Art of the Small Exhibition & Competition

Artist info for entering the
Art of the Small Exhibition & Competition

Exhibition Dates:  April 4th and 5th, 2012
Awards and VIP Reception:  Wednesday, April 4th, 5-7pm
Location: Bay 7, American Tobacco Campus, Durham, NC

Click Here for Entry Form

Artists, you are invited to participate in the Art of the Small Competition and Exhibition, to be held in conjunction with the Nanotech Commercialization Conference.  The Conference will be hosted by the State of North Carolina Department of Commerce, the Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN), and the NanoBusiness Commercialization Association on April 4th and 5th, 2012, in Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, North Carolina.

This open call is for work in virtually any media inspired by nanotechnology, nanobiotech, biotechnology, genomics, DNA, and  genetics.  Winning artists in several categories will receive a cash award.

Art submissions will be on display all day on Wednesday, April 4th and Thursday, April 5th during the Nanotech Commercialization Conference.  A VIP Reception and Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday April 4th from 5 to 7pm.  All artists whose work has been selected for inclusion in the exhibition will be invited to attend.

A panel of expert judges drawn from the worlds of art, science, and science communication will select the winning entries.  The art will be judged on three key criteria:  depiction and representation of the theme, creativity of image representation and innovation in style or technique.  A Best of Show ($1,000) and two Runner Up ($250 each) awards will be given. The winning artists will receive cash awards.  

Following the Conference, images of the exhibition and works from the exhibition will appear in an online gallery supported by COIN for a period of 36 months.  The work will also be reproduced on promotional materials related to the contest. 

The show will be widely attended by local, regional, national and international cultural leaders, scientists, investors, government officials and others interested in the intersection of nanotechnology and creativity.


The ART OF THE SMALL is open to all artists, 18 years of age and older. All media is acceptable for submission, however the artist is completely responsible for its transportation (shipping, packing, return shipping/packaging costs).

Original or limited-edition 2-dimensional artwork, 3-dimensional sculpure and installation work and media arts projects will be considered.  Maximum dimensions for 2-dimensional artwork are 48 inches high and 72 inches wide. There is no specific slze limitation for 3-dimensional work, but space, weight and logistical limitations may influence selection by the Judges.  Media art work must be provided in digital form (no 1/2"or 3/4" video tape) and will be projected or displayed on monitors.


In the broadest sense, nanobiotechnology is the use of nanotechnology in relation to biological processes, organisms or systems to develop products aimed to improve some aspect of life.  Biotechnology at its roots is a very old science, stretching back 7,000 years to the creation of bread, cheese, wine, and vinegar (which all depend on harnessing and modifying some biological process).  The field has expanded dramatically over the last quarter century, powered by our understanding of genomics, DNA, the structure of materials and atoms.

Nanotechnology is the study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.  Generally, nanotechnology deals with developing materials, devices, or other structures possessing at least one dimension sized from 1 to 100 nanometres.  Quantum mechanical effects are important at this quantum-realm scale.  Nanotechnology is very diverse, ranging from extensions of conventional device physics to completely new approaches to research, materials and manufacturing based upon molecular self-assembly, from developing new materials with dimensions on the nanoscale to investigating whether we can directly control matter on the atomic scale. 

Nanotechnology entails the application of fields of science as diverse as surface science, organic chemistry, molecular biology, semiconductor physics, microfabrication, etc.  There is much debate on the future implications of nanotechnology.  Nanotechnology may be able to create many new materials and devices with a vast range of applications, such as in medicine, electronics, biomaterials and energy production.

Biotechnology combines the disciplines of molecular biology, genetics, cell biology, biochemistry, and embryology, which in turn are linked to additional fields such as chemical engineering, information technology, and robotics.  Over the next few years, biotechnology is poised to heavily impact several areas of society, including healthcare, the environment and agriculture.

How to Enter

What to Submit for Consideration by the Judges:
Please send us high-quality photographs of your work that are well-photographed with evenly distributed lighting and accurate color.  Each artist may submit up to five individual entries.  If an individual work of art consists of multiple components, photograph the entire work as it should be installed (i.e., all the components together) with an explanation that it is a photograph of a single work, plus the overall dimensions of the work.

Print Submissions:
Print submissions that will be mailed in should be printed on 8" x 10" paper or digitally printed on 8 1/2" x 11" paper. 

Online Digital Submissions Specifications:
Once you will fill out and submit your online entry form(s), you will be sent instructions for uploading your images.
• Image must measure at least at least 800 pixels by 625 pixels
• Image must be 300dpi
• Save the images with as little compression as possible
• File size less than 10 MB.
• Images must be MacIntosh compatible and saved in the JPEG or TIFF file format (with a .jpg or .tif extension).
• File names should not have spaces, punctuation marks, or non-English characters.
• File names should read as follows: example: titleofwork_artistname.jpg

Deadline for Submissions:
All submissions must be received by Saturday, March 17, 2012 for judging.  

Judging and Notification of Acceptance:
The Judges will review all submitted work, and the artists will be informed whether their work has been selected on Friday, March 23, 2012. 

If Your Work is Selected for the Exhibition

Delivery of Selected Artwork for the Exhibition:
All final work selected, including three-dimensional works, must be delivered along with return packaging and appropriate return delivery costs by Saturday, March 31, 2012.  If you are sending final art by deliver service (i.e., Fed-Ex, UPS, etc.) be sure to insure the work for transit with the delivery service, as COIN accepts no responsibility for work that it lost or damaged.

All work will be physically hung at the show, projected, or both, depending on the nature of the work and the judgment of the curator.  All pieces must be accompanied by name, address, email, phone number and title on the back of each piece (including on the back of every component if a work is composed of multiple components).

Artists are responsible for the legal and ethical integrity of their artwork.  All participants  warrant that their work is their own creation and does not infringe upon the copyrights of other artists, photographers, publishers or other entities.  

We strongly recommend that the artist obtain insurance for the full value of all exhibited works for the duration of the hang, exhibitiion, take down and return delivery, as COIN is not responsible for any work that is lost or damaged during any part of the exhibition or transit process.

An Entry Form for Each Work is Required:
Each individual work of art must be accompanied by an Entry Form.  The Entry Form must include an artist's brief statement (200 words or less) offering insight into the artist's work.  There is a five work limit of art for the exhibition per artist.  All works must be accompanied by name, address, email, phone number and title on a separate piece of paper for each work.  Multi-component works only require a single Entry Form.

Entry Forms may be completed online using the online form at: , or they may be mailed or delivered to:

Center of Innovation for Nanobiotechnology (COIN)
303 S. Roxboro St. Suite 30
Durham, NC 27701

Each submission will remain the exclusive property of the artist.  Artists grant COIN the right to use all artwork selected by the Judges for inclusion in the exhibition or any display, promotional or commercial uses, including an online gallery of work included in the exhibition that will be hosted by COIN for a period of 36 months, at no additional cost to COIN.  Artists will be credited when any work is shown in any context by COIN.  Each entry form has a release statement covering the use of the artwork by COIN. The release must be signed by the artist for the piece being entered. Failure to sign the release will invalidate the entry.  Employees of COIN and their immediate family members are not eligible to participate.

All exhibiting artists and the three winners will be invited to attend the VIP Reception and Awards Ceremony on April 4, 2012.

Guidelines for Final Work Included in the Exhibition:

Types of Work:
2-D work may be on any substrate, and includes paintings (oil, acrylic, watercolor, gouache), drawings (ink, graphite, charcoal) and prints (woodblock, etchings, serigraphs, lithographs, etc.)  and digital (ink jet, laser etc.) or photographic prints.  Maximum dimensions for final 2-dimensional artwork are 48 inches high and 72 inches wide.

3-D work may take the form of sculpture or installation.  There is no specific size limitation for 3-D work, provided that it is free standing or can be hung, but space, weight and logistical limitations may influence the installation of any 3-dimensional work selected for inclusion in the exhibition.

Media Arts projects may take the form of digital video work on DVD, or images for projection or monitor display on CD-ROM or DVD. 1/2" or 3/4" video tape will not be accepted.  Special arrangements must be made in advance for any media art pieces that require more than 2-channel (stereo) audio or more than one projection screen or multiple monitors.  Space, equipment requirements and logistical limitations may influence the installation of any Media Art work selected for inclusion in the exhibition.

Delivery of Final Artwork:
All art will need to be delivered to the exhibition site (Bay 7 at the American Tobacco Campus in downtown Durham, North Carolina) no later than 5:00pm, Saturday, March 31, 2012.  Artwork will only be returned if arrangements for pick up or shipping are made in advance at the artist's expense. 

Ownership and Rights:

All rights of ownership in and to the artwork included in the Exhibition including all rights to use, reproduce, publish, modify, edit, and distribute the same remain the exclusive property of the artists, however images of the work will be available for use and display by COIN for a period of 36 months at no cost to COIN.

Click Here for Entry Form