Installation view and opening artist talk of Mary Beth Magyar’s To Build a Nest, 2016, in our newly dedicated RAC2 Local Artist Series gallery.

Rochester Art Center continually strives to engage visitors of all ages in the creation, contemplation, and appreciation of the visual arts. As a non-collecting institution, the Art Center focuses on presenting temporary exhibitions throughout the year featuring established local, national, and international artists as well as emerging artists from diverse backgrounds, working in a variety of media.

RAC2 supports talented artists throughout our region. An accompanying exhibition and event program to our Emerging Artist Series—which is open to all artists living and working in the state—RAC2 focuses on supporting and developing creatives specifically in Southeastern Minnesota. Applicants from the following counties are welcome and invited to apply: Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha, and Winona.

With this dedicated series, RAC has broadened and diversified the creative opportunities for Rochester and surrounding area artists as RAC’s professional staff serves both a curatorial and mentorship role, working directly with artists on realizing their vision throughout the implementation of a new project and the creation of new work. This collaboration offers a professional, enriching experience for the artist, while providing the local Rochester community the opportunity to celebrate local artistic achievement.

We are excited to announce that this signature RAC exhibition and event series is moving from our former classroom gallery space on our third floor to our former Emerging Artist gallery space. We are thrilled to continue to support emerging creatives who are the principal creators of new work while deepening, developing, and widening the experience and impact for artists and our audiences through this demonstrative increase in visibility.

In addition, RAC2 is now open a variety of creatives; visual artists, musicians, composers, curators, authors, poets, performance artists, designer-makers and creative PlaceMakers. By opening up the mediums for which artists can propose new ideas, RAC is embracing new approaches in contemporary art. We are also excited to open the call for proposals up to other exhibition areas and alternative spaces in and around the building, including:

  • The Mayo Grand Lobby (performance);
  • Our back patio area and sculpture garden, facing Mayo Park (social engagement);
  • RAC Annex space in the entry;
  • Alternative spaces within the building (just propose a place).

Proposals are accepted online from October 20 – January 9, 2017, and are reviewed by a panel of local artists, community activists, and RAC staff led by Megan Johnston, RAC Executive Director.

From this review, ten creatives will be chosen to develop their projects.

Each selected artist will receive:

  • Each project will be awarded $1000 to include: an artist stipend of $500; and a materials and production stipend of $500;
  • Each selected artist will be given support towards the development of your artistic concept, including but not limited to: several one-on-one development meetings, budget and fundraising advise, production guidance, and other professional development opportunities;
  • Publicity and marketing of your project, including social media, print advertising and project collateral where appropriate and funding allows;
  • An opening or closing project reception;
  • The opportunity to apply your stipend towards an accompanying print publication with an essay by RAC curators about your work.
  • Related programming opportunities, including an artist talk (paid as part of the stipend) and opportunities to participate in RAC educational programming, such as Free Family Day (additional payment). * To facilitate community engagement, artists will be required to give a public talk as part of their award.

Application Materials: Deadline, January 9, 2017
Artists must complete the application form which requires the following:

  • First and last name, address, city, state, county
  • Artist Statement (250 words maximum)
  • Project Proposal (1,000 words maximum)

The following required materials should be saved in either Word or PDF format and
e-mailed to within 24 hours of completing the form, and on or before the January 9, 2017 deadline:


  • Submit work samples
    • Please submit images, audio clips, videos or writing samples documenting work completed within the last two years.
    • Note that video works should be hosted on Vimeo or Youtube, and sound works hosted on Soundcloud, and links forwarded for review. For this call, videos should not exceed 5 minutes, sound no more than 8 minutes.
  • Artist Statement (maximum 500 words)
  • Exhibition Proposal (maximum 1,000 words)
  • CV or Resume

Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, and be a Minnesota resident living and working in one the eleven Southeastern Minnesota counties listed above.

You can apply, free of charge, online through

The deadline to submit your application and materials is by Midnight January 9, 2017. Artists will be notified by early January 2017.

To facilitate new and emerging artists, RAC will host a number of workshops to support you in making an application to both RAC2 and the new Art4Trails applications.

  • Thursday, November 10, from 6PM-7PM
  • Saturday, December 10 (afternoon session at the RAC Artists’ Resource Fair)
  • Thursday, December 22, from 6PM-7PM

For further information about the application process, please contact

  • Up to three proposals from the same creative or team of creatives are welcome, as long as each submission is a different medium.