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Visual Arts Contest

Mycology and the Arts

The next Visual Arts Contest will be announced in early 2024. Submissions are not currently being accepted and rules are subject to change. Please stay tuned!


Traditional Drawing
Traditional Painting
Mixed Media
Sewing and Fiber Arts

Digital Art and MIsc
Photography – Pictorial
Photography – Abstract
Photography – Symbiosis
Photography – Documentary

Contest Rules & Guidelines:

All forms of art are accepted; when submitting, please choose the category into which you feel your work best fits. See Category Guidelines below.
  1. Participant must be either a member of NAMA, or a member of one of NAMA’s affiliate clubs (See list of clubs here: Clubs )
  2. Each participant may enter up to 6 pieces total in the contest, with no more than 2 entries for any one category.
  3. No “adult” content; entries must be “family friendly”.
  4. Art must visually depict fungi somewhere in the piece and/or use fungi as an ingredient (for example, dyed or painted with pigments made from mushrooms, dried mushrooms in mixed media, etc.).  Depictions or use of lichens and myxomycetes (slime molds) are allowed.
  5. By entering, entrant agrees to allow NAMA the use of submission images in our newsletter, social media, website, printed promotional materials, and anywhere else NAMA sees fit. (please include your @name if you would like to be tagged on Instagram).


  • Ten participants (one winner from each category) will receive a one-year membership to NAMA, or a one year extension of their membership if they are already a member.
  • Honorable-Mentions may be presented for entries found to be of particular interest but that do not place.
  • Winners will be announced and notable entries displayed in a slideshow presentation at NAMA’s Annual Continental Foray, this year to be held in Washington, October 2024.


  • Submit one (1) photo per entry (3D categories may submit up to 3 photos per entry) preferably in jpg format and in a high enough resolution that it can be projected on a screen without pixelation.
  • File name must be labeled with identifying info such as entrant’s name and category (for example: JaneSmith.Sculpture.jpg).
  • Email your files and any questions to NAMA Visual Arts Committee:
    Include “NAMA Visual Arts Contest” in the subject line and any other relevant info in the body of the email. Please state which club(s) you are a member of; EG NAMA and/or it’s affiliates.
  • Voting will be conducted by an impartial jury of professional artists selected by NAMA’s Visual Arts Committee.
  • We encourage artists to submit a short paragraph with their entries describing species depicted/used, and any other interesting tidbits such as inspiration or process behind the work. We would like to see distinct and real mushrooms represented. This along with quality and skill will play a major role in the selection process.

Category Guidelines:

  • Traditional Drawing: Pencil, charcoal, marker or ink drawings and any other traditional dry media. May include minor digital touch up.
  • Traditional Painting: Watercolor, gouache, acrylic, oil and any other traditional wet media. May include minor digital touch up. Special consideration may be given to entries painted with mushroom and lichen derived pigments.
  • Mixed Media: Traditional artwork in which more than one medium or material has been employed. This category includes collage, assemblage, etc.  Drawings and paintings made on mushroom based papers may be entered here. Art may have some dimension, but any obvious 3D mixed media should be entered under Sculpture.
  • Sculpture: Includes pottery, sculpture, jewelry, woodworking, miniatures, 3D mixed media and any other dimensional crafts that do not fall under the category ‘Sewing and Fiber Arts’.
  • Sewing and Fiber Arts: Knitting, crocheting, felting, etc. Also includes all sewing, quilting and most wearable art (mixed media and sculpture in which fiber and/or fabric are the primary component should be entered here). Special consideration may be given to entries dyed with mushroom and lichen derived pigments.
  • Digital Art & Misc: This is a bit of a catch-all category. Includes heavy photo manipulation, digital illustration, digital collage. Animated GIFs as well as short videos under 2 minutes may be entered here. AI assisted artwork must be entered in this category and must be explicitly labeled as such, including which generator was used.
  • Photography – Pictorial: This division is for single photos that illustrate the beauty and variety of fungi in form and color. Mushrooms should not be cut or turned over and look natural. Judging criteria include consideration of both technical (focus, depth of field, exposure, lighting, color, absence of distracting elements) and artistic (composition, color, background, lighting) aspects. Obvious photo manipulation discouraged
  • Photography – Abstract: This division is for single photos that illustrate the visual features of fungi without attempting to represent the subject in an obvious way. Judging criteria include the same as in the Pictorial category as well as focus on achieving an impressionistic effect via shapes, forms, colors, and textures, and consideration of the many varied details of fungi and their physical features. Consider macrophotography, shadows and light, and skewing the obvious without manipulating the image. Obvious photo manipulation discouraged
  • Photography – Symbiosis: This division is for single photos that illustrate the ecological relationship between two species that live in close proximity to each other. Organisms in symbiotic relationships have evolved to exploit a unique niche that other organisms provide such as fungi in relation to creatures such as reptiles, insects, and gastropods for example. Judging criteria include a portrayal of such a relationship in conjunction with  composition, color, background, lighting, etc. Obvious photo manipulation discouraged
  • Photography – Documentary: For single photographs especially suited as illustrations in a field guide or monograph, or for use in a lecture. Emphasis is placed on portrayal of key morphological characteristics such that the usefulness of the image as an identification aid is maximized. Subjects may be shot in the field, laboratory or studio and the photographer has complete freedom to cut, process, physically manipulate, or orient the specimen in any desired manner to achieve the goal. Close-ups of single features and photomicrographs are acceptable. Judging criteria will be the same as in the Pictorial category but they will be of secondary importance to the overall mycological utility of the photo. Accurate identification of the subject will be a consideration. Obvious photo manipulation discouraged

**Please note**
The Visual Arts Committee may, at their discretion, change the category of an entry or reject an entry that does not fit the spirit of the contest.

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