collage, photography, etc.). The submitted artwork must have been completed within the last five years and not have been previously published or reproduced. The artwork may be portrait or landscape orientation; minimum size 8”w x 10”h inches and maximum size of 18”w x 24”h. Computer clip art, subject matter copied from magazines, and other copyrighted images will not be accepted.

Criteria: Artwork will be evaluated for creativity, style, composition, technique and skill with a focus on use of color, composition, texture and contrast to excite interest in the tour. Reproducibility and broad appeal will also be considerations. (Please note: Postcards will be 4” x 6”.)

Entry: For first round, digital files of the artwork will be reviewed by the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour art competition sub-committee. All submissions must be well photographed or scanned. Work not suitably photographed or scanned will not be considered. The first round will end with a list of finalists. Finalists will be requested to submit original artwork for judging in the final round to the Ravalli County Museum. All original artwork will be available for artists to retrieve from the Museum. (Winning entries will be held by the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour with artists’ permission until the April 1 through June 30, 2020 exhibit ends.

Deadline for Pickup of art is July 1, 2020.  After July 3, 2020 the art becomes property of the Museum unless other arrangements have been made.

Jury: Finalist entries will be evaluated by a juried panel selected by the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour subcommittee. 

Round 1 Submissions: Only digital copies of artwork (photographs or scans) submitted through the Ravalli County Museum’s website ( will be accepted. We will accept two submissions per artist this year. Submit one (1) piece of work at a time: one (1) digital photo of the full piece and up to three (3) additional detail photos for a maximum of four (4) photos.

Please format your images as follows:

  • File format: JPEG only
  • File size: 10 MB maximum
  • Name submission files with artist’s name, last name first, artwork title, and image number.  For example: Doe-Jane_Art-Title_01.jpg, Doe-Jane_Art-Title_02.jpg.
  • Please ensure that the image is in correct viewing orientation. 

Round 1 Entry Period: Digital submissions accepted online beginning 12:01 AM Mountain on Sunday, January 12, 2020 until 11:59 PM Mountain on Friday, February 28, 2020.

Round 2 Submissions: Round 1 finalists will be contacted by Wednesday, March 4, 2020 and asked to submit original artwork for final judging. Two-dimensional art must be framed, wired, and ready to hang. All artwork must be labeled and securely packaged.

Round 2 Entry Period (by invitation only): Original submissions will be accepted Friday, March 6 to Thursday, March 12, 2020.  Drop-off location and hours will be provided to finalists.

Notification: The winning submission and honorable mention artists will be notified by email or telephone on or before Friday, March 20, 2020.

A public announcement and press release will be made by March 31, 2020.

Use of image: Winning artwork remains the property of the artist, with permission granted to the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour entity to be used for publicity purposes, including marketing materials. Original artwork will not be altered in any way; however, the Garden Committee reserves the right to modify art reproduction during design of marketing materials. Artist retains the right to use photographs of the artwork in his or her portfolio or website. Proceeds benefit the Ravalli County Museum.

If the artist chooses to donate the original artwork to the Museum, it will be auctioned at a later date.  All funds will be donated to the Museum

Liability: All work will be handled with the utmost care. However, the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour does not carry insurance for artists’ work and will not be responsible for loss or damage. Entering the competition implies your consent for the Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour to use your name and images of your art for publicity purposes, in print or online.

Disclaimer: The artist, by submitting an application, agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless The Bitterroot Secret Garden Tour and the Ravalli County Museum from and against any and all claims, demands or expenses (including attorney fees) for libel, slander, invasion of privacy, infringement of copyright, personal injury, damages, or any other claims, demands or expenses resulting from the artist’s performance in connection with this agreement. The Garden Tour and the Museum is not responsible for any costs associated with submission of artwork or its return to artist.

If you consent to these Terms & Conditions and would like to submit your artwork for consideration, complete an entry form.

Please contact Nancy Bevins, Assistant Executive Director with further questions. or (406) 363-3338