2021 National Exhibition in Escondido, California

30th Annual National Juried
Exhibition of Traditional Oils

Oil Painters of America's was pleased to hold the Thirtieth National Exhibition at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, located in Escondido, California from April 9 through May 16, 2021.

The opening reception for artists, collectors, the public and the press was held at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, on Friday, April 9, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The awards presentation took place virtually on April 19, 2021 at 6:00 p.m. Central Time.

Our goal was to assemble the finest display of representational oil paintings. The focus in the jurying process was to select paintings that show the highest quality in draftsmanship, color, and composition, emphasizing a diversity in representational style and subject matter.

The total national awards was approximately $100,000 in cash and merchandise, including a $25,000 Best In Show.

The awarding juror was Master Signature member Jeffrey Watts.

Artists eligible to compete are citizens - both natural born or otherwise - of the United States, Canada, or Mexico who were 2021 OPA members. Nonresident aliens who currently live in the United States, Canada, or Mexico were eligible to participate provided that they had been physically present at the address provided to OPA for eight of the last twelve months and that the residency was considered to be their permanent domicile and that they were 2021 OPA members. Nonresident aliens whose North American residency was in question was asked to provide proof of residency including, but not limited to, employment history, references, and utility bills in the individual's name. The decision of the Board was final.

The 2021 National Convention was held independently from the Exhibition, with more details announced as they became available.

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum

Gallery Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday - Sunday

Entry Guidelines

FINAL ACCEPTANCE: Online submissions: Friday, January 22, 2021
  • Canvas size: maximum size not to exceed 1,200 square inches (unframed). Example: 30" (height) x 40" (width) = 1,200 square inches.
  • Maximum entries three (3). However, only one (1) painting may be accepted.
  • Paintings must be created on one singular flat substrate and framed and wired for hanging. Multiples are unacceptable - i.e., diptychs, triptychs.
  • The substrate must not exceed the maximum size set forth in the prospectus. Be sure to read each prospectus carefully, as the acceptable size of the substrate changes depending on the gallery/museum.
  • Copyright infringement of any kind is unacceptable. It is unethical and against OPA policy for artists to submit work created from another person's drawing/painting/photo or other artwork that is not solely the artist's copyright.
  • Digital apps and programs may be used for cropping your reference photos, etc., but no digital, mechanical, photo, or other transferring to the substrate of any kind is acceptable. You must draw and/or paint the image on your substrate yourself.
  • Your submission must be originally conceived: your own reference, your own drawing, your own concept and must have been self-painted.
  • No direct copies of stock images, historic photos, or of any reference to which you do not hold total copyright are allowed. You must be able to provide signed documentation of total copyright should OPA request.
  • Paintings created in an instructional setting, including but not limited to workshops and art classes are not considered original artwork. A painting created from a group photo shoot set-up by another artist is not considered original artwork. Paintings created in an open studio where artists share the model are acceptable provided there was no instruction being given of any kind.
  • Painting must have been created within the last 3 years.
  • An artist may submit a painting for a National Exhibition that has previously been accepted into an OPA Regional Exhibition, Salon Show or entered in OPA's Online Showcase.
  • An artist may not submit a painting for a National Exhibition if it has previously been accepted into another OPA National Exhibition.
  • An artist may not submit a painting for a Regional Exhibition that has previously been accepted into a Regional Exhibition, Salon Show or an OPA National Exhibition.
  • The artist retains copyright to his/her image(s). However, accepted images do become part of OPA archives and may be used for future OPA event promotion.
  • All work must be for sale. No NFS. Paintings that do not reflect the artist's current pricing structure may be disqualified from the competition.
  • An artist who withdraws an entry after acceptance into the exhibition shall not be eligible to enter any OPA exhibitions for the next two years.

Entry Information

Online Submissions - Deadline: Friday, January 22, 2021

Electronic applications was accepted beginning Monday, November 16, 2020 and extended through Friday, January 22, 2021. Maximum canvas size may not exceed 1,200 square inches (unframed). Images should be between 1,400 and 4,000 pixels at the largest dimension. Specific details on how to prepare your image properly can be found at here. Click on the "Help" tab.

To submit your electronic application and images, please go directly here and look for OPA's 2021 National Exhibition.

Jurying Fees

The jurying fee for electronic entries was as follows: one painting is $30.00, two paintings are $45.00 or three paintings are $60. Only one painting can be accepted. Electronic payment may be made by credit card or through PayPal. No e-checks will be accepted. Jurying fees for online submissions may also be paid by check mailed to OPA if received by Friday, January 22, 2021.


You must be a paid member through December 31, 2021 at a cost of $70.00. If you are currently not a member or have not paid your 2021 membership dues, OPA will accept your entry provided that 1.) an electronic membership fee is paid by Friday, January 22 or 2.) a mailed membership application and your annual dues are postmarked no later than Friday, January 8, 2021. More membership information may be found here.

Sales Commission

Sales commission of 40% is required by the gallery for all paintings sold. Please take this into consideration when setting your price. All work that is submitted must be for sale. No NFS. Paintings must be priced in accordance with the artist's current pricing structure.

Delivery and Return of Accepted Work

Delivery for Local Artists: Deliver uncrated paintings to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA from March 15 through March 18, 2021. Hand delivered work must be picked up between May 17 and May 21, 2021.

Out of Town Artists: ship to California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido, CA 92025 to be received from March 15 through March 18, 2021.

Handling Fee: Out of Town Artists must pay a $25.00 fee online prior to their painting being hung. This fee covers the expense of uncrating, storage of crates, re-crating and contacting your shipper for return. Artist may elect to include a return shipping label with their painting OR may email the label directly to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum. OPA will waive the uncrating fee for artists who use a commercially manufactured artist's/strong box such as a StrongBox™ by Airfloat Systems, or similar brand, like Masterpak or Uline, or a FedEx Premium Art Box (not a FedEx Large Frame Box). NOTE: Home Depot boxes are NOT included in the list of boxes for which the fee will be waived. Artists who do not use one of these special boxes are required to remit the $25 prior to hanging of the painting. Strong boxes will be returned to the artists at the conclusion of the show at the artist's expense.

Shipments from OUTSIDE the US must be shipped "FREE DOMICILE" or will not be accepted.

Notification posted on OPA website: Jury results posted on OPA website February 24, 2021.

Liabilities and Responsibilities

Oil Painters of America and California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum will not be responsible for loss or damage of any artwork, no matter what the cause. By submitting artwork to this exhibition, each artist will be deemed to have concurred with this agreement. Artists pay for shipping both ways. We suggest that you provide insurance to cover the full value of the artwork while in transit.

Good Luck and Good Painting!

Calendar Checklist

January 22

Deadline for submissions

February 24

Acceptance notification posted on the OPA website

March 15 through March 18

Both shipped and hand delivered artwork to arrive at:

California Center for the Arts, Escondido Museum
340 N. Escondido Boulevard
Escondido, CA 92025

April 9

Opening Reception: for collectors, press, exhibiting artists and the public from 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

April 19

Awards Presentation: announcement of recipients of National awards at 6:00 p.m. Central Time

April 9 through May 16

Length of time show will be open for viewing. See sidebar for exhibition hours

May 17 through 21

Local Artists: removal of paintings during this period. If not removed a storage fee will be charged.