Call for Entries: Finding the Center, 2021 AAW Member Exhibition

Application period: January 1 to March 21, 2021


Jim Piper, Treasure in the Ruins, 2018, Douglas fir, 4 1/4" x 5 3/4" x 4 3/4" (11cm x  15cm x 12cm)
“Treasure in the Ruins" pays homage to the devastation of the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area. Even the charred remains of a tree encase a treasure untouched by the flames.”

The theme for the 2021 Symposium AAW member show is Finding the Center. The themes for the annual member show traditionally draw from the host city or state, and since Omaha lies a mere 170 miles from the geological center of the United States, next year’s theme was a natural fit. Working with the idea of center is essential to turning: the spinning axis defines what we do, and the act of “finding the center” is one of the most basic operations.

The openness of the theme offers many possible interpretations, whether your motivation is metaphor, material, techniques, or just the pleasure of turning. Beyond the lathe, in life, “finding your center” or a place of calm steadiness and equilibrium is a goal for many. We “center” our attention, our hopes, and our focus; values and ideas may be “central” to discussions and debates. So, center your thoughts, center your wood, and get turning!


Eligibility/application details

  • The show is open to any current AAW member and to fulltime students in art, design, or industry-related degree programs, regardless of AAW membership status.
  • Work for the annual AAW member exhibition is juried through photographs; all entries are anonymous. Accepted works that differ from the submitted images may be refused at AAW’s discretion.
  • All types of turnings are welcome: sculptural, functional, segmented, ornamental, green-turned, traditional, etc.
  • Collaborations are also welcome.
  • Entry fee: $25 for up to three submissions. The application fee is waived for fulltime students in art, design, or industry-related degree programs.
  • A theme statement of up to 100 words is required. Describe how the work fits your interpretation of the theme.
  • You are free to use any media, but the work must be created at least partially on the lathe.
  • Work must have been created in the past two years (March 2019 to March 2021).


Where and when to apply

  • Apply online at
  • Application period: January 1 and March 21, 2021, 11:59 p.m. CST. All artists will be notified by March 31, 2021.

Other info

Submit digital images in .jpg or .jpeg format, less than 4 MB per file. You may submit up to three images for each entry. The main image should be an overall shot; the remaining two images can include details or alternative views. The show is juried through photographs, so it is important that images be clear, properly exposed, and in focus. A plain background is recommended. Do not watermark or include your name on the images.

On view
Finding the Center will premiere at the AAW’s Annual International Woodturning Symposium in Omaha, Nebraska, July 15-18, 2021. The exhibition will then travel to the AAW Gallery of Wood Art, Saint Paul, Minnesota, where it will be on display until the end of the year.

Delivery and display
Accepted work can be shipped ahead to the Symposium site in Omaha, to arrive by July 8, 2021, or hand-delivered on Wednesday, July 14, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., or Thursday, July 15, 9:00 a.m. to noon. Artwork must be in excellent condition, be as shown in the entry images, and ready for installation. All work must be freestanding or with an easel or other support provided. Support subject to approval.

Displayed work need not be for sale, but for pieces that are sold, the AAW/artist split will be 45%/55%. Sold work must remain with the show until it closes in Saint Paul at the end of December 2021. Sold work may be replaced at the curator’s discretion.

There will be a Masters’ Choice Award of $300 and a People’s Choice Award of $200.

A full-color catalog will be available. Participating artists will receive a complimentary copy.

For more, check, or contact Tib Shaw at To see past exhibition catalogs, visit