CNY Arts, Inc.

On My Own Time

On My Own Time

On My Own Time 2021 - Call for Artists

Is art your avocation? Do you have another role in your professional life but create original paintings, photography, sculpture, drawings, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, mixed media pieces, or other visual art on your own time? Register for the second annual virtual edition of CNY Arts' On My Own Time program!

Online submissions accepted until September 17 for the
On My Own Time 2021 program, 2nd annual virtual edition!

On My Own Time will be offered as a virtual program again for 2021, to allow as many artists as possible to participate.

We invite amateur visual artists in Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties to submit photographs of their visual art works created within the last 3 years.

Artists can participate through their companies or independently. Businesses that join the program to submit their employees' art will receive promotion and recognition as On My Own Time sponsors.


  • The On My Own Time program is for amateur artists. Artists mut be 18 years of age or older.
  • Each entrant may submit photographs of up to three visual art pieces. These works may be all in one category or in various categories, including photography.
  • Please submit photos that are hi-resolution close-ups of your work, with a plain background and no other items in the photo. If your art work IS a photograph, please submit the hi-resolution photo file, not a photo of the framed work.
  • All work submitted must have been completed within three years of entry. 
  • Artwork submitted must be original creations. Copies of any published works or craft kits will not be accepted.
  • You may submit artwork under the general category OR under the themes: Art in a Time of COVID-19 or Art in Pursuit of Social Justice. (optional)
  • CNY Arts does not guarantee any or all of an entrant's submitted works will be selected. 
  • Submitted art works will be adjudicated by a panel of local arts professionals for special recognition.
  • Registered artists will be sent a release form to grant CNY Arts permission to use and post submitted photographs for On My Own Time operational and promotional purposes.
  • Photographs of selected works will be displayed in the On My Own Time virtual exhibit that will go online in October/November 2021, date tba.
  • The deadline to submit photos of art work is Friday, September 17, 2021
  • If you have questions, please e-mail or call Kara Greene at 315.435.2157.
  • Please use the form link below to register and enter your art work. 


to submit visual art work to the CNY Arts On My Own Time 2021 virtual program as an amateur artist. 

 PLEASE NOTE: A Google Account (gmail) is required to access this form. Please e-mail or call 315.435.2157 if you have any questions or need an alternative way to register.

Become an On My Own Time sponsor!

The virtual exhibit opens in October and runs throughout the year,
so you can sign on as a sponsor any time in 2021/2022. 
Call 315.435.2157 for more information.

Make an Individual Donation.

There is no fee for artists to participate this year, but donations to CNY Arts are appreciated!
You can make a general gift, donate to On My Own Time or another CNY Arts program, or give to the COVID-19 Arts Impact Fund.
A donation is not required for participation in On My Own Time.

For updated information about this year's On My Own Time program, please sign up for the On My Own Time newsletter.


Many thanks to On My Own Time 2021 Silver Sponsor


The guidelines below apply to our in-person On My Own Time program, which is scheduled to resume in 2022.

Sample Timeline

Friday, March 22: On My Own Time Kick-Off Luncheon

Tuesday, April 30: Deadline to join On My Own Time program & to provide your company’s in-house exhibit dates (Please e-mail if you need more time to schedule.)

March—May:  Invoices for participation/sponsorship fee mailed out by CNY Arts to participating companies upon registration

 April 1—June 7: In-House company exhibits take place, including a scheduled visit by the On My Own Time art selection panel (adjudicators)

July (dates TBA):  Companies drop off the two art pieces that were chosen for the catalog to the OMOT photographer (Directions and other details will be provided.)

July (dates TBA):  Companies pick up their art pieces from the photographer

Friday, August 9: Deadline for companies to provide logos & program ads, if applicable, for the catalog to CNY Arts (Details will be provided.)

Thursday, October 3: 10am – 2pm: Companies deliver art pieces selected for the final exhibit to the Everson Museum of Art

Friday, October 18: 5:30pm – 7:30pm: Artists’ Reception at the Everson Museum of Art

October 12 —November 17:  On My Own Time Exhibit open to the community

Monday, November 18:  10am – 2pm: Companies pick up art pieces at Everson Museum of Art

A panel of volunteer adjudicators who are local arts professionals, accompanied by a CNY Arts staff member, will visit each company’s in-house art exhibit on one weekday during its run to select outstanding works of art for the Everson Museum of Art finale exhibit held in the fall.

Note: The selection panel reserves the right to stipulate proper art work finishing as a condition for public exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art.

The number of pieces chosen will vary depending on the size of each in-house company exhibit and the overall number of participating companies—roughly 15% of the works at each company are usually selected. No more than one piece for any particular artist will be selected for the Everson exhibit. The Everson Museum of Art reserves the right to final selection for public exhibit.

Companies/Organizations/Businesses: Any business entity, employing any number of employees that:

  • Has a presence in the Central New York area.
  • Is committed to encouraging employee talents.
  • Is not covered by another On My Own Time program in New York State.

Employee Artists: Any full or part-time employee of those companies participating in the program:

  • Retirees and interns are eligible at the discretion of the participating company.
  • Employee relatives are not eligible.
  • School art teachers may not submit works for judging in their primary discipline.

Criteria for Submission of Artists' Work:

  • Artwork submitted must be original creations - copies of any published works or craft kits will not be accepted.
  • Each employee entrant may submit up to three pieces for adjudication - these works may be all in one category or in various categories.
  • All work submitted must have been completed within three years of entry. Employees can resubmit recent works (that were not selected for the Everson exhibit) from a prior On My Own Time exhibit.
  • Submitted works must be finished works, display ready, and include hardware for mounting or display - submit display instructions/materials for unusual pieces.
  • Co-Sponsorship Credit: Participating organizations act as co-sponsors of this annual event, in partnership with CNY Arts and the Everson Museum of Art. Your company will receive a full page in the exhibit catalog that is distributed to the community during the month-long run of the On My Own Time finale exhibit at the Everson.
  • Publicity: Your company’s name will be included on the CNY Arts website and reception invitations; in CNY Arts e-newsletters, social media, and event press releases; and on signage at the Everson exhibit.
  • Share Hidden Talents: The opportunity to showcase the creativity and accomplishments of your employees through an original visual arts exhibition at your workplace and at the Everson Museum of Art.
  • Support Creativity in the Workplace: The program brings amazing art and a creative spirit into the workplace.
  • Attend the Kick-Off Luncheon: You will receive an invitation for two company representatives to attend our spring luncheon.
  • Attend the Artist/Company Celebration at the Everson: You will receive six tickets to the opening reception and award presentation at the Everson Museum of Art, plus two tickets for each of your artists whose work was selected for the finale exhibit. Gold and Silver level sponsors receive additional tickets to the reception.

Suggested Categories of Art Work:








Fiber Art


Computer Arts   

Metal Work   

Mixed Media

Participating companies appoint an On My Own Time Company Coordinator(s) from its staff who will work with the CNY Arts On My Own Time Program Coordinator to produce the annual event. The Company Coordinator will field questions and relay program information to their artists as well as arrange their in-house exhibit.

The On My Own Time program begins with a kickoff luncheon in March, followed by individual company exhibits of employee art scheduled by each participating company in April, May, or June. CNY Arts will arrange for the adjudication of each exhibit by a panel of volunteer arts professionals. Adjudicators select several pieces from each company exhibit to be included in the On My Own Time grand finale exhibit.

The finale exhibit is a 3 to 4 week public exhibit of selected pieces held at the Everson Museum of Art in the fall. A private artists' reception, attended by artists, company coordinators, and colleagues, family, and friends, is held at the beginning of the finale exhibit's run.

Company Program Coordinator Role


  • Promote On My Own Time at the company level to attract employee entrants. We suggest using posters, flyers, e-mail, intranet postings, social media, etc., to let staff members know about the opportunity to submit their art work to your On My Own Time exhibit. A customized e-mailable flyer can be provided by CNY Arts.
  • Prepare a registration list of employee entrants and their artwork. Provide the CNY Arts Coordinator with the planned date(s) of your on-site exhibit, which can take place during April, May, and/or June.


  • Mount an exhibit of employee artwork at your business site, for a time period of at least one week day, available for viewing by your employees and CNY Arts adjudicators. You may indicate specific days/times preferred for adjudication.
  • Prepare a numbered list of entered art pieces with each artist’s name and art work title, the year the art piece was created, and the dimensions of the art piece, if possible. (A template form will be provided.) Numbers on this list should correspond with numbered identification cards posted next to each piece of art at your in-house exhibit. Please provide 5 copies of this list for the adjudicators.
  • Provide the CNY Arts Coordinator with information necessary to visit your exhibit on the scheduled day of adjudication, such as directions and parking information. You or a designated staff member should be available at the adjudication to greet adjudicators and answer any questions about the exhibit.
  • Program Promotion: Publicize On My Own Time at your discretion via company newsletters, flyers, posters, e-mail, social media, etc. A personalized On My Own Time flyer (PDF) can be requested from CNY Arts. Please name CNY Arts and the Everson Museum of Art on all printed materials promoting On My Own Time. Logos are available at your request.
  • Consider hosting an artists’ reception at your company. Feel free to develop other activities around your on-site exhibit, such as inviting staff members and/or visitors to choose their favorite exhibit pieces.


  • Transport two specified art pieces to the On My Own Time photographer’s studio per arrangements by CNY Arts. These two pieces will be selected by On My Own Time adjudicators from among the total pieces chosen for the Everson Museum of Art public exhibition, and the photos will appear in the OMOT catalog. (One piece will be photographed in color, and one in black and white.)


  • Provide exhibit catalog information: Text for your company’s page in the catalog, plus a display ad, if applicable. (You will be sent a first draft of your catalog page.)
  • Proof/ approval of the first or second draft of your catalog page. (Please note that no changes can be made to the page after approval.)


  • Distribute reception invitations to artists and colleagues. The Bronze participation/sponsorship fee includes 2 reception tickets for each artist whose work was selected for exhibition at the Everson, plus a minimum of 6 additional tickets for your company, to be distributed at your discretion (# depends on sponsorship level). Additional reception tickets may be purchased through CNY Arts.


  • Transport selected art pieces to the Everson Museum of Art on move-in day, or arrange for transportation by the selected artists. Art work must be properly labeled and ready for display, and accompanied by a list including your company name, artists’ names, art work titles, and the company coordinator’s name and phone number.
  • Attend the On My Own Time Artists' Reception at the Everson Museum of Art and represent your company at the awards presentation, or designate a colleague as your representative.


CNY Arts will submit overall program promotional materials to media and promote the event and publicize participating company names through the CNY Arts website, newsletter/blog, its Central NY Arts & Entertainment online calendar, social media channels, and other outlets. Companies may also wish to submit materials to print/broadcast media and promote their On My Own Time participation via social media. Please provide CNY Arts with a copy of any On My Own Time related press materials you create.