The Banana Factory Arts Center, as part of ArtsQuest’s mission to provide access to art, culture, and educational programs for the diverse residents of the Lehigh Valley, aims to provide local and regional artists with a variety of opportunities, from exhibitions to community engagement. ArtsQuest’s programming reaches more than 1.9 million people annually, with the Banana Factory Arts Center providing more than 4,000 visual arts programs (classes, concerts/performances, workshops, exhibitions, and festivals) each year.
Below you’ll find all the current opportunities and applications available, if you have any questions, feel free to get in contact with the Visual Arts & Education team at email@example.com.
Open Call for Art!
Compendium: Ex Libris
Banana Factory Juried Exhibition
January 15-March 6, 2022
To read a book and surrender to a story is to keep our very humanity alive. – Helen Fagin
Artists living within the Lehigh Valley* are invited to submit artwork for consideration to the sixth annual juried exhibition, Compendium: Ex Libris. The year 2022 marks a 100-year anniversary to 1922, considered to be a golden year of publishing for books and the start of modern literature. To celebrate this anniversary through the intersection of arts and literature, Compendium: Ex Libris asks artists to produce artwork that draws on inspiration from a book, play, poem, short story, essay, or graphic novel published between 1922 and 2022. As a partner with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), this exhibition will also be presented in coordination with the 2022 Poetry Out Loud program, which is part of the PCA’s ongoing efforts to foster educational excellence for Pennsylvania’s high school students through participation in the study, memorization, and recitation of poems.
The annual Compendium exhibitions at the Banana Factory Arts Center are designed to highlight the thriving artistic community of the Lehigh Valley and region and to showcase the diverse array of multidisciplinary artists who reside there.
PRIZES (will be announced at the February 2022 First Friday event and virtually through the Banana Factory Instagram Account)
- 1st Place- $250 cash prize, plus an Instagram takeover feature on the Banana Factory Instagram Account
- 2nd Place- $100 cash prize
- 3rd Place- $50 cash prize
The Jurors for Compendium: Ex Libris, will be Josh Berk (Executive Director, Bethlehem Area Public Library) and Elise Schaffer (Coordinator of Museum Experience & Access at Lehigh University Art Galleries)
Josh Berk is the Executive Director of the Bethlehem Area Public Library as well as an award-winning author of books for kids and teens. His novels include The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin, Strike Three You’re Dead, and the Camp Murderface series, co-written with author Saundra Mitchell.
Elise Schaffer currently serves as the Coordinator of Museum Experience & Access at Lehigh University Art Galleries. Previously she has worked with the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, the Ronald K DeLong Gallery, the Spotted Lanternfly: Zones of Syncopation Community Arts Project, and the Virtual Education Department at Penn State. Her work in virtual tools for museums and galleries as well as her research in arts accessibility has been featured by Penn State’s Arts Project Online, Virginia Association of Museums, Danville Museum of Fine Arts and History, AR|VR Journey Magazine, WDIY Arts Salon, and FIG Magazine. Schaffer is also an avid crafter, musician, and co-host on Steel Pixel Studios’ Lehigh Valley Arts Podcast.
*Artist must reside within the Lehigh Valley, or no greater than a 50 miles radius from the Lehigh Valley (The “Lehigh Valley” is a region in eastern Pennsylvania. Areas within Lehigh Valley include: Lehigh and Northampton County and Warren County in northwestern New Jersey, 62 distinct municipalities, and three cities; Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton.)
Deadline to submit is December 5th, 2021. There is no submission fee to submit work.
All the gallery spaces at the Banana Factory Arts Center and the ArtsQuest Center at SteelStacks feature a rotating selection of national & regional contemporary artists, annual juried exhibitions, and community-based organizations.
If you would like to submit a proposal for an exhibition, please use one of the two forms below.
Information on eligibility, selection criteria, guidelines, and exhibition policies are included on the application forms below. A gallery committee will review applications on a rolling basis. If your proposal is accepted for an exhibition, staff will be in touch. Applications will be kept on file and reviewed for up to one year from the submission date. After that time, artists will need to reapply.
Exhibitions are typically planned one to two years in advance. Inquires on exhibitions can be sent to Nicole Gencarelli, Visual Arts Specialist, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Solo Exhibition Application
This is for a single artist who would like to showcase a solo exhibition of their work.
Group Exhibition Application
This is for a group of artists (2 or more) who would like to exhibit work together in a single space. This form can also be used by an independent curator or artist to submit an exhibition they design/curate for one of the gallery spaces.Apply Now
Resident Artist Studios
The Banana Factory Arts Center offers a selection rent subsidized working studios to area artists. Artists interested in becoming a resident artist should be dedicated to their work and be willing to participate in a community of fellow artists. Artists must also align with ArtsQuest’s mission of providing the surrounding community access to arts, culture, and educational programs.
Resident Artists receive the following opportunities:
- Low cost, subsidized studios. Studios vary in size from 200-900 sq. ft., with 24/7 access for artists.
- Paid teaching opportunities for classes at the Banana Factory Arts Center, as well as artist residencies and community outreach program opportunities.
- Exhibition opportunities, which include a location for displaying artwork in the hallway spaces on the second and third floors, a rotating monthly feature during First Fridays, as well as an annual group exhibition in the Crayola Gallery.
- Resident Artists have access to the creative facilities within the Banana Factory building
Interested artists can apply for a studio space using the application form below. Applicants are reviewed by a committee made up of ArtsQuest staff, representatives from the Visual Arts Board, and a selection of current Resident Artists.
Applications are kept active for one year past the application date, after that time artists are encouraged to re-apply. Please note, we may have a waiting list of artists who have already been reviewed and interviewed, which will take priority should a studio open over new applications.
*UPDATE July 2021- All Resident Artist Studio Spaces are currently filled. Applications submitted will be kept on file to review for future availability*
Inquiries can be directed to Lisa Harms, Sr. Director of Visual Arts & Education, at email@example.com.
Teaching at the Banana Factory
The Banana Factory Arts Center is part of the larger non-profit ArtsQuest and houses all ArtsQuest’s Visual Arts and Education Programing. The Banana Factory is focused on providing the community with diverse artistic and cultural experiences through our year-round programming, which includes a wide variety of visual arts classes for all skill levels and ages. We strive not only to bring out the creativity of all our students but to support the creativity and growth of our Teaching Artists through a multitude of various teaching opportunities across our programs and professional development opportunities. We seek out and encourage all teaching artists with a passion and commitment to engaging in arts education, professional development, and equity and access in the arts to apply below!
The Banana Factory Arts Center has always opened its doors to the public to enjoy and create art seven days a week, including access to our galleries, hot glass studio, Resident Artist studios, and classrooms. Our building closed on March 16, 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning in July 2020, we slowly began re-opening our building in a way that prioritizes the health and safety of our visitors, artists, and staff. Continuing into 2021, we will resume a roster of small-capacity classes and events, along with virtual and hybrid class options. Our building is currently open to the public during regular building hours.
We are seeking teachers who are comfortable with a range of teaching options during this time, including virtual and small capacity/in-person. Interested applicants can see a full list of our Health & Safety Guidelines for patrons and staff here: artsquest.org/safety
Eligibility and Criteria
- Applicant should be a professional artist and/or educator with expertise in one or more arts disciplines. Applicants have a degree(s) in the Fine Arts, Art Education, or other related fields and/or related work experience/training of at least 2 years.
- Applicant must be able to obtain copies of PA State Police Criminal Record Check and PA Child Abuse History and submit them to ArtsQuest before beginning any teaching program. Additional documentation, such a fingerprinting, may be required for some education programs depending on the requirements listed by schools and other community institutions where our programs take place.
- Applicants, if contracted for classes, must provide copies of their Certificates of Insurance to ArtsQuest.
Applicants will be considered based on:
- Artistic excellence as demonstrated by samples of the artist’s work, training, and experience, resume, and letters of recommendation.
- Good communication skills as evidenced by the application, work samples, recommendations, and subsequent interview.
- Experience, interest, and the ability to work with students as evidenced by credentials in education, application, letters of recommendation, sample lesson plans, resume/CV, and interview with staff.
Teaching Artists are considered Independent Contractors and are paid by the program, class, and/or workshop.
Classes and Programs
ArtsQuest hires Teaching Artists for a wide range of programs, including but not limited to:
- Visual Arts Classes for all ages and levels in the mediums of ceramics, drawing/painting, print media, photography, mosaics, sculpture, mixed media, fiber arts, pastels, art & mindfulness, illustration, digital design, photo-editing, and jewelry/metalsmithing.
- Visual Arts Camps for students ages 4-17 during the summer season and winter/holiday season.
- After-School Programs, such as our ArtSmart Program, working with Elementary to Middle School students.
- Field Trips for students of all ages/levels
- Creative Aging programs that work with seniors
- Other School/Community Partner Residencies throughout the year with a variety of students/age levels.
- Workshops and Art Classes for Veterans Groups
- Art History/Contemporary lectures/workshops/appreciation series
- Group critiques for emerging or student artists
- Art Therapy Programs (certification documents required)
ArtsQuest is specifically looking to expand our teaching roster to Teaching Artists with experience in:
- Working with students who have special needs.
- Developing programs and classes which are sensory-friendly.
- Ability to teach classes in languages other than English – especially interested in applicants who are fluent in Spanish.
- Teachers with the ability to work in an online, virtual setting, due to lasting needs related to COVID-19.
- Teachers with experience in early childhood education.
- Teachers with experience teaching at the high school level for after-school/arts education programs.
Applicants for Teaching Artists are reviewed on a rolling basis by the Visual Arts and Education Staff. Teaching Artists will be contacted by ArtsQuest staff for an interview if their qualifications and proposed lesson plans meet our current program needs. After submitting the form below, you will receive a confirmation email indicating that your form has been received.Apply Now