Call Detail

Sustaining / Creating

Contact Email:
Call Type: Unspecified
Eligibility: Unspecified
State: Unspecified
Entry Deadline: 7/8/12
Application Closed
Media Images:4

A national juried exhibition of emerging artists, ages 16-25, with disabilities.

Deadline: July 8, 2012

Sustaining / Creating asks emerging artists to showcase work that illuminates innovative viewpoints on sustainability and contemporary creativity. Beyond its scientific definition, sustainability references notions of responsibility and stewardship of our natural world in all facets of human interaction–from the environmental to the cultural. Sustainability indicates the capacity to endure.

Submitted artwork should illustrate these thematic ideas, which may be achieved through broad, abstracted references or detailed personal creations. Your submission might also reflect your experience of living with a disability and its role in shaping or transforming your art.

This exhibition is presented by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ VSA & Accessibility Office and Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.

The exhibition
Fifteen artists will be selected for the exhibition and will share $60,000 in cash awards: a $20,000 grand prize, a $10,000 first award, a $6,000 second award, and 12 awards of excellence of $2,000 each.

The exhibition takes place at the Smithsonian Institution’s S. Dillon Ripley Center in Washington, D.C., from September 2012 to January 2013 and may travel nationally to additional venues. Awardees will be honored at an opening reception on Capitol Hill.

Who can apply?
The call is open to artists ages 16–25 living in the United States who have a disability. As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Previous award recipients are not eligible to apply.

Submissions must be original work completed within the last three years and after the onset of disability.

Eligible media include but are not limited to paintings and drawings (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, or charcoal); fine art prints; photography; computer-generated prints; digital art; and time-based media (video, film). All work must have a visual component. Two-dimensional artwork should not exceed 60 inches in either dimension. Sculpture should not exceed 24 inches in any dimension.

Fragile or precious materials that cannot withstand handling, storage, and transportation will not be accepted.

The jury process
A panel of distinguished practicing artists, curators, and arts administrators will determine work standards, review submitted materials, and select the 15 artists for the exhibition. The jury looks at the following qualities when selecting exhibit artists:
• Demonstration of original ideas in the work submitted
• Connection to exhibition theme
• Visual cohesion among the images submitted

Work that suggests visual plagiarism, such as a direct copy of another artist’s work, will not be accepted. All decisions are final.

Applying to this call
All materials should be submitted in digital format through CaFE at No slides will be accepted. Interested artists will be required to create a CaFE profile to apply.

Do not send original artwork.

Please have the following materials ready when applying for this call for art:

1. 4 digital images of selected artwork, formatted to CaFE standards

2. Caption information for each artwork digital image: Artwork title, Year made, Medium, Dimensions, Description

3. A short biography of the artist (one paragraph) that includes hometown, hobbies, interests, academic achievements, honors and awards received, and future goals.

4. Personal statement (2 pages maximum, Word or PDF format) that answers the following questions:
• Describe how your artwork relates to the exhibit theme of Sustaining / Creating.
• What role does art play in living with your disability? Does your disability affect your artwork in any way?
• When did you start creating your artwork and what motivated you to begin?

5. 1 digital image of the artist’s headshot

Supplemental material
Film and video artists must complete an application in CaFE, then should supplement their application by mailing a CD or DVD of their full-length work. On the CaFE application, please allocate at least one of the four JPEG image slots to a still from your video or film.

Any CDs or DVDs received must be ready to play using Windows Media Player, Real Player, or QuickTime. U.S.-compatible formats are encouraged; no VHS tapes or mini-DVDs will be accepted.

The jury will review two minutes of a video or audio file along with the four submitted images. Artists should note a specific two-minute segment to be reviewed, indicating the segment times in their submission. The jury may opt to view the entire video based on this segment.

Supplemental materials should be sent directly to:
Kennedy Center
PO Box 101510
Arlington, VA 22210
Attn: VSA / VW call for art

All supplemental materials must arrive by July 8, 2011.

Other Terms and Conditions

Submitted materials will not be returned.

The Kennedy Center, VSA & Accessibility, or Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. are not responsible for submissions that are incomplete or that fail to upload to a CaFE profile.
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