NSW Young Artist Open Call

Submit an artwork to become Youth Action's 2022 NSW young artist in residence. This is a paid commission to co-design Youth Action's 2021 Annual Report. The theme is Youth Voice.




In 2020 Youth Action began an annual commission for a NSW young artist to design an artwork to a theme that best represents the previous twelve months and work of the organisation for our annual report. We are proud to highlight and support young emerging artists across NSW. 
The theme is youth voice, with a focus on why it's so important for young people's voices to be included in conversations that directly impact them and their communities. 
In light of youth week we launched an open call for NSW young artists between the ages of 12 - 24 to submit an artwork according to the annual report brief. One artist from the submitted entries will be selected for a paid commission to contribute to this year’s design.
Youth Action refers to the national peak body for the Arts, NAVA when considering artist’s payments. Commissions fees will be determined based on level of experience and quality of the work in negotiation with the artist. If you are a young artist under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will need to sign the commission agreement.
Artists have four weeks to submit to the open call. Submissions close Monday June 27, 2022 at 11:59pm AEST.
Artists not selected for this year's open call will be added to our database with the potential to be commissioned throughout the year. Submitted artwork will not be used in anyway unless in an agreed contract between Youth Action and artist. 



First steps:

1. Double check you are eligible to enter. Are you between the age of 12-24? Are you a young person living in NSW? 
2. Have a look at our 2020 Youth Action Annual Report. You can find more details about our 2020 artist and download the report below, or else have a look here. In 2021 we commissioned young artist, Sarah R Muir to create the artwork for our annual report.
3. Design an artwork or a selection of artworks responding to the theme around youth voice, with a focus on why it's so important for young people's voices to be included in conversations that directly impact them and their communities. Youth Action's branding colours to use are black, white and our brand colour purple (HEX #732D77). You can use different transparency shades of this purple. Take a look at our socials @youthactionnsw (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube) to see how we have been using our branding. Think about how you could create a unique artwork that would complement this. 
4. What about the medium? The format of the report is A4. We will use your artwork for the front cover but we will also take elements of the artwork to use throughout the annual report and on our website and socials throughout the coming year. We are looking for hand drawn and painted works that can be delivered to us in a digital file, and are open to digitally drawn and designed artworks. If you are a photographer and have a series of images of young people that speaks to the theme, we will also consider your submission. You must have written consent for anyone you photograph. 
5. Send us your biography max 200 words and your artist’s cv (if you have one). We will credit you inside the cover (and also on our social channels and website) and include your biography and headshot. You will also need to submit a max 500 word artist’s statement that tells the story of how you used the theme in your artwork.
6. Send us your artwork by the deadline by Monday June 27, 2022 at 11:59pm AEST. Upload your work into our DropBox file request folder. For any further information contact [email protected]


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  2. Instructions for submitting: 

    Upload your artwork/s into a folder (Image file size should be max 2000 pixels on the longest side, JPG sRGB). Include your biography 200 words max (include your name, email address and phone number), your artist's CV (if you have one) and a 500 word max artist's statement that tells the story of how you used the theme in your artwork). 
     For any questions about the brief contact [email protected]
  3. Those of you that aren’t successful this time will be added to our database of artist’s for future commissions. Artwork that is submitted will not be used in anyway unless in an agreed contract between Youth Action and artist. 

    We look forward to reviewing your submission!



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    2020 Annual Report




To Be Seen and Not Heard

This digital artwork was created as a response to the theme ‘Youth Voice’ and its juxtaposition to my first thought- a phrase that echoes through my childhood; ‘Children are to be seen and not heard’. From a young age, youth are rewarded for obedience, compliance and group-oriented mentality, and there is a heavy expectation applied by senior generations to remain silent and conform to society - to not take action against injustices we experience or witness on issues that affect us. As a response to this phrase and misguided ideology, I wanted my artwork to be seen. I drew it with the intention of a striking, bold appearance and placed emphasis on the gaze of the young person I depicted, using high contrast to build tension and trap my audience in their eyes. I was also very concerned with trying to develop an inclusive portrait- one that I hope most youth can see themselves energetically reflected in, regardless of ethnicity and gender-identity, inspiring action. I drew the portrait with lips parted and half illuminated because I feel it is organisations such as Youth Action that allow youth agency and give us those moments to recollect ourselves before reconnecting with our voices and stepping into a spotlight among the chorus of problems and beliefs.


Sarah R Muir

I am a Sydney-based Israeli-Australian artist and student currently practicing and refining my work in Chatswood NSW. Growing up, I developed a love of portraiture through a fascination with the multicultural and colourful identities of people I saw online, using the internet to learn about foreign cultures, human experiences and inform myself on global human rights issues. At ten years of age, I started to saturate myself in the arts and other artists, and now am under the belief that the practice of art within itself is a raw and entirely human, unique experience. I have found that there are recurring themes of queer theory, religion, climate change, animal rights and feminist ideology present in my art. I predominantly work in oil painting, drawing, digital art and printmaking.


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