The Emerging Artist program was created to recognize the talent of young local artists and to offer them the prospect of being a part of an international award-winning fine art festival each May. The program is an innovative and resourceful tool that mentors students in the art world. Students are encouraged to express themselves artistically and learn the process of exhibiting. 

The uniqueness of Cottonwood Art Festival’s Emerging Artists program is that it is only available to sophomore, junior, and senior high school students within the Richardson community. The knowledge they receive from this experience is invaluable and is a respectable introduction to a career in art. Interested students are required to submit a formal application, an artist statement, and five images of their work. Each application is then reviewed by a jury of professionals in the art industry, and total of ten students are selected to participate in the program. 

It is through the generosity of our sponsor, Neighborhood Credit Union that students are afforded an opportunity to participate in a month-long exhibit at the Eisemann Center for Performing Arts and sell their work at the Cottonwood Art Festival alongside professional artists. Emerging Artists also have the opportunity to win placement awards and scholarships.

Selected visual art students have the privilege of:

  • Displaying their work at the Charles W. Eisemann Center in the Forrest and Virginia Green Mezzanine-Gallery during the month of April
  • Rare and maybe the first opportunity of selling their work, alongside Cottonwood’s slate of professional and renowned artists at the Cottonwood Art Festival
  • Receiving first-class education from professional artists and professors in the Emerging Artists Workshop Series
  • Opportunity to receive placement awards and scholarships presented by our program sponsor 

2024 Emerging Artist

The following RISD students were selected to participate in the 2024 program.

Submission Requirements

  • All applicants must be sophomores, juniors or seniors in high school and must either attend a Richardson ISD school or live in the City of Richardson.
  • Students can apply with any visual art (i.e. painting, photography, pottery, etc). Any 3D work that would be accepted could not be hung on the gallery wall in the Eisemann Center; however, it will be displayed at the Artist Reception and may exhibit at Cottonwood.
  • The following must be included in the application below:
      • Five (5) digital images of the student’s artwork (in. jpeg format only). If chosen, students must exhibit submitted images at the Eisemann Center.
      • A brief artist statement or bio (paragraph) explaining their interest in art or medium of choice and their future, if any, to pursue an art degree.
      • Photograph (headshot style) of the student. The photo will only be utilized in program brochures if selected.

For additional information on the Emerging Artist Program email elizabeth.wood@cor.gov