Artist Entries – The Universal Sea Awards I

Our EU co-funded project The Universal Sea ran three Open Calls to Artists. A big thank to all artists for their great contributions! Here you can find our Top 100 submissions of our first open call from 2017 as a reference. They were all published in the guidebook from 2019.

No photo has been submitted for the contest. Be the first!


Art as a catalyst for change - Against waste in the seas

“The Universal Sea: Pure or Plastic?!” is a European art and innovation project designed to fight plastic waste in the sea, which is produced by mankind. The purpose of the Open Call is to promote art in the Anthropocene as a mean to develop social and ecological impact and change.



  1. By submitting to The Universal Sea Open Call the applicant hereby accepts these Competition Rules (Terms and Conditions).

2.1. The Open Call is open to anyone aged 18 years and over. There are no restrictions based on gender, training or nationality.

2.2. Applicants can submit one or more artworks/ projects of any medium. Each submission must be based on a short description in English language and one image (photo or video/film still or collage or other visualization). The artworks/ projects must be accurately portrayed in the image submitted.

2.3. The applicants must be the owner of the artworks and the works submitted must be of their own origination. The applicants must hold all moral and intellectual property rights.

2.4. If selected for the exhibition, the applicants are responsible for transporting the original artwork or proper material to the exhibition.


3.1. To participate in The Universal Sea Open Call the applicant must upload one image and a short description of the submitted artwork/ project at

3.2. Applications must be submitted by December 31, 2017 – 11:59 pm CET.

3.3. Any support requests must be directed to before the closing time.

3.4. The image submitted must be no smaller than 0,2MB and no larger than 2MB (Recommended width of the digital image: 2000 pixel). Should the submission get selected for the second stage of the award selection process, the applicant must be able to supply a high-resolution image (at least 15 x 20 cm, 300 dpi) suitable for printing. If the image quality is not good enough, it will lead to the cancellation of the application.

3.5. The description of the submitted artwork/ project should not extend 2.000 characters. The description should give a vital introduction to the artwork/ project, its relation/ relevance to “The Universal Sea” and its impact/ inspirational kick regarding the purpose of being a catalyst for change. All descriptions must be delivered in English language.

3.6. By submitting to the Open Call the applicant agrees and acknowledges that The Universal Sea is permitted to receive the applicant’s registration data.

3.7. By submitting to the Open Call the applicant agrees that The Universal Sea and its core partners*, may reproduce their work (at no fee) for communication purposes (including press, publicity, website, social media, promotion, catalog, books and any other printed or digital material in relation to The Universal Sea), excluding for resale.

3.8. By submitting to the Open Call the applicant agrees to be placed on the mailing lists for newsletters or announcements of future calls and projects by The Universal Sea.


4.1. There is no registration fee to enter the open call.


5.1. All applications submitted by December 31st, 2017 – 11.59 pm CET – including that the registration fee has been received till that date – enter the selection process.

5.2. The three-staged selection process runs from January 1 till March 15, 2018.

5.3. At the selection stage 1, the 100 most promising submissions will be chosen. Those applicants will be noticed by email till January 16, 2018. To be eligible for the shortlist, they will have to submit the extended application form consisting of questions to be answered and printable images in high-resolution till January 31, 2018. The link to the extended application form will be provided in the notice email. Missing information or poor image quality will lead to the cancellation of the application. Out of those extended applications, the Top 100 will go into the public voting.

5.4. At stage 2 a shortlist of 10 (+5 from public voting) will be selected for the final judgement. Those successful applicants get informed till latest March 15, 2018.

5.5. At stage 3, the final judgement by the jury selects the 5 winners of The Universal Sea Open Call 2018. These will be officially announced at the award ceremony and they enter the Artist Residencies.

5.6. The decisions of the jury and the organization team of the Open Call are final and no negotiation is accepted in regard to that.


6.1. There are 5 wild cards based on public voting. The 5 most voted artworks/ projects will enter the final judgement, stage 3 of the selection process.

6.2. The Top 100 artworks/ projects selected at stage 1 of the selection process will enter the public voting.

6.3. The public voting opens February, 1, 2018 - 00.01 am CET and closes February 28, 2018 - 11.59 pm CET.


7.1. The Universal Sea is a European art and innovation project designed to fight plastic waste in the ocean, produced by mankind. The purpose of the Open Call is to promote art dealing with water in the Anthropocene as a mean to develop social and ecological impact and change. Additionally, the online platform, the exhibitions, the ceremony and a printed book extend the reach, create publicity, and build awareness for the issue of water pollution and the artists and cultural producers involved. The applicants gain recognition and add value to their professional career.

7.2. The Top 100 selected submissions of stage 1 will be exhibited at the grand opening at the Centre of Polish Sculpture in Oronsko, Poland (ca. from end of April till beginning of June 2018) and at the final festival organized by Hybrid Art in Budapest, Hungary in autumn 2018, through a print-out of their submission. Additionally, they will be published in a book that summarizes the whole project, being released at the beginning of 2019. Given that, the applicants provide the necessary extended application form including up to 3 printable images in high resolution.

7.3. The 5 selected artists of stage 3 will additionally present their artwork/ projects through their real artworks and the enter the Artist Residency program to proceed with developing their projects. They are responsible for running three public “actions” like workshops or interventions to create a dialogue with the public based on their artwork. To cover the costs of their art production and their travelling, the finalists (artists in residence) will receive a budget of 5.000 Euro (including VAT).


8.1. The decisions of the awarding jury are unrecallable and undeniable. Each applicant gives to The Universal Sea and it’s core partners*, without any compensation, the rights of reproduction, exhibition, publication, translation and communication to the public, in any manner and without exception, for their works and for the texts submitted for the selection.

* Core partners of the Universal Sea project are the Foundation for Entrepreneurship, the Centre of Polish Sculpture, Hybrid Art, EUCC-Germany and the Institute for Art and Innovation.