Call Detail
The Athenaeum Invitational
The Athenaeum Gallery
201 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

Contact Email:
Call Type: Competitions
Eligibility: Regional
State: Virginia
Event Dates: 9/10/15 - 10/25/15
Entry Deadline: 6/15/15
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 3
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 3
Entry Fee (Northern Virigina Fine Arts Association: The Athenaeum Invitational): $35.00
The Athenaeum Invitational celebrates the arts of Virginia, Maryland, and District of Columbia in the Athenaeum Gallery in Alexandria, VA. It is a theme-based event featuring the works of both specially-invited artists who have exhibited in the Athenaeum Gallery in the past, as well as works selected through a call for submissions open to anyone living or working in Virginia, the District of Columbia, or Maryland.  A $1500 prize for the best work will be awarded to an invited artist, and a $1000 prize will be awarded to an artist from the open call. The show is juried by Athenaeum Gallery Director, Twig Murray.  Prize winners will be selected by Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum at the Katzen Center in Washington, DC.
Cole Porter’s 1934 song, “Don’t Fence Me In” serves as the inspiration for this year’s Athenaeum Invitational.  Beginning with a sheriff threatening to send him to jail,  ‘Wildcat Willie’s’ response forms the base of the song.  It is a heartfelt and sentimental paean to great expanses of the wild west and open space – and portrays an abiding hatred of being fenced in. When sung by Roy Rogers in the 1944 movie, Hollywood Canteen, it embodies stereotypical movie cowboy-ness.  Also taking it at face value, Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters also made popular recordings in the forties.  More recently artists including Willie Nelson and Leon Russell, David Byrne, and Chumbawumba have made all kinds of creative covers.  The Athenaeum encourages artists to search out a number of covers of the song.
Artists are asked to respond to or reflect on “Don’t Fence Me In” in a creative and aesthetically excellent manner.  Possible core concepts might include:
·      The tension between defined area and lack of boundaries
·      Exploring what constitutes a fence
·      An expression of the boundless joy Wildcat Willie feels in the open
·      Considering the similarities and differences between public/external fences and private/internal/emotional fences
·      Dealing with society’s inclination to assign labels, or fencing people in to a stereotype
·      Political and sociological freedom – what are the fences that stifle them?
·      The classic 1940’s cowboy movie – how does it relate to our experiences today – what has changed, what hasn’t?
Selection Criteria
Works for inclusion in the Athenaeum Invitational will be selected by Athenaeum Gallery Director, Twig Murray.  Jack Rasmussen, Director and Curator of the American University Museum will review the show and determine the winner of the $1500 prize for an invited artist, and the $1000 prize for a respondent to the open call.
Artists who live or work in Virginia, Maryland, or the District of Columbia may submit work.
Artwork Specifications
Work must be available for exhibition from September 10 – October 25, 2015. 
All visual media is welcome, but every work must be wall-mounted. 
Work must be less than 9 inches deep.
Painting, drawing, collage, etc. must be framed or fully finished, wired, and ready to hang on picture hooks. 
Sculpture must be less than 9 inches deep and lighter than 30 pounds.
Video work may be submitted.  It is the responsibility of the artist to provide all necessary equipment.
Entries that do not comply with the rules will be disqualified.
The artist is responsible for getting, or arranging to have their work delivered, to the Athenaeum Gallery by Sunday afternoon, September 6, 2015.
The artist is responsible for picking up, or arranging to have unsold works picked up, on Sunday afternoon, October 25, 2015.
The Athenaeum is not responsible for works left in the gallery after the close of the show.
The Athenaeum Gallery will retain a 30% commission on works sold, and will issue a check for 70% of the sales price to the artist no longer than thirty days after the show has closed.
Sold work remains in the gallery until the last day of the show.
Work does not have to be for sale to be included in the show.
All works in the show will be insured by the Athenaeum Gallery for 100% of the retail price from September 10 – October 25, 2015.
About the Athenaeum
The Athenaeum Gallery is the headquarters of the Northern Virginia Fine Arts Association (NVFAA).  Founded in 1964, the NVFAA is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in all forms of art, and to establishing programs that will enrich the cultural life of Northern Virginia and the surrounding metropolitan area. The Athenaeum Gallery exhibits work created solely by artists living or working the region and strives to present visitors with a wide variety of excellent work and unique experiences.
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