7th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts 

Competiton and Exhibition

Summer/Fall 2018

Elizabeth Lev, Ph.D. Juror 



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Best-of-show $1,000
Second Place $750
Third Place $500
Four Juror Mentions: $250 each


The Biennial Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Competition and Exhibition was established in 2001 by the late Br. Nathan Cochran, O.S.B. His untiring pursuit to cultivate and revive the Sacred Arts was the catalyst for the creation of this Competition and Exhibition. Br. Nathan wanted to give artists who engage Catholic subject matter an opportunity to dialogue with the Church and pastors in the hope of creating new, original artworks for churches and liturgical spaces. For the third Competition and Exhibition, famed British art historian Sister Wendy Beckett served as judge. She praised Br. Nathan's endeavors, noting that, “Artists often come to understand their faith by the actual creation of artworks. We need these artworks, these attempts by artists known or unknown, to share with us their understanding of what it means to be a Christian. Would that there were hundreds of Brother Nathans in all countries!”

Since its inception, the Competition and Exhibition has received national attention and has blossomed with global interest, spurring submissions and artworks for exhibition from South America to all across Europe. The competition has worked to foster a relationship between artists working in the Catholic Arts.

World-renowned and acclaimed jurors working in the areas of sacred art and art history have brought their expertise to the Competition and Exhibition. Past jurors include: Dr. Frima Fox Hofrichter, an art historian specializing in Baroque and Rococo; Duncan G. Stroik, an architect and professor working in classical and sacred architecture; Sr. Wendy Beckett, an art historian and BBC personality; Dr. John T. Spike, an expert in Renaissance and Baroque art who directs and curates the Muscarelle Museum of Art at the College of William and Mary; Janet McKenzie, an artist working in sacred art; and Dr. Denis R. McNamara, an architectural historian specializing in the theology of liturgical art at the Liturgical Institute at the University of Saint Mary on the Lake, Mundelein.


2018 Juror

Elizabeth Lev, Ph.D., is an American-born art historian who specializes in Christian art and architecture, Baroque painting and sculpture, and High Renaissance art. She is a Professor of Art and Architecture for the Italian campuses of Christendom College and Duquesne University, and a licensed guide for the city of Rome and the Vatican Museums. Dr. Lev holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Bologna.

She has served as a Vatican analyst for NBC and has appeared on The Today Show, Nightline, and 60 Minutes. Dr. Lev has taught and lectured in numerous international venues including an address at the United Nations in New York entitled, “An Evening with Raphael: Raphael’s Art and Human Dignity,” and a TED talk representing the Vatican Museums entitled, “The Unheard Story of the Sistine Chapel.” She has been featured in History television’s Museum Secrets, Brad Meltzer’s Decoded, and as the host of Catholic Canvas, a 10-part series on the art of the Vatican Museums, which aired on EWTN. Dr. Lev serves as a consultant on art and faith for the Vatican Museums, and has authored the documentary “Vatican Treasures: Art and Faith, along with an accompanying course on the history of the museums for Vatican guides. She has served as a keynote speaker for Notre Dame University’s Center for Ethics where she is a Permanent Research Fellow.

Dr. Lev is the author of numerous articles on art that have appeared in First Things, Sacerdos, Inside the Vatican, the College Art Association, The Sacred Art Journal, Magnificat, and Zenit. Her most recent series of articles have appeared online on Aleteia. She is the author of three books: The Tigress of Forli: Renaissance Italy’s Most Courageous and Notorious Countess, Caterina Riario Sforza de’ Medici (Mariner Books, 2012), Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches with George Weigel (Basic Books, 2013), and A Body for Glory: Theology of the Body in the Papal Collections with Fr. Jose Granados (Musei Vaticani Publications, 2017).


Statement of Purpose

This juried competition and exhibition primarily seeks to foster the arts of the Western Christian tradition; however, other artistic traditions of Christian subject matter will be considered.

Subject Restrictions

Artworks must be iconographically recognizable and appropriate for liturgical use, public devotion, or private devotion.

Subjects sought (but not limited to) include scenes from the life, passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; other biblical scenes, stories and characters; depictions of saints and their lives; current and historical events in the life of the Church; depictions of the seven sacraments; personifications of the corporal works of mercy, virtues and vices, and so on.

Modernization of the subject is acceptable (e.g. Caravaggio’s The Calling of Saint Matthew, which depicts Christ in biblical clothing but those around Him in the contemporary dress of the artist’s times). Ethnic acculturation is also acceptable; thus, works portraying Christ as an African, Asian or other ethnicity are welcome for jurying.

Subjects which will not be considered include portrayals of noncanonized persons as saints; portraits of clergy or religious; works which are only recognizably religious from their titles; and scenes of the exterior or interior of churches (unless the work is illustrating an important religious/historical event or the administration of the sacraments).


Entry Deadline: August 3, 2018 (Now Closed)
Notification Sent By: September 7, 2018
Accepted Works Received: Week of October 8-12, 2018
Opening/Prize Reception: Sunday, October 28, 2018
Dates of Exhibition: October 30-December 2, 2018
Works Returned:Week of December 10-14, 2018



Eligibility: This competition and exhibition is open to any artist, professional or amateur and of any religious background, who is age 21 years or older. All entries must be original, by the submitting artist and created within the past five years. Previously submitted works are ineligible.

Media and Sizes: Entries may be in any media and style which respect the subject matter. Total weight of each work should not exceed 500 pounds and each must be able to fit through a 54” wide x 83” high doorway.

Installation Requirements: All two-dimensional entries must be suitably framed and wired for hanging. All accepted works must be ready to install and be able to hang or stand securely.

Shipping and Insurance: The artist is responsible for shipping accepted works to and from The Saint Vincent Gallery, as well as insurance while the work is in transit. While the works are in the possession of The Saint Vincent Gallery they will be insured against theft and destruction. All due care will be taken by The Saint Vincent Gallery, but it cannot be held liable for damage which may occur due to poor packaging, poor framing techniques or inadequately balanced sculptures. For those accepted artists who might live locally and wish to deliver and pick up their submissions in person, appointment times can be arranged.

Time Period Works Needed: All accepted works must be shipped or delivered to The Saint Vincent Gallery during the week of October 8-12, 2018. They will remain in the possession of the Gallery until the conclusion of the exhibition on December 3, 2018, and may not be removed before. Unless sold, works will be returned or available for pickup during the week of December 10-14, 2018.

Sale of Works: Artists are encouraged to sell their works. If a work is sold at the exhibition, The Saint Vincent Gallery will retain 20% of the purchase price for facilitating the sale.

Entry Fee: There is a non-refundable $35 entry fee per submitting artist which entitles the artist to submit up to four works. Checks should be made payable to The Saint Vincent Gallery.

Entry Deadline: Entries must be postmarked by August 3, 2018 or electronically submitted by August 3, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Notifcation of acceptance or non-acceptance to the exhibition will be postally mailed by September 7, 2018.



For Additional Information:

catholic.arts@stvincent.edu  | 724-805-2107


The Saint Vincent Gallery at Saint Vincent College | 300 Fraser Purchase Road | Latrobe, PA 15650-2690
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