Illustration by Min Heo
Since 1957, the Society of Illustrators has hosted the Illustrators Annual, the premier showcase for illustrators, featuring the most outstanding works created throughout the year. Open to artists worldwide, thousands of entries are considered by a jury of professionals, resulting in a published book and an exhibition that is open to the public on display at the Museum of Illustration in New York City.
This year, the world has been grappling with many hardships: a raging pandemic, economic and social unrest, natural disasters, climate change, and confronting systemic racism and inequality. The Society understands the unprecedented challenges that the world, and the illustration community are experiencing right now.
It was in the early days of the lockdown and protests that the Society staff and our Board began brainstorming programs and ideas in the interest of making the Illustrators Annual more accessible for all artists. We created the SI Give Back Fund for those who otherwise would not be able to enter the Annual. The Fund was initially launched through financial gifts from generous private donors and additional Society funding, and kept growing through the support of individual illustrators making donations throughout the duration of the Call for Entries. The end result of this program far exceeded our expectations.
We are thrilled to share that over 150 creators from our industry donated to support this Fund. In addition, 170 artists were able to use the Fund to cover the costs of their entries. And now that the judging is finalized, we are thrilled to report that over 20 creators who used the Fund had work juried into the show. We are so thankful to all of our donors! It is amazing that you gave, especially as we are aware of the many challenges you may be facing. We’d also like to thank everyone who entered Illustrators 63.
Illustrators who used this Fund, and whose work is juried into the competition, will receive access to valuable educational and social/networking events. The Society will also be announcing further virtual programming and initiatives in the near future. There is much work to do, and we are proud to be helping to lead the way.
The Society would like to give a special thanks to ZIMM at Bug Logic for his support and help in creating the platform for this program.
About the Museum of Illustration at the Society of Illustrators:
Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators and its Museum of Illustration together comprise America’s longest-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration. The mission of SI/MI is to promote the art and appreciation of illustration and its history and evolving nature through exhibitions and educational programs.