Departmental Prizes

The Department of Visual Arts also offers many different types of prizes for students. 

Department Prizes

Anne Bartlett Lewis Memorial Prize in Visual Arts

Established by the family of Anne Bartlett Lewis, this prize is given for demonstrated excellence in creative visual arts.

Richard P. Martel Jr. Memorial Prize

This prize is awarded to those students who, in the judgment of the visual arts faculty, are deemed to have produced the most creative, perceptive, proficient, and visually appealing art works exhibited at the College during the academic year.

How to Apply

Applications for Spring 2018 department prizes are due by Monday, April 2, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.! Please submit a digital portfolio of your work to Professor Mike Kolster at, as outlined below. Please note that these awards are not limited to visual arts majors and minors, so all students are encouraged to apply. The prizes are also not limited by class year, although they have most often been awarded to seniors in recognition of their overall achievement.


Applications must be submitted via email. Using your website, blog, or a photo sharing service (such as Flickr or Picasa), please submit an online portfolio of 10-20 images of your work.

You’re welcome to submit artwork in any media or combination of media that you choose, but only work that you’ve completed since enrolling at Bowdoin (including summer courses, study abroad, and work you’ve done on your own).

Multiple views or details of the same piece are welcome if they help to represent a given artwork more fully, but please note that you have a maximum of 20 images, not 20 artworks; three images of the same sculpture are still three images out of the 20. You're advised to budget your images accordingly.

The prizes will be juried and awarded by the Visual Arts faculty. Although there just are two departmental prizes in Visual Art, the department has been known in previous years to select more than one student for each prize.

Since the Martel Prize specifically mentions work that has been "exhibited at the College," installation shots of any shows you may have had here (or off-campus, but as part of a class) are also welcome.

Presenting Your Work

Please take care to photograph and present your work as clearly and accurately as possible, making sure that your photos are well lit and well exposed. Using Photoshop or a similar application, please adjust the color, contrast, and framing of your images as needed.

Paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and other two-dimensional objects should be squared up and cropped to exclude backgrounds, mats, and frames (unless they’re integral to the artwork). Three-dimensional objects should be shot against a background that is as neutral and uncluttered as possible.

If you need advice about shooting your work or adjusting the images digitally, please consult with Tara Hutton, Visual Arts Technician.

Application deadlines will be announced during the Spring semester each year.

Recent Recipients