Northern National Art Competition

The 36th Northern National Art Competition is a juried art exhibition in Rhinelander, Wisconsin, co-sponsored by Nicolet College and the Northern Arts Council. The Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) began in 1987 with a mere 37 entries. Today, the show attracts the work of artists from all across the United States with hundreds of entries as diverse as the artists themselves, and showcases a wide array of contemporary art in a variety of two-dimensional mediums.


The NNAC is a cooperative venture between
Nicolet Arts & Enrichment and the Northern Arts Council.

A&E Logo

36th Northern National
Art Competition

June 15 - July 28, 2023
Nicolet College Art Gallery
Northwoods Center

More than $8,500 Awarded with
Three $1,000 Awards of Excellence

Calendar 2023

Monday, January : Registration opens via CaFÉ
(Call for Entry) online registration system
Friday, March 24: Registration deadline
Friday, April 21: Acceptance notification
Friday, May 12: Hand delivery by appointment
Monday, May 15: All shipped work due
Thursday, June 15: Opening Reception
Thursday, July 28: Show Closes
Friday, July 29: Pick up hand delivered work by appointment 

The Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) is a juried art exhibition held in Rhinelander, Wisconsin co-sponsored by the Northern Arts Council and Nicolet College Arts and Enrichment. Each year, hundreds of artists nationwide submit work to be considered for inclusion. The competition strives to showcase a cross section of contemporary art in a variety of two-dimensional mediums. The art is always both intellectually stimulating and visually exciting.

Submissions for the 2023 NNAC will be accepted starting on January 9, 2023 on the CaFÉ website. ( You may access CaFÉ by following this link beginning on January 9:

Additional Specifications and Guidelines: This competition is open to all artists 18 years and older who are US residents. Each artist may submit images of recent, original, 2d hangable artwork in any medium including photography, fiber, and mixed media. There is no theme. Images must accurately represent the work entered. The Gallery reserves the right to delete from the exhibition any work that does not conform to the entry specifications or that involves possible copyright infringement. A non-refundable fee of $35 entitles the artist to submit up to two images.

For more information, contact Lisa Sage at Nicolet College - 715.365.4533 or [email protected]

Juror/Judge F. Lennox “Lenny” Campello

We are pleased to announce our juror/judge this year will be Florencio Lennox “Lenny” Campello, an American artist, art critic, author, art dealer, curator, and visual arts blogger. Lenny has been named “One of the most interesting people of Washington, DC”-The Washington City Paper, December 8, 2016.

Lennox Campello studied art at the Washington School of Art in Seattle, graduating in 1981. His work has been exhibited in art galleries and museums around the world. Campello is a regularly published art critic of regional prominence and has been the subject of many reviews by European and American newspapers. His art blog has over six million visitors.

Virtual Retrospective 2004-2019 Northern National Art Competition

Online Opening August 12, 2021

The Northern Arts Council and Nicolet College are pleased to announce the 2021 Northen National Art Competition Virtual Retrospective 2004-2019. This online collection visits the Northern National archives and highlights the art of past prizewinning artists.

While the Northern National Art Competition (NNAC) has been suspended for the past two years due to the pandemic, it is exciting to offer this virtual retrospective and opening celebration featuring an historical overview of the birth of this illustrious competition and its impact on the arts in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. The Northern Arts Council and Nicolet College strive to protect the thirty-four-year tradition of the Northern National through this virtual retrospective exhibition, and they look forward to celebrating the thirty-fifth year with an in-person gala.

Past artists are invited to post their memories, comments, and personal career updates on the Nicolet Gallery Facebook page.