Bamboo 5 by Tom Schumacher

It’s Elemental celebrates the talent and creativity of Arizona’s craftspeople by showcasing fine craft work that demonstrates a command of the medium and a high level of workmanship and design. The annual exhibition, hosted at the Coconino Center for the Arts in Flagstaff, serves as a perfect lead up to the holiday season. The exhibition opens in mid-November and remains open through just before Christmas.

It’s Elemental, one of the most popular recurring exhibitions in Northern Arizona, dates back in Flagstaff for over 30 years. The exhibition has its roots in the earliest history of the Coconino Center for the Arts. When the Center opened in 1984, the exhibition was titled, “Wood, Fiber, Clay.” The Center closed in the late 1990′s, but when it reopened in 2001, the exhibition returned with its current name and concept.

The Flagstaff Arts Council is now accepting entries for It’s Elemental 2017. The exhibition will include art created from clay, wood, fiber/paper, metal, and glass. Submitted pieces can be functional or nonfunctional. Participating artists must currently reside in the state of Arizona.

Juror prizes will be given out with cash awards of $1,500.

The deadline to apply for It’s Elemental 2017 is September 14, 2017.

Artists are limited to one application. However, artists may apply a second time as part of a collaboration (2 or more artists working together on a work of art). No artist may be part of more than two applications. Each application may include up to three works of art. The exhibition will be juried by a panel of local artists.

Cash Prizes

This year’s It’s Elemental exhibition features awards totaling $1,500 in cash prizes!

  • The overall Best in Show prize will be $700
  • A First Prize award will be $400
  • A Juror’s Award of $100 will be awarded for the “Best of” each of the four categories that are not represented by the above two awards (categories: wood, clay, metal, glass, paper/textile and mixed media)

Criteria for Acceptance

Mountains and Rivers by Ryanne Sebern

Art in It’s Elemental is juried in one of the following categories: Clay, Wood, Fiber/Paper, Metal, Glass, or Mixed Media.

Jurors will be instructed to accept work that:

  • Demonstrates a command of the medium
  • Shows a high level of design and workmanship
  • Uses materials that are manipulated by the artist
  • Is designed and created by the artist – no work made from kits or utilizing a large amount of commercially made elements will be considered
  • May be either functional or nonfunctional

Jurors will also consider the following descriptions of the various categories:

CLAY: Functional and sculptural work, either wheel thrown or hand made. This includes figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and fired in a variety of atmospheres.

WOOD: Original hand-tooled, machine worked, utility or sculptural, turned or carved wood.

TEXTILES/PAPER: May include, but not be limited to, using materials and/or techniques such as: yarn, fabric, knitting, crocheting, weaving, embroidery, rug making, quilting, felting, basketry, wearable art, handmade paper, bookmaking.

METAL: Functional and sculptural work, including jewelry, incorporating metal worked by the artist using one or more techniques such as forging, welding/soldering, casting, and fabrication.

GLASS: Includes stained glass, slumped, fused, lamp work (which includes beads and figures), blown, sandblasted/engraved.

MIXED MEDIA: Work incorporating materials from two or more categories and created using any number of the techniques listed in those categories, OR work incorporating stone that is sculpted or manipulated by the artist in some way.

Artists must currently reside in the state of Arizona in order to enter their artwork in It’s Elemental.

Student artists are NOT eligible to apply. Student artists enrolled in post-secondary art programs in Arizona may apply to have artwork in the Foundations exhibition that accompanies It’s Elemental.

Acceptance is based primarily on the images presented, so the quality of the images is extremely important.


  • Online Deadline for submissions: September 14, 2017 (11:45pm)
  • Notification of Acceptance (by email): October 3, 2017
  • Delivery of work: October 30-31, 9am-5pm
  • Members Reception Preview: November 9, 2017, 6-8pm
  • Opening Reception: November 10, 2017, 6-8pm
  • Fine Craft Sale: December 2-3, 2017
  • Exhibition closes: December 16, 2017
  • Art work pick up: December 18-20, 2017, and January 2, 2018, 9am-5pm

Additional Information

  • The application fee ($35/regular or $25/members) covers one application of up to three works of art for It’s Elemental. This fee is not refundable.
  • Flagstaff Arts Council will retain a 30% commission for all sales.
  • Any accepted work delivered for the exhibition at the deadline that differs significantly in quality or concept from the juried works may not be accepted.
  • Artists who reside within 100 miles of Flagstaff will be responsible for delivery of artwork to the Coconino Center for the Arts. For Arizona artists who reside further than 100 miles, the Arts Council will pay a shipping or travel stipend to support costs associated with delivery of artwork.
  • Please consider creating and donating handmade ornaments to support the annual “It’s Ornamental” fundraiser: a Christmas tree in our lobby showcases these ornaments, priced between $5 – $50, the sales from which support exhibitions at the Coconino Center for the Arts. Ornaments can be dropped off October 30-31, or before November 8.

Submission Guidelines

Sideboard by Steve Warburton and Richard Coast

A maximum of up to three images per work of art submitted may be included (one full, two detail). Digital images must be high quality, high resolution (minimum size: approx. 5” x 7”, saved at 300 dpi) and in JPEG format.

  • Image files must be named with the title of the work of art and labeled in this format:
    • “ArtTitle.jpg”
    • “ArtTitle-detail1.jpg”
    • “ArtTitle-detail2.jpg”
  • Work must have been created within the last three years and created without supervision of a teacher (student artists may submit work for the Foundations exhibition of college-level student artist work in the Jewel Gallery).
  • Artwork must be ready for display, with specific instruction for any non-standard display methods.
  • Artwork that has been displayed at the Coconino Center for the Arts in the past will not be considered.
  • Jurors

    Jurors review the images of all proposed artwork blind, without knowing the names of the artists. They review images, titles, sizes, medium, year created and sale price. Their decisions are made based on the criteria listed above in the Criteria for Acceptance section. Jurors are invited artists for the 2017 It’s Elemental exhibition.

    The jurors for It’s Elemental 2017 are:

    Ruth Garrison – Textile Artist: During her early years in rural Tennessee, Ruth Garrison was surrounded by family quilts. Garrison has been working as a studio quilt maker since 1983, creating quilts of her own design, often using her own hand painted and printed fabrics. Her work has appeared in Fiberart International, Quilt National, and Quilt Visions exhibitions. She was the juror for the Four Corners textile exhibition at the Coconino Center for the Arts in 2013. Ruth’s quilts are part of the collections of the cities of Phoenix, Tempe, and Flagstaff, Arizona, the James Collection at the University of Nebraska, and many private collections.

    Zac Kothrade – Jeweler: Originally from the White Mountains in Arizona, jeweler Zac Kothrade came to Flagstaff to attend Northern Arizona University in 1999. After graduating from NAU in 2005, Zac went on to spend the next six years working as a Bench Jeweler for a local Flagstaff jewelry store. He now creates beautiful custom jewelry. He won Best in Metal and Second Prize – Overall Show in the 2015 It’s Elemental exhibition. All of Zac’s custom work is designed with the intention to be durable, compliment the wearer and inspire the viewer. He believes that “jewelry is small sculpture, the human body is an amazing place to display it.”

    Elizabeth Bonzani – Ceramic Artist: Raised on a rural New England farm where she spent longs days roaming the fields and woods, Elizabeth Bonzani grew up with a deep love of nature, which influences her work to this day. She earned an A.A.S. degree in Photo Finishing and Processing Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology before moving to Flagstaff in 1983 to study ceramics at Northern Arizona University. She won best ceramic display at the 2015 Sedona Arts Festival which she will be attending for her third year, has appeared in many exhibitions at the Coconino Center for the Arts, and is represented by several galleries. You can view her work at

    The contact person for questions or more information about It’s Elemental is:

    John Tannous | Email | 928.779.2300 x101

    Fine Craft Sale & Artist Marketplace

    The Fine Craft Sale is a separate Artist Marketplace that occurs during It’s Elemental. It’s the perfect art market for the holiday season, and an opportunity for artists to sell more art than what is shown in the It’s Elemental exhibition. Artists are provided a booth in the Coconino Center for the Arts.

    The Fine Craft Sale is scheduled for December 2-3, 2017. The deadline to apply for the Fine Craft Sale is September 28, 2017. There is a $15 application fee (the fee is waived for Arts Council members). Artists do not need to have art in It’s Elemental to participate in the Sale.

    Apply for the Fine Craft Sale separately here >

    How to Apply

    Before you apply, make sure you can answer yes to all of these statements:

    • Artist currently resides in the state of Arizona
    • Artist is not currently a student enrolled in any school or university

    The application and payment to enter It’s Elemental must be completed online (click the button below). If you are having trouble using this form, contact us at 928.779.2300.