Puma: Past and Present
A Natural History of the American Mountain Lion
At The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum

Location: Ironwood Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: September 16th- December 25th 2017
Opening Reception: September 16th 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

Call for Entries

We’re one of a kind — a zoo, botanical garden, museum, aquarium, as well as a research, conservation, art, and education center— located in the outstanding saguaro forest of Tucson Mountain Park. This year we’re joyfully celebrating our 65th anniversary of interpreting the Sonoran Desert for our visitors.

A young, male mountain lion arrived at the Museum on George Washington’s Birthday, 1953. Bill Carr (Desert Museum Founder) named him George in honor of the day, L. for Leo the Lion, and combined two words, Mountainlion, for his surname. Full of personality, playfulness, vocal “yaps” and “purrs”, George L. charmed visitors and staff. Along with all the lions that have followed in his paw prints over the years, George L. Mountainlion has reigned as the Museum’s all-time icon.

Mountain lions have the widest distribution of any mammal in the western hemisphere, their range extending from southeastern Alaska to southern Argentina and Chile. These American lions are chiefly nocturnal but may be abroad during daylight and are found in a variety of habitats including the desert. Also known by a variety of common names such as cougar, puma, and painter, mountain lions feed on deer and small mammals.

We have noticed that our museum guests consistently embrace the Mountain Lion as a favorite theme in our gallery. The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum is excited to showcase the many creative talents of our membership through this exciting component of our upcoming exhibition. Chosen artists in all categories will be displayed along with selected master works from around the globe. What a great way to celebrate the museum’s birthday!” —Holly Swangstu, Art Institute Director

The Ironwood Art Gallery at the world-renowned Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum has been showcasing Regional, National and International fine art works inspired by nature for over 15 years. Most recently, the gallery was voted “Best Art Gallery in Tucson” by the readers of the Arizona-Daily Star. Open 365 days a year, the gallery annually enjoys over 51 thousand guests who visit from 56 different countries and represent every state in the U.S.

A panel of judges will select art work for this exhibition from the full body of eligible, competitive entries— judges will be announced this summer. Awards, such as, a purchase award and student cash award, among other honors will also be announced later this summer. Winners will be selected from the final exhibited works, and announced during the opening reception.


All artists must have a current standing membership at The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum at the time of submission. If you are unsure of your membership status you may call (520)-883-3024 to receive an update. All submitted entries must be 2-D works. Essentially, if we can hang it on a wall, we will consider your art for acceptance. All works must be submitted digitally, see Entry Procedure section below. This is an all ages exhibition. All art works must be original. Artists may submit works in one of three categories:

Artist must fall in the age range of 5-18. Artworks will be judged in the following age range categories: 5-7; 8-10; 11-13; 14-18. The age of the Youth artists at the time of entry must be provided.
Artist is at the early stage of their career. They have training in the arts and may have created a modest body of work. These artists are still developing their artistic voice; they are not recognized as established artists by other artists, curators, critics, or art administrators.
Artist who has reached a mature stage in their career and has created an extensive body of independent work. These artists have reached a level of achievement and may be recognized nationally or internationally. These individuals may promote or market their work or be represented by a dealer, publisher, or agent. Professional artists receive or have received compensation from their artistic activities; this income may be reasonably included as income of a self-employed person or business.

Date of completion must be listed on the submission form. Artworks must be created within the last two years: September 2015 - September 2017

All accepted works will remain on display for the duration of the exhibit. No artwork is to be removed before the closing of the exhibition, December 25th, 2017. The Art Institute reserves the right not to display any work that does not meet all Eligibility and Identification requirements.

Artworks will be judged on one or more of the following themes:


Digital Entries deadline June 10th, 2017 at midnight
Accepted Entries chosen July 1st, 2017
Ship-In Delivery September 1st, 2017
Walk-In Delivery August 28th to September 1st, 2017


For general information, questions, or Prospectus and Artwork specifications call (520)-883-3024 or email Sarah Osborne, Curatorial/Administrative Assistant at sosborne@desertmuseum.org.

Accepted Entries

Artists will be notified of accepted artwork via email by July 1st, 2017. After this time artists will be contacted personally with a full list of specifications. All accepted work must adhere to the guidelines below.

Artwork Specifications

If chosen, all artworks must meet the following requirements:


All Artwork must be identified in a clear and secure manner with the artists name, address, phone, and title on the backing of the piece.

Framing and Hanging

All work must be provided with hanging picture wire. Wire must be attached with flat devices such as D-Rings, Mirror Hangers, or interior mounted screw-eyes. Please bind the ends of the wire with tape or similar means for those handling pieces.

Wire should be attached near the upper quarter of the frame with a little slack so it hangs close to the wall without exposure of the wire.


All elements and materials that make up the presentation must be in clean, pristine condition. All elements must fit together properly with no gaps or protrusions. Mats, if used, must be clean and cut with precision.

If a chosen piece does not meet the above criteria, please contact Sarah Osborne at (520)-883-1380x7346 to be considered as an exception to these specifications.

Artwork Delivery


Chosen works may be shipped to The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Attn: Art Institute. All shipped work must be received by August 25th, 2017. All artists must cover shipping works to the Museum. The Museum will cover return shipment of works. All shipped artwork will be shipped to the Artist within two weeks of the exhibition close date.

Drop Off/Pick-up

Works may be hand delivered to the Art Institute of The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Hand delivered drop off dates are August 28th-September 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Post show, the pick-up dates for all hand delivered works are December 27th-December 29th from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Works beyond 30 days will be considered a donation to the Art Institute of The Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, unless arrangements are made in advance with the Art Institute.


If chosen, and indicated as for sale a 40% commission will be deducted by the Museum from the funds received for each sale of artwork. Sold items will be taken by the buyer after the close of the show or shipped at the buyer’s expense to the address of their choice. If not for sale please indicate NFS for price and enter the value for insurance purposes. The Museum agrees to mail payment to the Artist, less the 40% commission, within 30 days following the close of the exhibition. All artists must complete a W-9 (national) or W-8BEN (international), provided by the Art Institute, before receiving payment. The artist shall be responsible for paying all of the taxes and any applicable withholdings.


All Artwork in the exhibition will be insured by the Museum for the amount specified (which must reflect fair market value),subject to the following standard exclusions: ordinary wear and tear which may include dust, dirt, small scratches, and/or chips in glass or frames, gradual deterioration, insects, vermin or inherent vice, and repairing, restoration or retouching process. If the fair market value is not listed for any Artwork, the Museum will set the value for purposes of insurance for the period of the loan at $200, which value shall not be considered an appraisal. In the event of loss or severe damage to the Artwork, the amount paid by the Museum’s insurance shall be the sole recovery available to the Exhibitor from the Museum

Reproduction and Credit

The Artist is the owner of the copyrights in the Artwork(s) and consents to the Museum’s reproduction of the Artwork(s) for educational, catalog and publicity purposes. In any publications, the Museum will make reasonable efforts to give credit to the Artist. It is the responsibility of the Artist to notify the Museum promptly in writing if there is any change in ownership of the Artwork or the copyrights of the Artwork or if there is a change of address or identity of the Artist. The Museum assumes no responsibility to search for an Exhibitor (or owner) who cannot be reached at the address of record.

By submitting an entry the artist agrees to all stated requirements and conditions listed in this prospectus.