Nonword and Upward

Nonword Title Poster 2

2023 Prospectus

Nonword & Upward, the Art Department’s biennial juried student art exhibition, is open to all full-time Wheaton College undergraduate students. Sophomore, Junior, and Senior Art majors are required to enter. Pieces the juror selects will be exhibited in the Walford Galleries in January, 2023.

You are encouraged to submit the pieces from your studio art classes that you feel are the most successful, although it is not a requirement that submissions be pieces made in studio classes. If you need any help with the submission process, reach out to one of your professors or the studio associate and we’ll be happy to help you as you prepare your submissions.

What type of show is this?

This show is a competitive juried exhibition. This show format is very common at many types of galleries and art centers. To participate in this type of show artists enter submissions. A juror or group of jurors evaluate the submissions and select which to exhibit.

Even if gallery art isn’t your main thing, this show is still a valuable chance for you to practice a crucial art skill: preparing a strong submission. Any time you want to show your work at a film festival, or table at an art fair or farmer’s market, you will have to apply. The same is true of publishing your work in a magazine or online publication. Preparing strong submissions is a craft that has to be developed, and this show is intended to give you practice.

“Every curator or juror has different criteria for their discernment of artwork, and unless you know jurors and their criteria for a show their results will be hard to predict. This means you need to enter lots of shows and hold them a bit loosely.” -Leah Samuelson

Submission Guidelines

Each student may submit up to three pieces for consideration.

Pieces in any medium are eligible for inclusion. It will be your responsibility to make your pieces ready for physical installation in the Walford Galleries if they are accepted. If you submit a digital drawing, for example, you will need to print it and make it “hang-ready” by framing it or something similar.

Submissions will be submitted and judged digitally. The exhibition will take place in-person in the Walford galleries, not online, but the submission process will be handled digitally. This means you’ll need to photograph or scan your artwork if it’s not already in a digital format. Talk to Sheldon if you need help with this. After the juror selects the pieces for the show, the selected pieces will need to be made gallery-ready and delivered to the gallery.

All submissions must be presented to the juror as digital files. Image files should be jpegs, 72 dpi, with the longest side between 1200 and 3000 pixels (if you need help with this, email Video files must be in .mp4 format. Please title your files following this template: “[your name]_[title of piece].jpg", for example: “leonardo davinci_mona lisa.jpg”

Video submissions are often too large to attach to the jotform. If you are submitting a video piece, contact or for a link to a box file where you can upload your file to submit it.)

Submit your work here


Gallery Readiness

You only have to make your pieces “gallery ready” if they’re selected by the juror to be in the show. You’ll have two weeks to work on this between when the selected pieces are announced and when the work needs to be dropped off in the gallery. (see ‘important dates’ section below)

If you are studying abroad, you’re still eligible to participate. Contact Sheldon to make arrangements for delivering your work to the gallery.

Important Dates

Digital submission deadline: Thursday, November 17, 11:59pm

Acceptance notes emailed: November 28

Dropoff selected pieces in gallery: December 12 (reading day)

Show open dates: January 12–30

Reception and awards announcement: Thursday January 19, 4:00pm


Best in show: $250

First place: $200

Second place: $150

Third place: $100


Jeffrey Swider-Peltz

Jeffrey is a Wheaton alumnus who maintains a studio art practice between Los Angeles and Chicago. While moving between the mediums of drawing, muraling, screen printing and installation, his work centers around recording the physical and repetitive movements of the body. His background as an ice speedskater continues to be a significant source of inspiration. Jeffrey will be teaching a class next semester titled Studies in Studio Art: Experimental Design Practices as an adjunct faculty member.

Jeffrey's Website