Coalition of Photographic Arts
Press Release

CoPA Launches Photo Competition

Grand Prize is Trip for Two to London or $1000

By - Apr 19th, 2019 12:01 pm
Arty Bollocks Ball

Arty Bollocks Ball

Milwaukee, WI—April 19, 2019–Milwaukee’s Coalition of Photographic Arts (CoPA) today launched a photography competition that is open to both its members and the general public. First prize is a trip for two to London or $1000 cash.

The photo competition is a collaboration between CoPA and the creators of artybollocks, a computerized artist statement generator out of Britain, and is a good-natured protest against the pretensions of the art world, starting with lampooning the concept of the Artist Statement.

“This is a photo competition with a bit of cheek,” said CoPA president Pam Ferderbar. “The bane of many artists’ existence, photographers included, is the tradition of having to produce the dreaded artist statement—a written explanation of what your art is supposed to mean. They are often more about nonsensical jargon than the art. Writing them also takes a lot of the artist’s time away from making actual art.”

CoPA is flipping the script on that tradition, and instead is providing ready-made artist statements and inviting anyone with a camera or smartphone to make a photo that goes with the statement. Now through May 17, those wishing to participate can visit the CoPA website to randomly select an artist statement from the virtual fishbowl, make a photo that they feel goes with the statement and submit it for consideration for the Grand Prize and other prizes.

The photo competition winners will be announced on Saturday, June 7 at the punk-themed Arty Bollocks Ball Presented by CoPA, NO Studios and Saint Kate, the Arts Hotel. Why punk? “Bollocks” is Brit slang for b.s. and was introduced into the American lexicon by British punk band The Sex Pistols in the late 1970s. Today’s punk music movement thrives in the Midwest, Milwaukee in particular.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with CoPA on this fantastic photo competition,” said artybollocks co-creator David James Ross. “Every artist knows that writing an artist statement is difficult. They often sound the same and say very little about the actual work. That is why artybollocks was created: to give artists more time to make art and spend less time writing bollocks nobody understands. We love where CoPA is taking this idea with this competition and can’t wait to see the photo submissions. My co-creator Joke DeWinter and I look forward to hopping across the pond for the Arty Bollocks Ball on June 7 to help announce the winners.”

To participate in the photo competition:

Individuals wishing to submit an entry into the competition must be a resident of the State of Wisconsin and be 18 years of age or older. The first step is to visit to generate an artist statement. Simply click the button to generate a statement.

The second step is to create a photograph to go with the artist statement. How you translate the statement into photography is entirely up to you. You are the artist, you decide. The final step is to submit the photo with the artist statement via the CoPA website. Deadline for submissions is 11:50 p.m. on Friday, May 17. Visit for full competition details, rules and regulations.

Prizes & Awards:

50 finalists will have their photographs and the accompanying artist statements printed and displayed on the Arty Bollocks Wall of Fame at the Arty Bollocks Ball Presented by CoPA, NO Studios and Saint Kate, The Arts Hotel on June 7 at NO Studios. Prizes and awards will be given at 7 p.m. You don’t have to be present to win (but come on. Why wouldn’t ya want to find out?).

London Calling Grand PrizeTrip for two to London OR $1000 cash. Trip to London includes airfare for two from Milwaukee, 3 nights hotel accommodation (based on double occupancy) tickets to the Eye, and directions to the Tate for the perfect high/low experience. (Some black-out dates apply.) 

Iggy Pop the Cork Award: For your stellar entry you will receive a groovy award certificate and a bottle of Veuve Clicquot to pop whenever you have the notion or are feeling particularly Iggy.

Shepherd Express Reader’s Choice Award: One lucky punk will rock out with a pair of tickets to Summerfest and all the fame of being the darling of Shepherd Express readers.

CoPA Charlie Bucket Award: What’s more in the spirit of punk defiance than joining the movement? The CoPA Charlie Bucket Award gives you a one-year membership to CoPA with all the perks and a Golden Ticket to any CoPA exhibition between July 2019 and July 2020. You read that right. Whether it’s an open call for entries or a juried competition, you are auto IN!

Arty Bollocks Ball Presented by CoPA, NO Studios and Saint Kate, the Arts Hotel

This punk-themed party takes place June 7 starting at 8 p.m. at NO Studios. The winners of the photo competition will be announced at 7:00 p.m. in a private ceremony. Tickets are $10 in advance and available for purchase at . Tickets are $15 at the door payable by credit card only.

About CoPA

We are a 200-member 501(c)3 promoting photographic excellence through educational programs, lectures, workshops and exhibitions. CoPA forges relationships within the Milwaukee arts community through its Reverse Mentorship program, monthly meetings, portfolio reviews, gallery and museum tours, talks and more. Annual membership is $65, free to students.

About the Artybollocks Generator

Artybollocks is an artist statement generator that first saw the light of day in 2011. It has been relentless in generating artist statements ever since. All at the simple click of a button, with no blood, sweat or tears spilled in the process. Every artist knows that writing an artist statement is a difficult thing to write. They often sound the same and say very little about the actual work. That is why artybollocks was made. To give artists more time to make art and less time writing bollocks nobody understands. The generator here has been specially adapted for the occasion to generate with a particular photographic flavour. You can find the original generator at

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