October National

The October National is a celebration of originality and craftsmanship in any visual art medium.  Artists from across the country are invited to share in this annual exhibition staged in the Anne Lloyd Gallery of the Madden Arts Center in Decatur, IL.  For many years now the Come Together, Be Empowered organization (previously RACE for the Cure) has partnered with us to present an award for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For Breast Cancer Awareness month, we celebrate and honor those who have been touched by breast cancer in some way whether or not they, themselves, are the survivor. Artists are encouraged to enter work & check the box that their entry is for cancer awareness. Those entries will be recognized at the reception.

Judge – Michael Miller
Associate Professor of Art at the University of Illinois Springfield


$400 Best of Show
$300 1st Place
$200 2nd Place
$100 3rd Place
$100 People’s Choice awarded at end of show

Eligibility & Application

October National is open to all artists 18 years old or over.  Entries must be of original design.  No giclee or other mechanical reproductions are allowed.  Work must be executed within the last two years.

All media accepted. Wall-hung or 2D artwork must be framed or gallery wrapped, wired, ready to hang, and not exceed 60 inches wide or 96 inches high. 3D artwork must be self-standing or fit on a 36×36 inch pedestal. All artwork must be able to be handled by one person. No work can be suspended from the ceiling or attached to the wall. Any accessories needed for display must be included. Pedestals provided by gallery. The gallery reserves the right to install accepted works in a manner deemed necessary for exhibition and/or security reasons.

We reserve the right to reject any work not conforming to submitted image or requirements.

Entry Procedure & Fees

Please download the October National Prospectus Here.

Application deadline for entering the October National is July 7, 2023.

Artwork juried by photographs or jpeg/pdf file on CD, by email or online through CAFÉ (callforentry.org). $30 for up to 3 pieces. 2 images per piece may be submitted. This may include a 2nd angle or detail. Photos/files of accepted work will become part of the
Gallery’s permanent collection unless SASE is included.


  1. Name, address, telephone & email
  2. Photos or jpeg/pdf files labeled with artist’s name, dimensions of work, and an entry number
  3. Completed entry form. You may use additional paper for description/technique information if needed.
  4. Signed General Release
  5. Nonrefundable Entry fee payable to Gallery 510 ($30)

Delivery/Return of Artwork

Accepted work may be hand delivered or shipped. Artwork is due at Gallery 510 by September 22, 2023. Hand-delivered work accepted during regular business hours. Tues – Fri 11-5. Communication will be by email when possible.

Please attach identification label to the back of the work. List artist’s name, title of work and medium.

Enclose return delivery costs and address label or FedEx / UPS prepaid shipping label along with instructions for repacking. No loose packing materials please, i.e. peanuts, etc. unless they are enclosed in a sealed bag. Crates must be simple to open and reseal. Weight & size must be able to be handled by one person. Indicate value for return shipping insurance if not waived.


A 50% commission will be taken on work sold.

2023 Calendar

July 7 Postmarked deadline for application
August 7 Notification emailed/letters sent
September 22 Artwork due at Gallery 510
October 6 Opening reception, 5 pm to 7 pm at Madden Arts Center Anne Lloyd Gallery
October 26 Exhibit Closes at 4:30 p.m.
October 27 Hand-delivered work pick-up
9 am to 1 pm Anne Lloyd Gallery
1 to 5 pm on Friday at Gallery 510 Art & Framing, 160 E. Main St., Decatur
November 15 Shipped work returned by this date.


This program is sponsored in part by the Decatur Area Arts Council, the Illinois Humanities and a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

2022 October National Winners

On Friday, October 7, 2022, Jenny Chi from Eastern Illinois University judged the October National and $1200 in awards were presented to the winners. The exhibit will be on display at the Anne Lloyd Gallery in Decatur through October 22, 2022.

Receiving awards were:

Casey Wilen and painting, Firebox

Best of Show: Casey Wilen (Decatur) for his oil painting, “Firebox”

First Place 2D: Alex Paradowski (Granite City, IL) for “Body Language”
Second Place 2D: Jeanette Hammerstein (Bloomington, IN) for “When the Buttons Are Holding Me Together”
Third Place 2D Karl Stagel (Fairbury, IL ) for “Doppled Light & Murano Glass”

First Place 3D Samuel Tucker (Argenta, IL) for “Galaxy Five”
Second Place 3D Ole Boyer (Philadelphia, PA) for “Mammorium”
Third Place 3D Sharon Cahn (Seastapol, CA) “Joomchi Felted Coat & Hat”

This year there were 41 artists exhibiting 49 artworks in a variety of mediums. Paintings in oil, pastel, acrylic and watercolor were represented. There were also works in photography & digital art, fabric, wood, ceramics, jewelry and sculpture.

Fifteen different states were represented with 21 artists from Illinois. California, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Texas.

Many thanks to the Illinois Arts Council Agency and the Decatur Area Arts Council for their support of this program. Thanks also to our Program Coordinator, Carol Kessler, for the many hours it takes to pull this show together.