CALL FOR ARTS AND SOCIAL JUSTICE FELLOW:
With civil unrest rocking the nation, a pandemic that has killed nearly 230,000, more than 40 million unemployed, and progressing climate change, there is a desperate need for active re-imaginings of the future and immediate engagement with the invisibilities of the present. The economic, political, and social inequities rooted in our systems have been exposed. What can we do as artists, curators, and arts organizations to address these challenges and offer expressions of hope, solidarity, and mutual aid? How do we focus our efforts and work together for a sustainable anti-racist future that enlists creativity as an essential civic tool while staying safe and healthy? What can we do now and over the long haul within and between communities to make change?
As part of our efforts to consider these vital questions, VisArts has created a new Arts and Social Justice Fellowship Program for visual activists whose current research, curatorial or visual activist practice, and passion centers on social, racial, economic, and/or environmental justice. The year-long fellowship is an opportunity to explore how thoughtfully curated art, dialogue, communication, and collaborations between artists and communities can productively navigate political flashpoints, chronic systemic inequities, and entrenched perspectives to inspire change towards a more equitable, just, and inclusive society.
VisArts is committed to a sustained exploration of the potential of art to transform individuals and communities and to engage radical imaginations. Since our founding in 1987, we have provided safe and equitable spaces for artists and audiences designed to cultivate trust, empathy, creativity, and diversity. The new Arts and Social Justice Fellowship is designed to facilitate and amplify this essential work.
VisArts seeks a highly motivated, visionary person and/or collaborative team to explore these ideas with us! Applicants do not need to be traditional curators. We are interested in creative activist cultural producers who explore the use of art, creative practice, and curation to catalyze and evoke change.
· Stipend of $500/month for the period of January 2021-2022;
· Opportunities for public programming/workshops/teaching/engagement;
· Alternative presentation/platform space that may include open space on Gibbs Street, vacant windows in Rockville Town Square, the Rooftop, stairwells, and other inventive spaces as part of VisArts’ In(Site)Art Space initiative;
· Engagement with community partners, activists, and the public;
· Collaboration with the 2021 Fleur and Charles Bresler Resident Artists whose social and community-based practices focus on social, racial, economic, and environmental justice;
· Opportunities for writing and research; and,
· Support for development of virtual/online and face to face experiences for a wide array of audiences ages and cultural orientations. The fellowship will be conducted both virtually and face to face as needed and in accord with requirements/best practices for health and safety due to the evolving conditions surrounding Covid-19.
· Review and help select the 2021 Fleur and Charles Bresler Resident Artists whose social and community-based practices focus on social, racial, economic, and environmental justice;
· Research and develop a written, visual, audio, and/or multi-media essay to contextualize and communicate the 2021 Bresler Resident Artists’ projects;
· Work in collaboration with the 2021 Bresler Resident Artists and community partners to develop public programming;
· Moderate a public discussion with the artists;
· Present a public workshop/talk on the role and potential of an Arts and Social Justice creative activist/curator in arts organizations; and,
· Explore creative activist/curatorial practice as a productive resource to address diverse communities’ immediate needs.
· Motivation, ideas, and radical imagination: 300 words (required)
Describe your motivations, intentions, and potential as an Arts and Social Justice Fellow at VisArts. You do not have to present a specific proposal, but rather tell us why you are a strong candidate for this opportunity at this time.
How do you propose to connect and collaborate with artists and communities, amplify hidden voices, and inspire change using virtual, socially distanced, and face to face platforms?
Why do you believe that an Arts and Social Justice creative activist/curator is an essential part of any arts organization?
· Evidence of your commitment and work at the intersection of art and social justice: 300 words (required)
How have you brought artists/communities/and social justice issues together?
As a writer/communicator?
As a curator?
As an activist/organizer?
As an artist?
· Do you have equity and justice training and if so, where did you receive it?
· Creative activist/curatorial projects or related experiences: PDF (optional)
· Websites that feature your work or projects : Two URL links (optional)
· Social media: hashtags and/or handles (optional)
· Contact info for two references (required)
· Resume/CV (optional)
· Brief bio: 100 words (required)
We strongly encourage Black, Indigenous, and People of Color to apply.
The Arts and Social Justice Fellow and Bresler Resident Artists are encouraged to initiate community outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities including nearby Montgomery College. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.
VisArts is located in the center of Rockville, Maryland on Gibbs Street which is named in honor of William B. Gibbs, Jr. whose advocacy of equal pay for African American teachers in Montgomery County led to a precedent setting case with Thurgood Marshall as one of the lead attorneys. Artists and curators are encouraged to engage with local resources including: Gibbs Street and history of William B. Gibbs, Jr., Rockville African-American history and heritage, the City of Rockville, Beall-Dawson House and Museum, Montgomery College Visual and Performing Arts Departments, Montgomery College and local schools, Montgomery County Public Library, Potomac River/Rock Creek watershed, Rock Creek National Park, historic sites, organizations and groups in the DMV, support for virtual/on line experiences for a wide array of audiences ages and cultural orientations within Rockville’s diverse community.
The city of Rockville ranks nationally and state-wide as a leader in environmental sustainability and green power use. It is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, and well-educated, and culturally diverse population. Rockville offers easy access to public transit to Washington, D.C. via the Red Line Metro, an excellent bus system, bike trails, and parking.
VisArts is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to transform individuals and communities through the visual arts. Our vision is a vibrant, diverse community enriched and connected by the visual arts.VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary emerging and established artists in four galleries, an Emerging Curator Program, a Studio Program, and an Art Education Program making it an active and important presence in the greater metropolitan arts community.
The Fleur and Charles Bresler Artist Residency
In honor of VisArts patrons, Fleur and Charles Bresler, VisArts invites applications and proposals from local, national, and international artists for a four month residency at VisArts in Rockville, Maryland. This residency provides a unique opportunity for a dynamic individual artist or collaborative artist team to create a new body of work, evolve an existing body of work or develop a project in a stimulating, supportive environment. Studio space is provided free of charge. Artists receive a monthly stipend of $500. The residency encourages interaction, dialogue and exploration both within the VisArts artist community and the larger Rockville community as well. The residency offers the gift of time and space to three artists and/or collaborative artist teams each year to experiment and realize new work. Each year the current Bresler Resident Artists present their work in a solo project exhibitions at VisArts.
VisArts is an independent non-profit art center located in the heart of Rockville Town Square, a thriving gathering place for the local community. VisArts presents exhibitions of contemporary emerging and established artists in four galleries, an Emerging Curator Program, a Studio Artist Program, and an Art Education Program making it an active and important presence in the greater metropolitan arts community. Rockville offers easy access to public transit to Washington, D.C. via the Red Line Metro, an excellent bus system, bike trails, and parking.
The Bresler Residency does not provide housing for artists. Please contact VisArts directly for resources regarding housing during the residency period.
Current Call Overview
The current call is for artists or collaborative artist teams whose primary residency practice is Social/Community Practice with projects centering on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice. Artists must be prepared to use online platforms in place of face to face community gatherings due to pandemic safety concerns. Please be sure to include ideas for online engagement in your project description.
With civil unrest rocking the nation, a pandemic that has killed over 140,000, over 40 million unemployed, and progressing climate change, there is a desperate need for active re-imaginings of the future and immediate engagement with the invisibilities of the present. The precarities and inequities rooted in our systems have been exposed. To face these challenges and offer expressions of hope, solidarity, and mutual aid what can we do as artists and arts organizations? How do we focus our efforts and work together for a sustainable anti-racist future that enlists creativity as an essential civic tool while staying safe and healthy? What can we do now and over the long haul within and between communities to make change?
VisArts is committed to responding to these questions by continuing to explore the potential of art to transform individuals and communities, engage radical imaginations, build safe and equitable spaces for artists and audiences, and cultivate trust, empathy, creativity, and diversity. VisArts is located on Gibbs Street in the center of Rockville, Maryland. Gibbs Street is named in honor of William Gibbs, Jr. whose advocacy of equal pay for African-American teachers in Montgomery County led to a precedent setting case with Thurgood Marshall as one of the lead attorneys.
2021 Bresler Resident Artists will engage with the VisArts Social Justice Curatorial Fellow/Visual Activist who will write a contextual essay for the solo project exhibitions, visit studios, and engage with artists throughout their residencies.
The Bresler Resident Artist is encouraged to initiate community outreach with the VisArts and greater Rockville communities. Rockville is a progressive, diverse city in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. It ranks nationally and state-wide as a leader in environmental sustainability and green power use. Rockville is recognized for its high quality of life, excellent schools, numerous public parks, well-educated, and culturally diverse population. Artists are encouraged to engage with local resources including: Gibbs Street and history of William B. Gibbs, Jr., Rockville African-American history and heritage, City of Rockville, Beall-Dawson House and Museum, Montgomery College Visual and Performing Arts Departments, Montgomery College and local schools, Montgomery County Public Library, Potomac River/Rock Creek watershed, Rock Creek National Par, historic sites, organizations and groups in the DMV, support for virtual/on line experiences for a wide array of audiences ages and cultural orientations within Rockville’s very diverse community.
Call for Applications opens: August 31, 2020
Deadline: November 30, 2020
Available Residency Dates:
January 13 - May 12, 2021
May 14 – September 15, 2021
September 17 , 2021 - January 12, 2022
2021 Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition: January 2022 – March 2022
Each year the Bresler Residency will focus on artists whose primary residency practice will involve the following:
- 2021 - Social/Community Practice and/or Performance. Apply with projects centered on environmental, social, racial, economic justice. Call for 2021 Residency applications opens on August 31, 2020.
- 2022- Sound, video, new media, photography apply with projects centered on environmental, social, racial, and economic justice.
Terms of Residency: The Bresler Resident Artist is expected to meet the following during the residency period:
- Covid-19 related safety measures will be updated with the most current protocol as needed. Currently all artists in studios at VisArts are required to wear masks unless they are alone in their studios with the door closed. The galleries on the same floor as the studios are open by appointment with a maximum of six visitors at a time who maintain at least a distance of six meters from on another. Artists may invite guests to their studios but gallery director must be notified of date and time. All guests must wear masks and social distance. The bathrooms and hallways are cleaned regularly. Artists must take care to wipe down surfaces in their studios and door handles and to wash their hands regularly.
- Work in the studio at VisArts for a minimum of 28 hours/week.
- Attend bi-weekly gatherings of the VisArts Studio Artists (possibilities include pot-luck lunches/crit sessions/studio visits by visiting artists, critics, and curators. A schedule will be provided.)
- Welcome the public during exhibition opening receptions or at scheduled Open Studio events.
- Attend artist talks and gallery opening receptions.
- Present an artist talk, workshop, screening, and/or other mutually agreed upon public event that engages the VisArts and greater Rockville communities and resources.
- Participate in an Annual Bresler Resident Artist Exhibition of work created independently or collaboratively during the residency.
- Qualified applicants are professional individual artists or collaborative artist teams over the age of 18; the program is not designed for undergraduate students or commercial artists.
- Artists working in all media are welcome to apply, but VisArts cannot support the use of hazardous materials that require specific ventilation requirements.
- The studio may be used only for art-making activities.
- The Bresler Resident Artist will be provided with a 169 square foot studio, free of charge, for a period of four months. Each studio is equipped with a sink, Wi-Fi connection and abundant natural light. Studio access is 24/7 except during special VisArts events (advance notice will be given). The artist must provide his/her own studio furniture.
- The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for maintaining the studio in a safe and reasonably tidy manner, and will not make alterations to the space without permission. The artist must leave the studio in the state in which it was found and remove all belongings at the end of the residency.
- The Bresler Resident Artist is responsible for acquisition, insurance, and care of his/her materials and equipment. Artists who wish to have kilns and other equipment that create additional electrical use must obtain permission for each piece of equipment that they wish to use in their studios.
Application and Selection Process
Required materials include:
- Images: Submit 7 images of work produced during the last three years. Work samples can be a combination of high resolution jpgs, pdfs, and time-based media (*up to 10 minutes total). *For collaborative teams, 7 images of collaborative work are required as well as a statement of the collaborative nature of the work. *Two minutes of video, film, sound or performance documentation = one work. Artists may choose to include links to Vimeo or You Tube public accounts for time-based work samples.
- Image Requirements: You may submit up to 7 images. They must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png, pdf or .gif file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Maximum file size 5MB per image. Files must be labeled in the following way: last name_title of artwork_1.ext, last name_title of artwork_2.ext, etc. The file number corresponds with the number on the list of works. (Ex. Jane Doe_Untitled_1.jpg)
- List of Works Form- Numbered list of artworks with the following information: artist name, title of artwork, year, dimensions, a description of artwork is optional.
- Brief Artist Bio (100 words max.)
- Artist Statement (100 words max.)
- Contact info for two references
- Residency proposal: Describe your project, goals for the residency, and how you might engage with the community or use community resources. You may include a drawing or representative images to help describe your specific proposal. (250 words max.) The project must be centered around environmental, social, racial, economic justice.
- Please indicate preferred residency dates (first and second choice):
_____ January 13 - May 12, 2021
_____ May 14 – September 15, 2021
_____ September 17 , 2020 - January 12, 2022
- $10 application fee
All applications will be reviewed by a panel of artists and arts professionals.
Located in the heart of Rockville, Maryland, VisArts is a hub for the visual arts that engages nearly 30,000 visitors annually through gallery exhibitions, education programs, a studio artist program, and events. Founded in 1987, VisArts is committed to a mission of transforming individuals and communities through the visual arts.
Application Deadline: Friday, December 28 at 11:00 pm
Application Fee: FREE
VisArts welcomes all of its 2020 faculty and students to submit their application for the 2021 VisArts Faculty & Student Show. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, this iteration of the Faculty & Student Exhibition will be held in an online gallery from January 8 – February 7, 2021, with a Virtual Reception on January 22. This will present a unique opportunity for student artists to show alongside esteemed faculty in a professional online gallery.
All work submitted must have been created at VisArts between January 2020 and the time of application.
Work will be selected by a panel of jurors by January 4 and acceptance notifications will be delivered via e-mail by January 5.
*Keep in mind, with this being an online exhibition your work will be fully represented through images or video. The digital material you submit is what will be used for the show, so make sure your image/video quality is top notch!
Required Application Materials: - Application Form - High Res images with captions, for up to 3 works of art - Film and video pieces are welcome. Videos must be in .mp4 or .mov file format. - Images must be in .jpg, .tiff, .png file format. Minimum image resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. - Artist Statement (100 Word Maximum) - Artist Bio (100 Word Maximum) - Resume/ CV
Questions: Please send any questions via email with “VisArts Faculty & Student Show 2021” in the subject line to Frank McCauley, Gallery Director & Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Fee: FREE