Ross Gay (photo by Natasha Komoda)

The NEA Big Read Project

Gallery One and CWU Libraries seek an artist or artist team for NEA Big Read Project

Gallery One and CWU Libraries seeks an artist or artist team experienced in illustration, typography, and/or printmaking to facilitate a community art project and develop an illustration to be used as a map in response to the themes of Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts Big Read Grant and associated programming.

About THE NEA BIG READ and Ross Gay’s Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude
From NEA

The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read—a partnership with Arts Midwest—broadens our understanding of our world, our neighbors, and ourselves through the power of a shared reading experience. Showcasing a diverse range of themes, voices, and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire meaningful conversations, artistic responses, and new discoveries and connections in each community.

Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude is a poetry collection by Indiana poet Ross Gay that celebrates life and goodness and that which nourishes us, fleetingly and forever, through love and loss, from everyday living and gardening and noticing what we often take for granted.

About the map

The artist or artist team will illustrate a walking map of sites pre-identified by a writer and a naturalist in preparation for two public workshops on April 29 and May 6, to be reproduced on a tri-fold brochure. Prompts will be provided to the artist mid-February for art to be completed by mid-March. Participation in workshops is encouraged but not required.

About the community project

The artist or artist team is invited to work with the community to create artworks incorporating the themes community, resiliency, connectivity. The public art project will take place at the Ellensburg Public Library on May 6 as part of other planned programming. The project may be temporary, may result in individual artworks given to community members, or may result in a permanent public piece but should be able to be displayed at Gallery One between May 5- July 29. The exhibit space can also be a site for continued engagement of the piece.


The compensation for the artist or team is $3000. The budget is inclusive of artist fees, travel, and other expenses. There is an additional $1000 in material expenses for the community project.  Printing of the map is not the responsibility of the artist or artist team.


October 15: Application Opens

Dec 15: Application Due

January 5: Artist and Artist Team Selected

March 1: Writer and naturalist prompts provided to artist(s)

April 1: Illustration deadline

May 6: Public project component

May 5- July 29: exhibit at Gallery One

April 29 and May 6: public writing workshops

To apply

Submit 5-10 examples of work via jpg or web links, a one-page narrative pf proposed public project, and budget of expenses to by Dec 15.

About Gallery One 

Gallery One Visual Arts Center is dedicated to the creation, exhibition and appreciation of visual arts in central Washington. To that end, the facilities, board of directors, and staff of Gallery One provide:

  • High-quality, innovative, and diverse visual arts exhibits
  • Educational programs for the appreciation and skills of the arts
  • Studios for a diverse group of resident artists
  • Networking opportunities with business organizations and educational institutions in support of the arts
  • A meeting place to foster community cohesion and arts appreciation