Maui Arts & Cultural Center Announces “Call for Artists” for 2025 Schaefer Portrait Challenge | News, Sports, Jobs

Maui Arts & Cultural Center Announces “Call for Artists” for 2025 Schaefer Portrait Challenge | News, Sports, Jobs

The exhibition dates for the Schaefer Portrait Challenge are January 14 – March 22, 2025, at the Schaefer International Gallery at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. – In honor of photo

KAHULUI–Maui Arts & Cultural Center announced the dates for registration and jury review for its signature triennial exhibition – the Schaefer Portrait Challenge 2025 (SPC 2025).

Ongoing since 2003, this exhibition marks the eighth edition of this statewide juried exhibition, which presents the unique diversity of Hawaii’s people through explorations in portraiture.

Exhibition dates for the Schaefer Portrait Challenge are January 14 – March 22, 2025, in the Schaefer International Gallery of the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

Artists interested in participating in SPC 2025 are encouraged to access the “Call to artists” prospectus and application, which can be viewed/downloaded from the MACC website at

The judges for SPC 2025 are Sonnet Coggins, director of The Merwin Conservancy, Maui; Mina Elison, curator at Donkey Mill Art Center, Hawaii Island; and Tom Lieber, artist, Kaua’i.

SPC year 2025


MAUI Maui Arts & Cultural Center, Alexa Higashi Meeting Room One Cameron Way, Kahului Reception: Saturday, October 12 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pick-up: Monday, October 13 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Schaefer Portrait Challenge is a statewide juried exhibition held triennially since 2003 that encourages Hawaiian artists to showcase the people of their island communities through explorations in portraiture. This prestigious exhibition features the carefully selected entries of artists whose work best captures Hawaii’s extraordinary portrait subjects, and offers three substantial cash prizes:

The $15,000 Jury Prize, sponsored by Carolyn Schaefer, will be selected by the exhibition jurors and presented at the artists’ opening reception.

The $5,000 Gene Freedman Artists’ Choice Award is a new addition to the exhibit. The winner will be selected by the votes of the exhibiting artists of SPC 2025.

¯ The $5,000 Ruth Freedman People’s Choice Award is determined by the popular vote of gallery visitors for the duration of the exhibition at MACC. The Artists’ Choice and People’s Choice awards are sponsored by the Eugene and Ruth Freedman Family Foundation and will be presented at a gallery reception on March 16, 2025.

Schaefer Portrait Challenge is open to artists 18 years of age and older residing in the state of Hawaii. A wide range of interpretations and styles, from representational to experimental work, is encouraged. Portrait subjects must be individuals residing in Hawaii. Self-portraits are also accepted. All entries must be original, one of a kind and created specifically for this exhibition between October 2022 and October 2024. The work must not have previously been shown in any other exhibition, gallery, venue, website or social media network. Accepted media include drawing, painting, textiles, sculpture, printmaking and mixed media. Accepted printmaking processes include relief, intaglio, lithography, screen printing, monotype and chine-collé, produced only from small print runs. Photography and computer-generated images are permitted only when used as part of a mixed media work (two or more media combined) based on the acceptable media listed above. With their entries, artists must submit a statement about themselves and their portrait subject.

The Schaefer Portrait Challenge judges look for portraits that communicate both visually and conceptually. In addition to technical skill, artists must capture the vital essence of their portrait subject through live sessions and one-on-one time spent directly with the sitter. The jury for SPC 2025 will consist of two rounds. Preliminary judging will take place at four locations on the islands of Kaua’i, Hawai’i Island, O’ahu and Maui, where judges will review all entries. At each location, semi-finalists are selected based on direct observation of the work by the jury. Final judging will take place on Maui, based on the review of digital images of the semifinalists’ work from all four judging locations.

Full details on participation and artist requirements can be found in the exhibition prospectus and entry form, available at For questions or to request additional information, please email [email protected].

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