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Ekphrastic Celebration

Purple Urchin


An Art Exhibition
Ekphrastic Poetry Competition


In the Purple Urchin Online Gallery

Poetry Submissions for 2022 open until June 13

The art gallery for the 2022 Ekphrastic Celebration is now live!


Poetry submissions now closed!

We are seeking poetry submissions for the Ekphrastic Celebration, where poets craft a poem about a visual image they select from the gallery. This competition is open to NAC members and non-members.

Ekphrastic Poems may include literal descriptions of a work of art, the poet´s mood in response to a work of art, metaphorical associations inspired by a work of art, or personal memories triggered by a work of art.

Two accomplished poets will judge and select the winning entries.


Phase 1: Artwork selection

The NAC Board of Directors’ Selection Committee will choose up to twenty-five works of art for this exhibition.

Art submissions open: April 11
Art submissions close: May 10
Exhibition opens: May 20

Phase 2: Poets respond to the artwork

Once open, poets may submit a poem responding to the artwork of their choice from the exhibition.

Poetry submissions open: May 23
Poetry submissions close: June 13

Phase 3: Judging and Prizes:

Two local judges will select the top four poems, and the NAC will award prizes to poets and artists whose artworks were chosen by a poet.

Closing Ceremony: July 9

There is no requirement for the top poems to be about different artworks.

  • Poetry first place: $350, associated artwork: $300
  • Poetry second place: $250, associated artwork: $200
  • Poetry third place: $150, associated artwork: $100
  • Poetry fourth place and associated artwork: certificate of honourable mention

General Rules and Procedures

  • The entry for visual artists and poets is $10, non-refundable.
  • Only one entry per person is allowed.
  • Individuals may enter as artists or as poets but not as both.
  • Artists and poets must be aged 19 and above.

Art Submission Rules and Procedures

  • The quality of the photos is one factor in selecting artworks for the exhibition. Please review the Guidelines for submission procedures, photography tips, and other details and requirements.
  • You may sell your art. There is a 30% commission on sales through the site. Packaging and delivery costs are not included in the sale price and must be arranged between purchaser and artist.

Poetry Submission Rules and Procedures

  • Poems must not exceed 30 lines.
  • Poems must be original, previously unpublished and about work in this exhibition.


Your privacy is assured, as NAC will only use your personal information for the purposes of this contest. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.


You retain the copyright to your work. You agree to give Nanaimo Arts Council a nonexclusive license to publish your work online and in electronic media such as our newsletter by entering this contest.

Employees and Board members of the Nanaimo Arts Council are not eligible to enter this competition.




Hanging Date: October 15, 2020
Time: 10:00 am
Location: Port Theatre

We are excited to announce that the Art around Town show at the Port Theatre is now open for registration!

  • Art Around Town is open only to Nanaimo Art Council members

  • Renew your membership at https://www.nanaimoartscouncil.ca/join

  • This exhibit is 2-D work only and will show for approximately 3 months

  • Work will be juried by the Hanging Committee on the day of hanging

  • Work must be for sale. Commission is 30%

  • Due to space limitations, outside dimensions must be NO LARGER THAN 36 inches in the longest dimension

  • All work must be hanging ready, appropriately framed or finished with braided-wire hangers and the artist name, medium, title of work, and price firmly affixed to the back of the art

  • Space is limited so only one piece per artist will be hung

Entrants are required to register before October 12 using the form below.
Note that registration is necessary. Due to space limitations, we will limit the number of entries to 25.  Those not pre-registered will not have their work accepted.