Call For Artists

Arch is seeking to commission artwork from five women artists in Ohio who have been incarcerated and whose work addresses trauma and mental health. We will ask each artist to create an original piece inspired by the intersections of stigma, mental health, and incarceration. We are interested in supporting artists working in any visual medium - paint, drawing, mixed media, and more - as a part of this commission initiative.

Commissioned art pieces will be exhibited and used to solicit donations in order to: 

1. Support the shift in public perception around mental health, incarceration, and stigma;

2. Raise both awareness for the unique struggle women exiting incarceration face, and donations to support them in employment, housing, and other daily needs as they reenter the community. 

Who We Are

ARCH is an outreach project to help meet the needs of individuals who have been incarcerated or justice involved. We aim to assist local faith communities in becoming welcoming spaces that provide essential support services to returning citizens on their road to reintegration and healing.  

Why We Are Seeking Commissions

This project is funded in part by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OMHAS) for the purpose of raising awareness about mental health and the stigma surrounding mental health. ARCH believes in the power of art and artists to help change narratives and stigmas, so we are investing these funds to help make this possible


Artists selected for this commission will receive $1,000 to create an original work of art. 80% of funds raised during the course of this fundraiser will go towards the ARCH Reentry House - a new house we hope to launch to assist women coming out of incarceration. The remaining 20% of funds raised will be divided between the five commissioned artists. 

Application Process

We are accepting applications from formerly incarcerated women living in Central Ohio. Five artists will be chosen for the project. To apply, please send an email to [email protected] by March 11th, 2022 with the following information: 1) Your name; 2) Phone number; 3) Examples of artwork  (up to five image files or a link to your instagram/website) that gives us a feeling for your portfolio of artwork; and 4) your response to the questions listed below.


We understand that these questions are very broad and open ended. Please know that we are not interested in the “right” answers. Rather, we are looking to know more about you and the art you create.

1. What is your relationship to art?

2. Do you currently incorporate your experiences with mental health or incarceration in your art?

3. Do you have any immediate ideas about what you might create based on what you’ve read so far? If so, please tell us more!


• The application must be submitted by March 11, 2022

• Interviews will be conducted from March 16 - March 23, 2022

• Selected artists will be notified by March 25, 2022

• Pieces must be completed by April 30, 2022

How We Will Use Your Art and Your Likeness 

The goal of this project is to 1) highlight how art and artists can shift the narrative on mental health  and 2) raise funds for ARCH’s Reentry House, which will house 5 - 6 formerly incarcerated women in Columbus. In order to do this, we will:

• Document the process of each artist creating the piece. This includes 1 - 2 studio visits to take video and photos of you and your process 

• Create spotlights highlighting each artist and place them at media outlets (Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive, Matter News, @onlyincbus, Columbus Underground, etc)

• Display the art, videos, and artist profiles online (website and social media) to promote the project and raise awareness about mental health and community resources

• Make high-quality prints of each commissioned work

• Display the pieces in venues throughout Columbus (cafes, galleries, churches, etc.)

• Sell prints of each piece, with proceeds split between the artist and the ARCH Reentry House

• Auction the original commissioned work at a gallery event during the summer

Direct Assistance 

Returning citizens often benefit from close community support and assistance in the months after coming out of incarceration. Reintegration is hindered by an inability to find affordable/safe housing, living wage employment, and connection with local resources. We are collecting donations to help support women in attaining short term, emergency housing, transportation, and other necessities upon release. 

If you’d like to be part of this project, please submit your application to [email protected] We can’t wait to hear from you!