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Open Call for Artist Banners 2024

Isamu Noguchi working with clay in his earthen-walled studio in Kita-Kamakura, Japan
Isamu Noguchi working in his Kita-Kamakura studio, 1950s. The Noguchi Museum Archives, 09162.2. ©INFGM / ARS

Work is something like having a conversation with oneself–a personal soliloquy in which through argument and trial you try to nail something down–express the inexplicable. You can’t tell quite what’s going to happen when you start, but then after the work is done recognition comes: certain things affect you; and then you recognize that the work is really yourself.

Isamu Noguchi, interview with Katherine Kuh, The Artist’s Voice (New York: Harper & Row, 1962)

The artist Theaster Gates, 2023 Isamu Noguchi Award honoree, recently described Isamu Noguchi’s practice as one driven by “labor and love,” an essential need to work and create that resulted not only in sculpture but also in playgrounds, gardens, plazas, fountains and other spaces that the public could experience and enjoy. For Noguchi, creative work was a necessity not only as a private outlet but as a way of finding his own place in the world, which led him to contribute sites of significance, leisure, and play that exist outside the usual confines of art. Noguchi’s outward facing approach to art-making is clear in his sentiment, “[in] art one does not work isolated from humanity” (
Essays and Conversations). When used, experienced, and shared, Noguchi’s works expand in meaning.

The Noguchi Museum’s 2024 Open Call for Artist Banners project will connect personal practice and communal experience, existing at the intersection of the two themes: labor and love. Submissions are due by Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Artist June Shin in front of her artist banners ‘Reminders’ installed on the exterior of the Noguchi...
June Shin, Reminders, 2022. Photo: Justin Raul Baez. ©INFGM / ARS

Open Call for Artist Banners

The Noguchi Museum continues to celebrate and amplify creative voices in our local Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities with the third annual Open Call for Artist Banners. As an institution founded by Japanese American artist Isamu Noguchi, The Noguchi Museum stands in solidarity with AAPI communities and any community targeted by discrimination, oppression, or racism. The Museum invites emerging AAPI artists based in New York City to submit designs for the Museum’s outdoor banners that address the theme of “labor and love.” Independent from the Museum’s curatorial programming, these banners serve as an interdepartmental commitment to anti-oppression and a public-facing message of unity with our community.

To be eligible, artists must self-identify as AAPI, and reside in or have a studio in one of the five boroughs of New York City. Artists must be 18 and older. Students who are currently enrolled (at the time of application) as candidates for art or design related degrees or certificates are not eligible to apply.

The Noguchi Museum has organized a jury to select banner designs from three artists. The jury will include guest jurors: artist Oscar yi Hou; Justine Lee, Programs Director for Asian American Arts Alliance (A4); and June Shin, winner of the 2022–23 Open Call for Artist Banners. The jury will also include the organizing committee at The Noguchi Museum, a cross-departmental group of intergenerational staff volunteers.

The winning artist will have their design installed outside of the Museum for one year, from May 2024 through May 2025, and will receive an honorarium of $3,500. The two runners-up will each receive an honorarium of $2,500. Each of the three artists will have the opportunity to develop and lead a public program (artist talk, performance, art-making workshop, etc.) at The Noguchi Museum in collaboration with the Museum’s Education department during free admission Community Days in the summer of 2024. The Museum will also produce short interview films with each artist to highlight their work and studio practice.

To apply, please send the following materials through the submission link below:

• Your banner design (design specifications are listed below)

• Your CV (Curriculum Vitae)

• A proposal that briefly describes the following in under 300 words total:

  • Your artistic practice
  • How your banner design relates to the theme of “labor and love” 
  • Your vision for how your artistic practice could translate into a public program

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, February 4, 2024 at 11:59 pm.

Submit Your Designs

Artist Banner Specifications

Selection criteria that the jury will consider:

• How the designs connect to the theme of labor and love.

• The message that the designs send to the local community.

• Proposals should factor in the unique elements of the site and location, as well as the readability of the designs from the sidewalk and street. For reference, sidewalk views of the previous banners are available here.

• Designs must be original work by the applicant.

• Designs should be unique, and not appropriated or recycled from previous work by the artist.

• This Open Call is meant as an opportunity for emerging artists, who will be given priority above more established artists.



Proposals should include unique designs for six panels, to be shown across three double-sided banners. One panel will include the artist’s name and the title of the piece. The template provided here includes six blank panels at actual banner scale with 2″ margins at top and bottom indicated, and is intended to be used in Adobe Illustrator or similar software.

Download Template (PDF)

Artwork Size

Each banner is 42 inches wide x 122 inches tall, and designs should be proportionate to these measurements.

Allow 2 inches top and bottom for hems; and please note that there will be wind vents on the sides. (See template below.)

Open Call for Artist Banners - design specifications diagram

Artwork Preparation

For the purpose of the application, please submit your design at a reduced size (maximum file size of 16MB) as a PDF, PNG, JPG, or JPEG file.

Artists should prepare artwork to be ready-to-print, as we will request the final design files at full-resolution if you are selected as a finalist.

For the final files, vector art is preferred (ideally as an .ai or .pdf file, though .eps, .jpg, .psd are also acceptable formats). Any raster art must be at least 150 dpi (minimum) at 100% scale.

Color profile should be either spot color or CMYK.

Frequently Asked Questions

For any further questions that are not addressed here, please send inquiries to the email address with the subject line ‘Artist Banners at The Noguchi Museum.’

Why Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) only?
As an institution founded by Isamu Noguchi, an Asian American artist, we strongly feel the need to offer focused attention to local AAPI artists in response to the increase in acts of racism, discrimination, and violence against the AAPI community since the beginning of the pandemic. Our current project is designed to provide a dedicated space that will amplify the voices of local AAPI creatives, giving them an opportunity to be seen and heard.

Why New York City-based artists only?
As an institution based in the New York City area, we wanted to offer priority to the local AAPI community of artists and designers. We also felt the need to spotlight the vibrant community of artists in New York City, who can benefit from the support and recognition of local institutions around them.

Do I need to be a U.S. citizen to apply?
No, you do not need to be a United States citizen to enter or be eligible for any awards or honorariums granted to finalists.

Who is represented by the term Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI)?
In accordance with the definition provided by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs: “A person with origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, or the Pacific Islands. This area includes, for example, China, Japan, Korea, the Philippine Republic, and Samoa; and on the Indian Subcontinent, includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan.”

What do you mean by “self-identify”?
We acknowledge that race, ethnicity, and nationality are constructs that vary from person to person. In efforts to make this open call as inclusive as possible within the frameworks of the AAPI community, we are accepting applications from individuals who ethnically and racially identify with the definition of AAPI mentioned above.

Why are students not eligible to apply?
We chose to focus this open call on emerging artists outside of the academic community without access to academic resources. We also understand that the demands of academic schedules can present challenges for the Museum’s needs in terms of programming and collaboration.