Ray and Nancy Loeschner Art Competition

Ray and Nancy Loeschner Art Competition

Become part of the permanent collection.

The annual Ray and Nancy Loeschner Art Competition is open to artists working in a two-dimensional format including photography inspired by the grounds and collections of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

The objective is to collect high quality work that would celebrate the beauty and inspiration the institution provides.

Two $5,000 purchase awards (one for two-dimensional and one for photography) will be paid for the winning entries in addition to becoming a part of Meijer Gardens' permanent collection. 


  • Artists who have been inspired by Meijer Gardens are encouraged to submit original works.
  • Although not a requirement, artists are also welcome to work on site for inspiration. The winning entry will become part of Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection. It will be displayed and may eventually be reproduced (e.g. posters, note cards), with full credit to the artist, to promote the beauty and inspiration the organization provides.

Encouraging artists to enjoy and utilize Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park as a source of inspiration has long been important to the Loeschner family.  Ray, and his wife Nancy, who passed away in 2012, have been lovingly involved with the institution when it was still but a dream more than twenty years ago.  In 2002, they unveiled the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Art Competition for two-dimensional art.  This annual juried event encourages entries by artists inspired by Meijer Gardens but rendered in two-dimensional form: painting, drawing, prints, pastels and photography.

“We all loved the idea of artists visiting the gardens,” Ray recently reflected, “we weren’t interested in artists submitting just any work – it had to be inspired by their experience here.” 

Meijer Gardens is delighted to exhibit the winning entries in one of our public areas. As we open our Welcome Center and transition into another expansion phase in 2021, we will continue to display these works on a rotating basis in an appropriate and accessible space.


Apply online via ArtCall.org.  

Please note, only online submissions will be accepted.

Deadline to enter is October 24, 2021.

Past Winners

Past Winners

Stone Peng. A New Way to See the Beauty, 2020. Photograph. Winner of the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Two Dimensional Art Competition for Photography, 2020

Jean Allemeier Boot. Existence, Granite Elements, 2020. Etching and aquatint with chine collé on paper. Winner of the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Two Dimensional Art Competition, 2020

Carol Battin. Meijer Flower, 2019. Photograph on metal, 20 x 16 inches. Winner of the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Two Dimensional Art Competition for Photography, 2019

Kathy Mohl. Elements of Nature, 2019. Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 inches. Winner of the Ray and Nancy Loeschner Two Dimensional Art Competition, 2019.

Two winners were named for the first time in 2018, one for two-dimensional and one for photography. The photography winner was Garden Beauty by Oaklee Thiele. The two-dimensional winner was Fall Migration on the Frey Boardwalk by Justin Kellner.

Oaklee Thiele. Garden Beauty, 2018. Photograph, 18 x 12"

Justin Kellner. Fall Migration on the Frey Boardwalk, 2018. Acrylic on canvas, 36 x 64"

Kim Frank Fujiwara. Lotus, 2016. Photography, 13 x 18". 

Mary Brodbeck. Blanket, 2016. Mokuhanga (Japanese woodblock print).

Rachel Van Wylen. Japanese Garden, 2015. Linocut on paper.

Colleen O’Rourke. Autumn Blaze, 2014. Seed bead embroidery.


Dianne Shullenberger. Fall Brambles, 2013. Colored pencil on black paper.
Dianne Shullenberger - Fall Brambles, 2013

Stephen Duren. 5512, 2012. Oil on paper.
Stephen Duren - 5512

Chris Stoffel Overvoorde. Ripples, 2011. Oil on canvas.
Chris Stoffel Overvoorde - Ripples

 Steven Schousen. Geyser, 2010. Graphite on paper.
Steven Schousen - Geyser

James Karsina. Five Red Trees, 2009. Gouache on paper.
James Karsina - Five Red Trees, 2009

Margarent Vega. En route—Landscape, 2008. Oil on paper.

Sharon Sandberg. Bonsai: Little Plum Tree, 2007. Oil on linen.

George Peebles. Summer’s Delight, 2006. Oil on canvas.

Marybeth Hekman. Welcome to the Gardens, 2005. Watercolor.

Michael Pfleghaar. Plant Stand (Green House Party), 2004. Oil on paper.

Richard L. Cooper. Morning Bloom, 2003. Oil on canvas.

Lesley Malkowski. Untitled, 2002. Photograph.