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2022 Sacred Art Competition and Exhibition

Call for Entry:

Seeking the finest contemporary sacred art for an online juried exhibition hosted by the Catholic Art
Institute, with a world-wide audience and the opportunity to sell work, be featured on the

Catholic Art Institute website.

Grand Prize: $2500 in Memory of Sister Mary Paula Beierschmitt, I.H.M.

Second Place: $750, Third Place: $250


Submission for Entry Opens: July 18, 2022   Submission Deadline: Nov. 29th, 2022
Due to an overwhelming number of entries this year, the jurying process is taking longer than expected. We apologize for the delay but all entrants will be notifed when the winners and finalists are selected.

Notification Date: No later than Dec 15th


The Catholic Art Institute  wishes to recognize Sister Paula Beierschmitt, I.H.M., for her contributions to the Catholic arts.

Formerly Marianna Beierschmitt, Sr. Paula died on Sept. 28, 2013 in Mary Immaculate Convent, Philadelphia, in the 55th year of her religious life. She was 72 years old.

Born in Ashland, Pa., Sister Paula entered the Congregation of the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1958 from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish and professed her vows in 1961.

She taught school in various grades in up-state Pennsylvania and Philadelphia. In 1984 Sister Paula pursued further studies at various sites including the Barnes Foundation and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. She was commissioned by the Pallottine Fathers to sculpt a bust of their founder, St. Vincent Pallotti, for the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C.


For her IHM Community, she sculpted “The Handmaid” and “The Missionary,” a likeness of Father Louis Florent Gillet, the order’s founder. Sister Paula was the founder of the American Academy of the Sacred Arts in Philadelphia, a Catholic arts organization with a nearly identical mission as the Catholic Art Institute.

2022 Sacred Art Prize Jurors


opera del duomo 0001.jpg

Anthony Visco

As the founder and director of the Atelier for the Sacred Arts, Maestro Anthony Visco
offers his expertise in designing and fabrication of liturgical art as well offering his
classes and workshops to both groups and to individuals.

Upon graduation from the University of the Arts, he received Fulbright–Hayes Grant to
travel and study in Florence Italy, where he began his studies of the Florentine school of
art and architecture and their study of the classical. In 1975, he was awarded
the Elizabeth T. Greensheilds Grant for figurative sculpture and has received the
coveted Arthur Ross Award in both 1984 and again in 1996 for sculpture within a
classical architectural setting. In 2014, National Sculpture society awarded him the Henry
Hering Memorial Medal.

His many commissions include The Stations of the Cross at St. Joseph Church in
Philadelphia. At the request of His Eminence, Raymond Cardinal Burke he did the Via
Crucis in bronze relief for the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, WI where
he also made the large bronze Guardian Angel of the Unborn in the shrine’s memorial to
the unborn there. Visco’s sculptures, murals, and reliefs adorn the National Shrine of
Saint Rita of Cascia also in Philadelphia. His triptych reliefs at the Catherine Pew
Memorial Chapel in Bryn Mawr, PA along with his bronze doors for the Church of Saint
Stephan Martyr in Washington, D.C. are heralded as having resurrected the art of
pictorial relief both in the United States and Europe. In 2012 he completed the bronze
doors for Saint Stephan Martyr Church in Washington, DC.

His studio courses in both sculpture and mural painting evolve from experience and
knowledge of having studied classical art and architecture. Visco’s understanding of the
relationship of art and architecture serve the greater community is evident in all his
commissions as well as in his teaching methods of teaching classical figure composition,
mural painting, sculpture and relief. At the request of Madame Ambassador Callista
Gingrich, Visco’s work is currently on display at the Embassy of the United States to the
Holy See in Rome Italy.


Enter the Sacred Art Prize

Submissions Criteria:

Evident mastery of the artistic medium employed – meeting high standards in the fundamental facets of the artistic craft including mature competency in the use of the human figure.

Content – represents Biblical or Ecclesiastical subjects suitable for pious devotional and/or liturgical use while demonstrating knowledge and continuity of historical artistic practice in the Catholic tradition.

Subject Restrictions:

Media limited to representational painting, illumination, sculpture, printmaking, drawing, liturgical textiles, stained glass, mosaic and altar furnishings.

No photography, photorealism, or computer-generated art will be accepted.

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 the saints and their lives; current and historical events in the life of the Church; depictions of the seven sacraments; personifications of the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, virtues and vices, and so on.

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

This video presentation by Dr. Denis McNamara on Sacred Art is also helpful in understanding the correct approach for Christian subject matter and theological reasons for composing images of Christ, Our Lady and the saints ideally based upon centuries of successful interpretation.

Eligibility: This competition and exhibition is open to any artist over the age of 18, professional or amateur, of any religious background. All entries must be original, by the submitting artist, and created within in the past ten years.  Limit five entries per artist. Works need not be for sale to be eligible. Simply mark your submission NFS (not for sale).

If you have any questions about eligibility please email

Submission Process:

Fill out the entry form on the right hand side of this page and upload images that conform to the requirements listed below.

Upon submitting the form, please wait for the PayPal pop-up and prompt to pay for your submissions. You will receive a confirmation email from PayPal when your submissions have been received. If you have not received a confirmation email, then we did not receive your entries.

We are only able receive submissions electronically through PayPal and cannot accept wire transfers. If you wish to enter the competition from outside the US and cannot use PayPal, please email and we will do our best to find an alternative solution.

Submission Fees:


Members of the CAI: $25 for one entry. $35 for 2-3 entries, $10 per additional entry for a maximum of 5 entries.

Non-members: $45 for 1-3 entries, $15 per additional entry for a maximum of 5 entries

Image Requirements:

Each uploaded image label must be formatted to include your first name, last name, title of work, and number of the entry. E.g. JaneDoe_Anunciation__1.jpg

Please provide clear images large enough to view to show detail. Images should be around between 1-4 MB each, and not to exceed 25 MB for entire form entry.  Images should be in JPEG format. Large printable files that exceed 5MB will not upload correctly to the form.

We cannot assist participants in preparing their images but if you have questions, please feel free to email us at

Please include the following information under ‘Submission Details’ in the entry form:

Please include the following information for each image:

  • Artist’s full name

  • Title of work

  • Media

  • Price for sale or NFS

  • Dimensions in inches (height x width) or (height x width x depth)

  • Consent: I consent for my artwork images to be published on Catholic Art Institute social media platforms and website.*

  • If possible, please provide an image that does not have your signature visible.

*If written consent is omitted from the submission forms, we will assume you consent to allowing the Catholic Art Institute to display images of your work on the Catholic Art Institute website and social media accounts, if you are selected for the exhibition.

Jane Doe’s Submissions
1.The Annunciation, oil on canvas, $3000, 11 x 14”
2. Bust of St Francis, terracotta, NFS, 20 x 12 x 12”

“I consent for my artwork images to be published on Catholic Art Institute social media platforms and website.”

Artist’s Instagram account if applicable.


Sales and Shipping:


A 15% sales commission will go to the Catholic Art Institute on all sales. Please consider the 15% commission in the price of your work.


Artists are responsible for shipping their work to buyers, should it sell as a result of this online show. For the safe delivery of your work, we strongly recommend using an Airfloat Strongbox or Masterpak Titan Strongbox  for shipping your work to buyers.

The Catholic Art Institute is not responsible for loss or damage to the artwork while in transit.


Kathleen Carr

Kathleen Carr is an award-winning, classically trained painter, illustrator, and designer. She holds a BFA from the Maryland Institute College .


Her painting has received recognition from the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery in London, The Portrait Society of America, The Art Renewal Center Salon, The Salmagundi Club, The Butler Institute of American Art and many others.


She's an experienced web designer working for major media including Washington Post and National Geographic. 


In higher education, she worked as Design Program Head and taught in the undergraduate program at the Corcoran College of Art in Washington DC.

Her design and illustration work has been recognized by Communication Arts, Adobe, and Apple Quicktime.

She studied classical painting  with Scott Waddell, of Grand Central Atelier , Robert Liberace of the Art Student's League, and Dan Thompson of Studio Incamminati.


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