CNY Arts, Inc.

On My Own Time

On My Own Time

On My Own Time 2024

Sign up now to take part in the 51st Annual On My Own Time program!

On My Own Time is a celebration of visual arts that highlights the often unsung artists in all fields who create art "on their own time"!  Employers from business, nonprofit, government, and educational sectors join this annual program to spotlight the creativity of their staff members and to celebrate and support arts and culture in the workplace and community.  

CNY Arts thanks OMOT 2023 Participating Organizations


Call 315.435.2157 or e-mail
with any On My Own Time program questions.


Sponsor On My Own Time 2024!

You can become a Silver or Gold level sponsor of On My Own Time, even if you don't participate with a workplace exhibit. 

To inquire about sponsorship, please call 315.435.2157 or e-mail  


On My Own Time 2024 Guidelines
for Business/Organization Participants


Sunday, March 31: Deadline to join the On My Own Time program; Invoices for participation/sponsorship fee mailed out by CNY Arts to participating companies upon registration

March 21 — June 20: In-House company exhibits take place any weekday(s) during this period. A convenient adjudication day and time will be scheduled with the company for the On My Own Time art selection panel adjudicators.


Friday, August 23: Deadline for companies to provide logos & program ads, if applicable, for the catalog to CNY Arts (Details will be provided.)

August/September: Companies provide and proof information for their catalog page.

October 5 —November 10:  On My Own Time Exhibit open to the community at Everson Museum of Art

Thursday, October 10: 5:30 pm -- 7:30 pm - Artists Reception for Finale Exhibit Opening at Everson Museum of Art

November 11: 10 am--2 pm - Companies pick up art pieces 

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 finale exhibit held in the fall at Everson Museum of Art.

Note: The selection panel reserves the right to stipulate proper art work finishing (frame/hanging hardware, etc.) as a condition for inclusion in the finale exhibit.

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 finale exhibit. The finale exhibit host 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:

  • Artists who submit works for adjudication must be amateur artists (not working as/pursuing a career as a professional artist.) Exception: School art teachers may submit works not in their primary discipline for adjudication.
  • Retirees and interns are eligible at the discretion of the participating company.
  • Employee relatives are not eligible.
  • Artists must be age 18 or older

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. Companies can decide to accept more works per employee for their exhibit, but must indicate which pieces (up to 3) will be submitted for adjudication.
  • All work submitted must have been completed within three years of entry. Employees can resubmit recent works (that were not selected for the finale exhibit) from a prior On My Own Time exhibit.
  • Submitted works must be finished works, display ready, and include the required hardware for mounting or display - Please submit display instructions/materials for unusual pieces. Details about hardware requirements will be provided to each participating company.
  • Co-Sponsorship Credit: Participating organizations act as co-sponsors of this annual event, in partnership with CNY Arts. Your company will receive a full page in the exhibit catalog that is distributed to the community during the run of the On My Own Time finale exhibit.

  • 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. Silver and Gold level sponsors are also included in any OMOT print advertisements and broadcast spots.

  • 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 at the finale exhibit site.

  • Support Creativity in the Workplace: The program brings amazing art and a creative spirit into the workplace.

  • Attend the Artist/Company Celebration: You will receive tickets to the finale exhibit opening reception and award presentation at Everson Museum of Art (location to be confirmed), 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.

  • Finale Exhibit: A selection of works from each participating company will be displayed in a joint 4-week exhibit at Everson Museum of Art! Each work will include signage identifying the artist's employer.

Sample Categories of Visual Art Work (video/film is not included):








Fiber Art


Computer Arts   

Metal Work   

Mixed Media


Wood Work

Needle Work




Participating companies appoint a staff member to act as the On My Own Time Company Coordinator 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 colleague artists as well as arrange their work site exhibit. More than one staff member could share this role if preferred.

The On My Own Time program begins with the presentation of a company work site exhibit of original visual art created by employees who are amateur artists, scheduled and mounted by each participating company to occur some time between March 21 and June 21, 2024. The length and dates of each work site exhibit are at the company's discretion, with a minimum length of one day.

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 public showcase of selected pieces from all participating companies, hosted by Everson Museum of Art* for a 4-5 week period in October/November. An opening reception, attended by artists, company coordinators, business representatives and colleagues, family, and friends, is held at the Everson Museum at the beginning of the finale exhibit's run (dates TBA).

Company Coordinator Role

February 1 through March 31, 2023


  • As soon as you can, promote On My Own Time at your company to invite 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. Artists usually need some lead time to complete/prepare their works. A customized e-mailable and printable flyer can be provided to you by CNY Arts. Contact Kara at to request one.
  • We will send you an information sheet with exhibit/mounting hardware requirements for hanging pieces that are selected for the finale exhibit. You may wish to have the same requirements to help ensure safety for your worksite exhibit.
  • Prepare an art registration list* of employee entrants and the title, medium, dimensions, and year created for each piece of art displayed that will be submitted for adjudication. (A template form will be emailed to you.)
  • Provide CNY Arts with the date(s), times, and location details of your on-site exhibit, which can take place any weekday(s) between March 21 and June 21, 2024. You can include the dates in your registration form or supply them later.
  • Obtain signed artist releases from each artist whose work is selected for the finale exhibit. (We will provide the release forms.)

March 21—June 21

  • 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 choose to make your exhibit available for viewing to your customers/patrons too.) Please indicate if there are specific days/times that are most convenient for you to schedule the adjudication. You can create the exhibit in a specific room or space or display the art throughout your workplace. It just  needs to be accessible when the adjudicators visit.
  • Each artist can submit up to three pieces of original visual art for adjudication, but can display more pieces for your exhibit at your discretion.
  • *Number each entered art piece on your employee art list. Numbers on this list should correspond with numbered identification cards/labels posted next to each piece of art at your in-house exhibit. Please make 5 copies of the list for adjudication day. If any artist has submitted more than 3 pieces to your exhibit, please note which pieces are intended for adjudication. The adjudication panel cannot choose among more than 3 pieces per artist.

  • Provide CNY Arts 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 to greet adjudicators and answer any questions about the exhibit.
  • Several pieces (roughly 15%) in your worksite exhibit will be selected by the adjudication panel to be part of the On My Own Time finale exhibit at the Everson Museum of Art. The exhibit is open to the community Oct. 5--Nov. 10, 2024.
  • Program Promotion: Publicize your On My Own Time exhibit if you choose 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 on all printed materials promoting On My Own Time. On MY Own Time 2024 and CNY Arts logos are available at your request.
  • We encourage you to have fun with the program and develop other activities around your on-site exhibit. For example, some companies invite staff members and/or visitors or customers to choose their favorite exhibit pieces and recognize the artists, hold their own reception for their work site exhibit, or post their exhibit online (with artists' permission).

June (dates TBA)

  • 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 finale public exhibition, and the photos will appear in the OMOT catalog. (One piece will be photographed in color, and one in black and white.)

by July 26

  • Provide information for your company’s page in the art exhibit catalog, plus a display ad, if applicable. (We will let you know what info we need and you will be sent a first draft of your catalog page.) Display ads are included at the Silver and Gold sponsorship levels or you may purchase an ad.


  • Proof/ approval of the first or second draft of your catalog page. (Please note that no changes can be made to the page after final 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 2 additional tickets for your company, to be distributed at your discretion (# depends on sponsorship level). 

October (dates TBA)

  • Transport selected art pieces to the finale exhibit site 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 and represent your company at the awards presentation or designate a colleague as your representative.

CNY Arts will submit On My Own Time promotional materials to media and promote the event and publicize participating company names through the CNY Arts website, newsletter/blog, its regional 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 or link for any On My Own Time related press materials you create.

* Finale exhibit location is dependent on space and schedule availability at Everson Museum of Art. The exhibit may be presented in an alternate Syracuse location if this space is not available.

On My Own Time is presented in cooperation with ___________________________________________


Many thanks to our
On My Own Time 2023 Sponsors
for helping to bring this program
and its unique art exhibits
to our community! 














































See our 2021 digital On My Own Time!