Call for Entry: The National Cherry Blossom Festival

By Editorial Team on January 12, 2021

Deadline: Fri, 22 January 2021


Courtesy of The National Cherry Blossom Festival Art in Bloom.
Deadline: January 22, 2021 at 5PM EST

Apply here:

For more information Click HERE

IT’S BLOOM TIME… and they need your help (but mostly your creativity) to get giant cherry blossoms ready to hit the streets! The National Cherry Blossom Festival (NCBF) invites you to be among the select group of artists that will make these giant blossom sculptures flourish across Washington, DC in Spring 2021.

Art in Bloom is a unique and exciting project wishing to reveal the whimsical and imaginative sides of the Festival and our Nation’s Capital. NCBF has “cultivated” 25 cherry blossom sculptures (Sculptures) and is seeking local and national artists to submit creative designs for these icons. The Sculptures will be installed at various sites throughout the Washington, DC area from March 20th, and will be on display at least until the end of April 2021. The exhibition will culminate with a Blossom Auction with proceeds from the sale of Sculptures supporting NCBF programs and community initiatives. NCBF is a 501(c (3) not-forprofit organization dedicated to promoting the beauty of nature and international friendship through programs, events, and educational initiatives that enhance our environment, showcase arts and culture, and build community spirit.

Art in Bloom presented by Amazon is a premier “event” of the 2021 National Cherry Blossom Festival, and is committed to making public art accessible, to city-wide engagement, and to positive (and FUN!) artist and viewer experiences. Thanks for your consideration and we look forward to receiving your design(s)!

The Selection Committee seeks artwork that is dynamic and encourages discovery. The viewing audience will include metro-DC residents and visitors of all ages and backgrounds. The finished artwork must be durable, safe, and require minimal maintenance.

IMPORTANT: Your design must be original and creative and may not include direct advertising of any kind (companies, products, or services), or include religious, political, or sexual themes or that show social disrespect. Please read the following information in its entirety.

KEY DATES (subject to change)

  • Application Submission Period: Through Friday, January 22, 2021
  • Artist Notification of Selection: February 8-10, 2021
  • Blank Sculpture Pick-up (if relevant): February 12-16, 2021
  • Artist Painting Period: February 16-March 11, 2021
  • Deadline for/Return of Finished Sculptures: Friday, March 12, 2021
  • Finished Sculpture Installation by NCBF: March 13-March 18, 2021

The fiberglass and steel sculptures will stand 5 ft tall x 4 ft 11 inches long. You may paint or decorate the Sculpture as is, or apply or create appendages that add to the basic form of the Sculpture. If you choose to embellish the Sculpture, you must make that clear in your application. Decorative embellishments or appendages must withstand human weight, tugging, and surface abrasions.

The blank Sculptures come primed and once completed, you will apply a UV sealant to ensure durability for the 2-3 month “display” period. You should use exterior grade latex paint to apply your design; acrylic paint works for smaller areas. Do NOT use oil-based paints as the UV sealant is not compatible with them. NCBF will provide you with additional information about design materials if your design is selected for the project.

TO NOTE: Completed Sculptures will be placed in areas fully accessible to the public and outdoors so your design(s) should be created keeping durability and public safety in mind. Please consider carefully weather and elements of nature and human behavior, such as sun, rain, wind, dirt, and vandalism. While NCBF will install and remove the completed Sculptures, you should remain available for any possible touch-up work that may be required during the display period and prior to the Auction.

Artists in all disciplines may submit applications for the Art in Bloom project.

You may submit up to three (3) different designs, and each must be on the official giant cherry blossom design template provided in these Call For Artists materials (Attachments A-D). The Selection Committee, representing diverse arts expertise, will review the submissions and select the artists who will create a Sculpture. All designs are subject to the Selection Committee’s decision.

If you are selected, you will sign a contract with NCBF for the Art in Bloom project (Artist Agreement) under which you will be awarded a $1,000 honorarium to cover the cost of your materials, supplies, and other related expenses.

If needed, NCBF will provide artists access to project studio space to create their Sculptures (February 16-March 11, 2021/proposed dates). Artists who wish to use their own studio may do so with NCBF approval, and must arrange with NCBF to pick up the blank Sculpture and deliver the completed Sculpture on NCBF-determined dates and at artist’s own expense.

If your design is chosen by the Selection Committee, you will assign to NCBF, in the Artist Agreement, all title and copyrights in your work.

NCBF will inform you of the Selection Committee’s final decisions in early February 2021. Please note that all dates are subject to change.

Submission Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2021 at 5:00 PM (Eastern Standard Time).

PLEASE NOTE: NCBF will notify you that your application has been received, then review your application to ensure it complies with the guidelines set forth in these Call For Artists materials. If in compliance, that application will become part of the designs for consideration by the Selection Committee.


  • You may submit up to three (3) design concepts. Complete an online application form for each design.
  • Your design rendering should be true to color.
  • NCBF will not return your submitted design(s) to you.
  •  Your submission does not guarantee selection.
  • Your submission(s) become NCBF’s property when received.

Submissions Must Include:

  • Front and side views for each design (see Attachments A-D). Additional information is provided in the online application under the “Design Rendering/Views” section.
  • Name of your proposed Art in Bloom Sculpture(s).
  • A brief description of each design and any intended additions or appendages to the Sculpture.
  • Resume or brief statement highlighting your experience and capability with similar projects or artwork.
  • Three (3) sample images of recently completed work to help the Selection Committee understand your capabilities for this project. Please don’t be deterred from applying for the project if you are unable to submit sample images.

Abbe Kaufmann, Project Manager
Telephone: (301) 943-2480