Full Prospectus


Illumination 2019

CAMERON ART MUSEUM invites Proposals for Original Lantern Designs

Artist-Made Lantern Juried Exhibition


  • PROPOSAL ACCEPTANCE OPEN: Monday, July 15, 2019
  • PROPOSAL ENTRY DEADLINE: Extended through Sunday, September 22, 2019 at 11:59 PM EDT
  • NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE: Via email Monday, September 23 by 11:59 EDT
  • LED lights will be shipped at time of notification, as well as details for completed lantern shipment.
  • DELIVERY of COMPLETED LANTERN: by Monday, November 25, by 5:00 PM (work may be shipped or hand delivered)
  • OPENING PARTY: Friday, December 6, 2019, 6:00 – 9:00 PM
  • PUBLIC EXHIBITION: Saturday, December 7, 2019 – Sunday, January 12, 2020

Illumination 2019 continues the tradition, exhibiting original lanterns by artists from coast to coast. Cameron Art Museum recognizes the crucial role of artists and art in creating an exceptional quality of life for a community. CAM believes that art, like a lantern, illuminates the mystery, empathy and wonder of human existence. Artists are invited to submit proposals of original designs for this one-of-a-kind exhibition.


All proposal submissions and payment of entry fees are conducted via application form. Prior to submission, please direct questions to holly@cameronartmuseum.org.


Open to all artists residing in the United States, age 18 or older.


$15 (non-refundable) per entry, unlimited entries per artist.
Accepted Artists to Exhibition receive from CAM:

  • Required LED light source: G4 1.8 watt 360 degree illumination (comparable to 10-15 watt incandescent bulb) used with ceramic socket lamp holder. One bulb per lantern design.
  • One ticket to Opening Party and one Museum Admission valid during Illumination 2019 Exhibition.

SUBMISSION PROPOSAL Completed lanterns are not required for proposal submission. Artists are strongly encouraged to explore contemporary and traditional materials, techniques and aesthetics. Through CAM website, submit proposal description text, then upload proposal images saved as a PDF or JPG (not more than 2MB) renamed to lastname_firstname_lantern (FOR EXAMPLE: Smith_John_lantern). Images: For each work, please send two (2) to five (5) different views of lantern maquettes, illustrated plans or detailed drawings, representing varying perspectives, detail images of lantern and/or details of lantern installation. Proposal Description: Include as much information as possible, such as the lantern's color, texture, and other formal elements and conceptual basis for lantern design. Mediums proposed for use need to be clearly defined. All work proposed must be the artist's original concept and design. Optional: Artist's statement, summary of studio practice and preferred mediums, biographical statement, CV.


Lighting: All lighting used in lanterns will be LED and will be provided by the museum. No live flames or incandescent lighting or additional lighting will be accepted. Dimensions: All lanterns may be hanging, freestanding, or wall-mounted and fit into 3 feet wide x 3 feet deep x 6 feet high. No minimum size requirement. Installation: Hanging lanterns must be ready to hang with provided LED lighting installed. Weight is not to exceed 5 pounds for hanging lanterns. Standing lanterns must be freestanding and ready to install. Lanterns may be kinetic, but not motorized, and require no maintenance by museum staff. One bulb per design.

  • No floral and plant materials. No hollow reed basketry, bamboo, driftwood, bird/insect nests, logs, large branches (dried or newly cut).
  • No food items (including but not limited to: fruits, vegetables and spices).
  • No dried or preserved plants (flowers or herbs), or bark. No logs, found wood, dried branches, driftwood, tumbleweed, pieces of bark or bales of hay. Permitted woods are milled or manufactured woods as purchased at a hobby or lumber store.
  • No feathers, fur, or skins.
  • Handwoven, handspun textiles, fabrics or fibers (including raw cotton) may be allowed upon explanation of treatment of material (see FAQ). Manufactured textiles and fabrics are allowed.


All selected works will be installed and displayed at CAM through January 12, 2020. Images of selected works will be featured on the Cameron Art Museum website. Illumination 2019 juried exhibition will be publicized in regional press releases, social networking sites and via CAM's email list.


$2,500 in Cash prizes. 1st place: $1,500; 2nd place: $750; 3rd place $250. Top three award winners receive a special lantern prize and two floating lanterns in their honor. Floating Lantern Ceremony will be held at CAM on Sunday, December 9, 2018.


Work is not required to be for sale. Cameron Art Museum will not manage any sales.


All works are insured while on museum premises. Artist required to insure work in transit.


For more information, email holly@cameronartmuseum.org with "artist lanterns" in the subject line.


  • Sunday, January 12, 2020 Floating Lantern Ceremony


    Cameron Art Museum, 3201 S 17th St., Wilmington, NC
    (910) 395-5999


    Q. Can I design and create a wall-mounted lantern for the competition?
    A. Yes, cord must come from the bottom of the lantern.

    Q. Will the lanterns be hanging indoors or outside?
    A. All lanterns in the competition will be hanging inside the Cameron Art Museum.

    Q. May I collaborate with another artist or designer for this exhibition?
    A. By all means, YES! On your entry, please include information for each collaborator with one artist being the contact.

    Q. I'm interested in making the paper to be used on my lantern. Is this permitted?
    A. Yes! If you are using means to fully process the contents of the paper to render it harmless to the museum environment, it MAY be used, HOWEVER, you are encouraged to contact holly@cameronarmuseum.org for anything you think may be questionable. We are open to hearing questions about your preferred materials.

    Q. May I use battery operated lighting?
    A. No. The light source for all lanterns is electric. Accepted entries will receive complete light source with information on how to pickup or receive lighting package. 1) The light is a 3 watt LED bulb (equal to a 25 watt incandescent) with a 200 lumens brightness and a deco candelabra base. 2) The socket and electric cording equal 41" in length. Bulb alone measures 4" and 1 3/8" diameter. See photos below.

    Q. What is the difference between Illumination 2019 and the Floating Lantern Ceremony?
    A. Illumination 2019 Artist-Made Lantern Juried Exhibition is an opportunity for artists to design and create a lantern that will be on view for a five week period (Dec. 7, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020) in the galleries at Cameron Art Museum. The Floating Lantern Ceremony is a separate event also at the museum. This event takes place on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Lanterns (all one style) will be sold (before and during the afternoon) and then personalized by visitors. The floating will begin at 5pm in the CAM pond on our grounds. Please see website for further details. Artists are encouraged to participate in both events!