Call for Entries – Artists and Designers – You’re Invited!

Are you a budding graphic designer or artist – or know one?

Salome (1986); Photo: Frederick Ohringer

Salome (1986); Photo: Frederick Ohringer

LA Opera is hosting a contest for currently enrolled college art and design students in Southern California.

You are invited to submit artwork for LA Opera’s spring production of Strauss’s Salome. The winning submission will be featured on the cover of the show’s performance program and displayed at the home of LA Opera, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

This contest is made possible with the generous support of GRoW@Annenberg.

What will you win?
The winning submissions will receive a combination of cash and recognition at the show.

  • First Prize: $5,000
  • Second Prize: $2,000
  • Third Prize: $1,000

Winners will be invited to attend the opening night performance of Salome (February 18, 2017) and the Cast Supper that follows the show.

Submission Deadline: December 15, 2016

NEW: Your Frequently Asked Questions – Answered 

Judges: Submissions will be judged by a panel of art, opera, marketing and design experts, including Regina and Gregory Weingarten (of the Annenberg Foundation); Christopher Koelsch, LA Opera President and CEO; Diane Bergman, LA Opera VP of Marketing and Communications; Keith Rainville, LA Opera Brand Manager; Tim Johnson, LA Opera Board member and Film Director at DreamWorks Animation. The decisions of the panel are final.


We’re looking for artwork that reflects LA Opera’s production of Salome. The opera is based on the play by Oscar Wilde and is arguably one of the most dangerous, violent and sexually charged operatic works, even though it is based on a biblical event. Salome was widely banned for decades. You can read the synopsis here. In contrast to the story, the setting for this production is a beautiful Art Nouveau moonlit night with intense and saturated color.

Here’s the design challenge – your artwork must reflect the production as follows:
Beautiful. Sexy. Provocative. Dark. Visceral. Art Nouveau. Saturated colors: blues and blood reds. It’s Tiffany Lamp saturation; not Cecil B. DeMille. Should have a hint of the exotic and mysterious.  Should illustrate action driven by base desires. But should NOT be dryly historical or be overly biblical, bloody, feel exploitive or overtly sexual.


Your file should be created with the following in mind.

  • All submissions should be original art/illustrations.
  • The winning designer should be able to submit a layered file (.psd, eps, .ai) of the winning design.
  • Respect copyright. DO NOT submit copyrighted work, including images or promotional material from the show (e.g. no use of images from posters, advertisements or LA Opera’s website).
  • Do NOT use stock images or clip art.
  • Do NOT use photographs.
  • No profanity, vulgar or hate language
  • No nudity or explicit sexual language, images or graphics
  • Do NOT use the LA Opera logo


  • Art size: 8.375” x 11.125” (0.125” bleed on each side adds 0.25” to both width and height).
  • Final trim size: 8.125” h x 10.875” vertical.


  • The top 2 inches and bottom 2 inches will have print over the illustration, so they should not have complicated material that would make the text illegible, and should not have anything “important” in the illustration, since it would be partially covered.


Initial submissions should be sent via e-mail to

 Qualifying submission must include:

  • Artist’s name
  • School currently attending
  • Contact information (e-mail, phone, address)
  • Artwork: maximum file size: 2mb, screen resolution, flattened .jpg

Winners will be asked to submit artwork as follows:

  • Minimum resolution – 600dpi for non-vector art.
  • Accepted file formats: .jpg, jpeg, .tif, .tiff, .eps, .png
  • .TIFF (or .TIF) formats should be flattened
  • .EPS formats must have all type converted to vector paths (traced or outlined)
  • RGB colorspace only
  • Max file size is 60mb

Students must be enrolled (full-time or part-time) in a Southern California college or university at the time of the submission deadline (December 15, 2016).

Employees of LA Opera and their immediate families are not eligible.

Copyright: The artist retains all copyrights to their artwork without exception.

Non-exclusive Permissions:
By entering this art competition, you are granting LA Opera a non-exclusive perpetual license to reproduce images of your artwork in any context, including but not limited to the following: on the cover of our program, on our promotional video montages, on our blog and on our website in the marketing of future similar art competitions to the general public. Artwork will not be used for any other purpose than that which is stated here. All winning entries may be displayed on LA Opera’s website and social media channels. Each entry becomes part of the public, historical / archival LA Opera program.

Prize Payments: Cash prizes will be awarded at the Cast Supper following the opening night performance. In the event the winner cannot attend, a check will be mailed to the winner within 14 days of the opening night performance.

Taxes: Winners shall be solely responsible for all federal, state, and local taxes.


Is there a fee to enter the contest? No – contest submissions are free. There is no fee to enter.

Can I submit more than one entry? Yes – you can submit more than one piece, but winners can only win one of the prizes, so we recommend you send us your favorite.

Do I have to include the singers/principal cast? No – there’s no need to include the cast members. When our teams design, it’s often before we are ready to confirm the cast. Get creative…we want to see how you solve the challenge.

Can I observe a rehearsal to get a better sense of it? No – unfortunately, rehearsals for the show don’t begin until long after our production timelines. For each show, our own artists have to conceive artwork before they see the staged piece. They receive the brief, much like the details outlined in the contest blog and have to conceive their artwork from there.

Can I create artwork as a painting or does it have to be a digital illustration? Yes – You can create your art in any medium you want to use. However, your piece must be submitted as a digital piece and comply with the specs outlined above. And digital illustrations are welcome too.

Do you have to be a student to submit an entry? Yes – this contest is only for students enrolled in a program at the time of the entry deadline.


Have additional questions? Send an e-mail to


LA Opera is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to the greater good.
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11 Responses to Call for Entries – Artists and Designers – You’re Invited!

  1. Angel Hilton says:

    can we enter more than 1 art submission?

  2. Jaclyn Kim says:

    Hello, the contest indicates that we can’t use any promotional material from the show nor use stock images or clip art nor photographs.

    Does that mean that the artwork has to be completely illustration?

    Or is it possible for our class (10-15 students) attend one of your rehearsal and take photographs ourselves and use them for the Contest on Salome? We are students from Los Angeles Trade Technical College majoring in Visual Communication.

    Thank you for your feedback!

    • Thank you for reaching out. We’re thrilled for your students to participate in our contest.

      Entries must be illustrations or any other medium that can be made digital.

      Unfortunately, rehearsals for the show don’t begin until long after our production timelines. For each show, our own artists have to conceive artwork before they see the staged piece. They receive the brief, much like the details outlined in the contest blog and have to conceive their artwork from there.

      Hope this helps and best of luck.

  3. Christopher Granillo says:

    Are we able to create the artwork as a painting and than make it digital for submission? Thank you!

  4. Angelina says:

    does it cost any money to enter a submission?

  5. Angelina D. says:

    Hello, this contest looks really lovely. I just had a small question: Do the submissions have to strictly adhere to fine art or can we submit digital paintings as well?

  6. Margaret T. says:

    Hi there!
    Is it possible to submit more then one piece? Also, do we have to use the performers as models when depicting human figures into our work (in other words, when depicting Salome, do we have to use the actual actress or can we use our artistic liberties to formulate these characters)?

Comments are closed.