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Call For


Visual Art ,
submitted by
Oak Park Art League

Art for Social Change: DISSENT

To speak abstractly about the meaning of dissent, social change or even art seems a hollow discussion without addressing current events that are happening in America today. On May 25th, 2020, George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis by a policeman kneeling on his neck. Despite pleadings from Mr Floyd that he couldn't breathe and onlookers that the officer should stop, despite being filmed, the attack went on for over eight minutes. Sadly, this was not new or isolated. In fact the pleas of not being able to breathe eerily echoed those of Eric Garner's last words. But this act has resonated across America and the world in no small part because it occurred in full knowledge of being filmed, illustrating for all that in America, in 2020, Black people could be killed with the same impunity illustrated in the photographed lynchings from the last century.

It is in this heavy context that Oak Park Art League (OPAL) calls on artists to create art expressing ideas of dissent and against oppression of any kind. OPAL is looking for works of 2-dimensional art with images and text that speak out against complacency and free us from the ideas that one has to agree with the status quo. When asked to describe the purpose of the Art of Dissent, the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Tony Kushner, said that it is to reveal..”some truth that lies imprisoned beneath the surface of public discourse...a cry all the more powerful for being entirely visual, recognizable in its truth.”

This is a call for digital submissions of original
2-dimensional artwork in any medium inspired by protest poster design. Submission is via digital image ONLY and images will be printed in full color onto 11” x 17” white card stock. 

Orientation of work may be horizontal or vertical, and should be scalable to the 11” x 17” size and 300 dpi and high resolution jpeg. Dropped off and framed work will not be accepted. All digitally printed pieces will be sold for $75 with a split 3 ways between OPAL, the Artist and the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter.

Judge: Patric McCoy

Patric McCoy is retired from a career as an environmental scientist in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Regional Office in Chicago. He became a National Expert and was the recipient of numerous awards from the Department of Justice and the USEPA for his work there. He has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Chicago (1969) and an MA in Environmental Science from Governors State University (1979).

Mr. McCoy has been collecting contemporary African American art for 50 years and has a collection of over 1300 pieces of fine art, 90% done by Chicago artists. In 2003 he co-founded Diasporal Rhythms a not-for-profit 501(c)3 arts organization comprised of informed and passionate art collectors from Chicago’s African American communities. The organization promotes the collection of art works by living artists of African descent by sponsoring exhibitions, seminars, studio visits and home tours of collections that showcase the artists being collected in the African American communities.

Mr McCoy was an amateur photo journalist during the 1980s and captured many images of the denizens of Black Chicago’s downtown social scene while commuting to and around the Loop’s hot spots on a bicycle

Please follow THIS link for more information about Patric. HERE is an interview with Patric that aired on WTTW in February of this year.

Merit awards: $50 each awarded by the judge to five artists.

Digital Submissions Due: Friday, September 18th via SUBMITTABLE

Exhibition dates: October, 6th through October 30th

Opening reception: To be determined, with tentative plans for a series of small gatherings throughout the month of October. Online viewing of the exhibition will be available along with
pre-recorded comments by the judge.

Cost per submission:

$20 for each submission - Member

$30 for each submission - Non-member

All work must have been created in the past 3 years and not previously exhibited at OPAL. Submission fees are non-refundable.

ART FOR SOCIAL CHANGE programs and exhibitions are sponsored in part by the Oak Park Area Arts Council, and the Illinois Arts Council; a State Agency.

Deadline: 09.18.2020
Name: Jeff Jenkins
Address: 720 Chicago Ave.
Phone: 708-386-9853