Open Call for the Ruckhabele Award 2024-2025

Open Call for the Ruckhaberle-Award 2024–2025: Exhibition, Residency, Publication
Application deadline: July 14, 2024
Download Open Call (pdf)

A project of Künstlerhof Frohnau (KHF) and the Department of Art & History Reinickendorf

In 2024/25, Künstlerhof Frohnau (KHF) and the Department of Art and History Reinickendorf are inviting submissions for the Ruckhaberle Award for the sixth time, in commemoration of the artist, curator, and cultural politician Dieter Ruckhaberle. The prize includes an exhibition, a residency, and a publication. Previous recipients of the award were: Nafis Fatollahzadeh, Uliana Bychenkova & Anna Scherbyna, Surya Gied, Annette Frick, Luiza Prado.

In times of polarized political debates, decreasing tolerance, and a growing right-wing shift in Germany and Europe, the Ruckhaberle Award emphasizes the importance of open spaces for art and discourse to critically reflect on the present. In this context, the prize is aimed at professional visual artists living in Germany who find convincing ways through their work to reveal complex or overlooked societal connections and thus contribute to a nuanced understanding of our times.

The Ruckhaberle Award is open to professional visual artists living in Germany, regardless of age, origin, or artistic medium. The call deliberately sets no media restrictions and is explicitly open to interdisciplinary artistic practices and artist groups. Partners and/or children are warmly welcomed during the residency.

The award process for the Ruckhaberle Award 2024/25 is two-staged:

Stage 1:
From the submitted applications, a jury (tba) will nominate 5-7 artistic positions, each presented with a work in a shortlist exhibition at GalerieETAGE in Museum Reinickendorf. The exhibition will take place from early December 2024 to early March 2025. Participants in the group exhibition will receive an artist‘s fee of €800.

Stage 2:
Within this shortlist exhibition, the winner of the Ruckhaberle Award will be announced.

The prize includes:

  • A two-month residency in the spacious living studio of KHF in early summer 2025 (between May and July)
  • A prize money of €2,000
  • Up to €2,000 for creating a publication (as an artist‘s book in risograph printing, audio or data carrier, website, etc.)
  • Travel expenses to and from the residency using public transportation or train can be reimbursed once up to a maximum of €200, subject to agreement.

Application Documents:

Applications can only be submitted electronically. Please send the following documents by email to

  • Portfolio of your artistic work with a CV. Please focus on a maximum of 5 works or series from the last five years (1 pdf, max 10 MB). Name the pdf as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Portfolio.pdf.
  • In another pdf, propose an existing work (format, series, etc. freely selectable) to be shown in the shortlist exhibition (max. 5 pages, 5 MB). Please note that transport costs can only be covered by prior arrangement and to a limited extent. Name the pdf as follows: Lastname_Firstname_Proposal.pdf.

The application deadline is July 14, 2024.

For general inquiries, please contact:

Artists nominated for the shortlist exhibition will be notified by mid-September 2024.

Additional Notes:

  • Only contributions submitted on time and meeting the criteria will be considered.
  • All applicants will be informed of the outcome by email. The names of the nominated artists and the award winner will be published.
  • In the event of a nomination, artists agree to provide 1-3 images for publications and documentation.
  • Nominated artists are requested to deliver and collect the selected works themselves if possible, as transport costs can only be covered by prior arrangement and to a limited extent. The works are insured by the Department of Art and History Reinickendorf from the time of delivery to the exhibition in GalerieETAGE until collection.
  • The call for applications is only valid if the necessary budgetary funds are available as planned. By participating in the competition, participants acknowledge the competition conditions. Legal recourse is excluded.


Since the 1960s, the artist, curator, and cultural politician Dieter Ruckhaberle significantly shaped the art scene in West Berlin and tirelessly advocated for the improvement of working conditions for artists and cultural workers. Ruckhaberle was a co-initiator and co-founder of the IG Medien, the Künstlersozialkasse, and numerous art institutions such as the nGbK and the Staatliche Kunsthalle Berlin, where he served as director for many years. As an artist, Ruckhaberle created an extensive body of pictorial work since 1958, ranging between figuration and abstraction, characterized by a poetic and critical contemporaneity and search for aesthetic languages.

He passed away in May 2018, leaving behind an impressive artistic legacy, as well as his last cultural-political project: the Künstlerhof Frohnau, a large comples in northern Berlin, which has been providing affordable studio spaces for artists since 1998.

Since its inception, Künstlerhof Frohnau has worked closely with the Department of Art and History Reinickendorf and established the Ruckhaberle Award in 2019 in memory of Ruckhaberle’s work and legacy. 


Kaya Behkalam and Setareh Shahbazi, KHF – Künstlerhof Frohnau

Dr. Sabine Ziegenrücker, Head of the Department of Art and History Reinickendorf