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Call for Artists
Our-Topia: Artists Create the Future

Face it, things are bleak. Climate change, police brutality, gun violence, inequality, blatant racism, authoritarian populism threatening our democracy . . . you get the idea. It’s difficult not to feel discouraged and fearful. Outrage and fear are the primary notes struck in the press and amplified in the echo chambers of social media. It’s tempting for artists to just keep riffing on dystopian themes.

It’s easy for liberals to point the finger at the “Make America Great Again” crowd for romanticizing a Norman-Rockwell past, completely ignoring the violence and inequality embedded in that time. But liberals are also guilty of backward thinking: for example, indulging in Obama-era-nostalgia rather than facing forward and nurturing the country’s future visions and leaders.

Humanity badly needs a path forward at this juncture. We as artists have the ability to conjure new realities, and with that comes a sacred responsibility to envision a different future.

Consider how the popular TV series Star Trek helped pave the way for cell phones. This came out of the imagination of artists, and in turn shaped our reality. Why not as artists, we make a conscious effort to shape our reality towards “the good life”?  Just imagine if our media, film, literature and art offered blueprints for hopeful and bright futures: Instead of immobilizing ourselves and others with fear, we could inspire positive action.

We invite you to create a piece of artwork in which you envision a hopeful future. Focus on what you want our common future to look like, on your wildest dreams rather than your deepest fears. Maybe your new and improved world is one of racial equality, gender equality, or the absence of these categories altogether. Maybe you imagine how we get around without burning fossil-fuels, or imagine new living spaces and configurations of cities and towns that nurture communities.

Pragmatism and fancy, macro and micro, cyberpunk and hippie, are equally welcome in this show. We are looking for work that doesn’t require the viewer to wonder what your vision is, i.e., art that is illustrative and representational rather than abstract.

THE SHOW: OUR-TOPIA will run September 5 – December 31, 2019 at the Good Arts Gallery in the Good Arts Building at 1st & Cherry. It is co-curated by artists Karin Bolstad and Jane Richlovsky (Jane is also a co-founder of the Good Arts Building, itself an experiment in utopia). There is no entry fee. Work shown at the gallery is usually for sale, but is not required to be. Sales are handled by the curators and split 60/40 (60 to the artist). There will be an opening reception on September 5, which is part of the Pioneer Square monthly art walk.

Deadline for submissions: March 31, 2019
Delivery of work: September 1-4, 2019

Send a description of your vision for Our-Topia and 3-5 images to jane@janerichlovsky.com. Attach 3 images of or (preferably) links to examples of your existing work so we can get a sense of your style. Additionally, please send one or two sketches of the work you are proposing for Our-Topia. They can be rough; you can also include information about your vision in the verbal description. (If you already have created work that fits the theme, which you would like us to consider, please indicate that clearly in the description.) PLEASE KEEP THE EMAILS UNDER 1MB TOTAL!!! (If you don’t know how to resize images, please learn. It’s an essential professional skill for an artist. Thank you in advance.)