The Museum is seeking local artists who excel at the art of scientific illustration, for our long-running exhibit The Art of Nature.


Artists may submit up to 3 pieces of artwork that fit the following criteria: 

  • It is artwork in the service of science, with images of organisms or processes that teach, inform, and create an understanding of our world.
  • It is artwork that exemplifies fine attention to detail and scientific accuracy.
  • Special consideration will be given to pieces featuring species native to California.
  • Artists must be Monterey Bay or Bay Area residents over the age of 18.

Submission Window Closed


  • Entry Deadline: February 7, 2021
  • Artist Notification: March 1, 2021
  • Virtual Exhibit Launch: April 1, 2021
  • Physical Exhibit Opening: TBD
  • Exhibit Close: May 30, 2021

Curation Details

  • Submissions will be juried by Museum staff and professional scientific illustrator Megan Gnekow.
  • Museum staff will make all curatorial decisions, and in the event of a physical exhibit will oversee the installation.
  • In the event of a physical exhibit, the artist must provide framed artwork that is wired for hanging, and must deliver it to the Museum on or before the installation window.


  • The artist will complete any research, design, art production and installation as a volunteer and will not receive compensation for the exhibit.
  • The Museum will not broker the sale of any artwork in the exhibit and labels/captions may not include prices.
  • The Museum will provide contact information to interested parties as requested, and keep a price list at the Front Desk if we are open to the public.
  • Consignment items may be sold in the Museum gift shop- the Museum will retain a 25% consignment fee on the sale of all items and will return unsold items along with a check for consignment sales within 30 days of the close of the show.


  • Artists maintain all copyrights to submitted artwork. Artists grant permission to Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History to store submission images and related collected data for submission management purposes and to offer jurors a way to review and select submissions. 
  • If your work is selected, you grant Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History a license to use your submission to promote and showcase its website, activities and to achieve its mission. Such license will not be used to resell or sublicense your submission. Therefore you grant Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History a non-exclusive, royalty free, irrevocable, worldwide perpetual license to use, publish, modify, adapt, translate, create derivative works, distribute and display your work and submission information, including your name and location, in the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History website, advertising, and promotional materials.
  • Use of images for promotional purposes will credit the artist.
  • The Museum will cover expenses associated with all related promotion.


  • The Museum assumes all responsibility for the protection of artist’s physical artwork while on exhibit.