Vulnerable, sensitive – buzzword, slogan or motto? Politics, medicine and sociology make us rethink the topic every day. Ecology and climate research are confronted with it more than ever. The Corona crisis has made it abundantly clear to us: social interaction is a fragile construct. Theology reflects the concept at its very core: God became man in Jesus Christ – Jesus was vulnerable. Perhaps it is precisely from this vulnerability that comfort and strength arise?

And what about art? Besides literature and music, hardly any other form of expression is as direct and diverse as the visual. It can be a statement, a reflective surface, a controversy or an (anti-) aesthetic. In the context of the competition, artistic positions, interpretations and forms of expression of the vulnerable are sought:


Young artists in particular are invited to find their own individual approach to the topic, to interpret the term freely and critically, to give it a form. The works of art should be a platform and a basis for discussion of the wide-ranging concept of VULNERABLE – VERLETZLICH.

The patron of the competition is Bishop Dr. Gebhard Fürst. The call for entries is borne financially by the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, while the executive institution is the Diocesan Museum of Rottenburg.

A total of 10 advancement awards and 10 recognition awards are being offered. All award-winning works in the advancement prizes category (places 1–10) will be displayed at an exhibition lasting several weeks as part of the 102nd German Catholic Day in Stuttgart (May 2022). The exhibition venue will be the neo-Gothic church St. Maria in central Stuttgart, which has been available as an open space for cultural projects, new spiritual concepts, art events, theatre and concerts since 2017.
In addition, award-winning works in the categories of advancement and recognition prizes (places 1-20) are presented in a catalogue and on the competition website.



The patron of the competition is Bishop Dr. Gebhard Fürst. The call for entries is borne financially by the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, while the executive institution is the Diocesan Museum of Rottenburg, led by Diocesan Conservator Dr. Melanie Prange.



The competition aims to offer young artists especially a platform to present their current work to a wide audience. In this regard, an exhibition is planned in Stuttgart as part of the 102nd Catholic Day. Prize winners in the advancement award category (places 1–10) will get the opportunity to have their work displayed over a period of 8 weeks. The works of art should form the basis for discussion and reflection on the concept of VULNERABLE – VERLETZLICH. The neo-Gothic church of [St. Maria] in central Stuttgart will provide the architectural home of the exhibition. The church has been used as an open space for a wide variety of cultural projects, new spiritual concepts, art events, theatre and concerts since 2017. Since the local campaign “We have a church, do you have an idea?” it has been a centre of creativity at the heart of Stuttgart. Art objects, installations and performances can be presented here both in the interior and the forecourt of the church.
If an accessible exhibition is not possible due to the ongoing pandemic, a digital concept will be implemented. If a live performance is not possible due to ongoing pandemic conditions, a recording will be shown as an alternative.

More about St. Maria

Publication: catalogue and homepage

All award-winning works in places 1–10 (advancement prizes) and places 11–20 (recognition prizes) will be presented in a catalogue. The publication is coordinated by the competition entry team; the printing costs are borne entirely by the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.
The competition homepage is also available as a digital platform. All endowed artists are also presented here, along with their work.


Advancement prizes: endowment, exhibition und publication

1st place: 15,000 Euro
2nd place : 12,000 Euro
3rd place: 10,000 Euro
4th place: 5,000 Euro
5th place: 3,000 Euro
6th-10th places: 2,000 Euro each prize

All award winners in this category will get the opportunity to have their work displayed over a period of 8 weeks in St. Maria (central Stuttgart). The opening of the exhibition is planned for May 25th, 2022, as part of the 102nd German Catholic Day.
An award also involves the publication of the respective work of art in a catalogue and on the competition website.

→ The transport (organization, transfer, insurance during transport, transport costs) of award-winning works of art to Stuttgart is the responsibility of, and to be borne by, the respective artist. The insurance costs during the exhibition are borne by the Diocese of Rottenburg-Stuttgart.

Recognition prizes: endowment and publication

11th–20th places: 1,000 Euro each

All recognition prizes also include publication in the catalogue and display of the works of art on the competition website.
→ The exhibition in [St. Maria] is reserved for places 1–10.

Entry Conditions

A prerequisite for competition entry is professional artistic training at an art academy / university or at an independent art school / academy offering at least eight-semester courses of study recognized as eligible for support under the Federal Training Assistance Act (BAföG).
Students (in their main course of study / from the 6th semester) and graduates in all creative courses of study are permitted to participate. If you already have a degree however, it must not be more than 10 years old.

The call for applications is open to all forms of visual art, media art and performance. The fundamental condition is that the submitted work is recent: these must not be older than 3 years.

Entry deadlines

1st July 2021 – 29th October 2021

Applications are possible from Thursday July 1st, 2021 –digitally only – via the [application portal] on the homepage.
Please do not send any documents by post. Due to the ongoing pandemic, no works can be accepted in original form.

Please note:
The number of possible applications is limited. The portal closes automatically after 1000 registrations have been received, but no later than Friday October 29th, 2021.

Jury und Jurying

In January 2022, an independent jury will decide the ranking of the submitted works. The jury consists of well-known representatives from the fields of art, culture, politics and theology.

The decision on the awarding of the prizes will be made in two non-public sessions. The decisions of the jury are made in oral proceedings, are final and cannot be appealed. Legal recourse is excluded.

Notification of the outcome of the judging will probably be sent by e-mail at the end of January 2022.

Who’s who

Prof. Axel Heil
State Academy of Visual Arts, Karlsruhe; Experimental transfer processes Leni Hoffmann
State Academy of Visual Arts, Karlsruhe; Painting, Sculpture, Installation Dr. Hildegund Keul
Julius-Maximilians University of Würzburg / Faculty of Catholic Theology; Chair of Fundamental Theology and Comparative Religious Studies


Prof. Matthias Kohlmann
Pforzheim College, DesignPF – Faculty of Design; Drawing Dr. Pia Müller-Tamm
Karlsruhe State Art Gallery; Director Claudia Rose
Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden Württemberg (Stuttgart), Head of the Art Department Melanie Prange
Diocesan Museum of Rottenburg, Director; Diocesan Conservator

Prof. Heiner Schmitz
ehem. Fachhochschule Dortmund, FB Fotografie; Berufsverband freie Fotografen und Filmgestalter e.V. (BFF); Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie e.V. (DGPh)

Sebastian Schmid
Curator „St. Maria als…“, Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Stephan Winter
Dortmund University of applied Sciences and Arts, Photography; BFF; DGPh

HOWTO – application process

An application should contain the following (please upload the individual files together as one ZIP archive):

  • Application form
  • Description of the artwork: Description of the work of art with specific reference to the competition topic; Specification of a presentation location in / around [St. Maria] – interior or forecourt (max. 3000 characters (including spaces), PDF
  • Basic information on the artwork: Title, techniques, materials, dimensions, weight (if possible), insurance costs, PDF
  • Visualization: Informative and detailed documentation of the work of art
    • Photos / photo series, film stills: at least 5, maximum 15 files, resolution per image at least 300 dpi / long side, at least 4000 pixels, preferably TIF or JPG (in the highest resolution) OR
    • Media and audio files: 1 file with up to 5 GB, maximum 5 minutes, resolution FullHD / maximum 4K, MP4
  • Curriculum Vitae: only the important aspects, max. 1000 characters (inc. spaces), PDF
  • Portrait photo: Resolution at least 300 dpi / long side, at least 4000 pixels, preferably TIF or JPG

In addition, the following consents – signed, as a scan – are required:

  • Declaration of Consent to the Processing of Personal Data
  • Agreement on copyrights when participating in the competition
  • Confirmation: Copyright

Enclosed, the forms are available for download. Please sign the documents and attach a corresponding scan to your application.

Downloads »Agreements/Confirmations«

Detailed information on the processing of personal data and further notes on the agreement in the area of copyrights can also be found in the general Downloads section.

With your application you agree to the competition guidelines.

Please note that only completely submitted documents can be considered in the selection process.
All materials are to be submitted digitally – via upload – via the application portal on the homepage. Due to the ongoing pandemic, no works can be accepted in their original form.

Please name all submitted documents consistently as follows:

  • Surname_Forename_DescriptionArtwork
  • Surname_Forename_BasicInformationArtwork
  • Surname_Forename_CV
  • Surname_Forename_PortraitPhoto

Images, video and audio files:

  • Surname_Forename_Abb_01/…02/…03

Consent forms and confirmations:

  • Surname_Forename_Consent_DataProcessing
  • Surname_Forename_Agreement_Copyright
  • Surname_Forename_Confirmation_Copyright


  • Surname_Forename_VULNERABLE

All applicants will receive an automatic confirmation of receipt by mail. If you do not receive an e-mail, please contact:


In case of queries on competition and application please contact:

Diocesan Conservator Dr. Melanie Prange
Head of Diocesan Museum; Head of Art Competition

Christine Bozler-Kießling M.A.
Scientific Assistant, Diocesan Museum / Art Competition

Diözesanmuseum Rottenburg a.N.
Karmeliterstr. 9
72108 Rottenburg a. N.

Phone: +49 (0) 7472 922-180 / -306
Fax: +49 (0) 7472 922-189

Application form and upload



  • DD dot MM dot YYYY
  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 5 GB.
      Your files will be stored in a password-protected cloud of the provider "Dropbox" for the duration of the competition. Access is exclusively granted to licensed persons in context of coordination and jurying the competition.

      Problems with the upload? We are happy to help! Please contact:

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.