January 17, 2022
"Take Root Among the Stars: Black Abstraction in the Midwest" is an exhibition that will illuminate new approaches and strategies for Black Abstractionists to respond to this historical time with the freedom to imagine beyond this earth and beyond the art historical canon.
The exhibition title is in reference to the Black Science Fiction Writer, Octavia Butler's two volume collection The Earthseed Books; a story that depicts a society in the aftermath of worldwide ecological and economic apocalypse. The protagonist in this new world is guided by what is called "The Book of the Living." In passage 44 of "The Book of the Living" there is a title to a passage that reads, "the words of welcoming". In that same spirit, this exhibition is a welcoming to those artists that live and work in the Midwest that use Abstraction as their framework to speak to this our new time.
We all have gone through "Changes” since the tragedy of George Floyd and the global pandemic, the Midwest in particular, demonstrating examples of these "Changes" to our nation and the world. The Midwest erupted with cries for change and has redefined the ways in which we see this new world. We are at an important moment in time. Abstraction, specifically Black Abstraction, is not a static form of communication nor a rigid concept but rather an unfixed, fluid and ever evolving “language” that at times is both opaque and transparent; open to interpretation and reinterpretation.
Although inevitable, change is not swift or easy, but things are shifting. This exhibition seeks to discover what shifts are occurring within the canon of abstraction through the lens of the Black experience as a whole. This exhibition welcomes a new abstraction that moves indiscriminately through different media and reaches beyond the formal abstractions of what we know and enters into the space of what we might not yet know, using the unfamiliar, the quotidian, the expected or unexpected to do this. We are searching for art that speaks to this new moment that is upon that that will distinctly mark this period in time.
Curator Gregory Rose is interested in new ways of working and defining black “abstraction”. Rose's visual arts practice is also that of abstraction. This new mode is not fixed or dependent upon static ideas. He is interested in seeing shifts, how individuals are redefining limits, showing the complexities of thought, new ways of being are always an abstraction making way for new ways of seeing. The work should reflect a malleable reimagining rooted in Black Abstraction. Consider this a journey with curator and artist Gregory Rose where you will work with him to start defining what abstraction looks like in reference to the Black experience. Rose may contact you after the submission deadline for an online studio visit.
***All artists selected for the final exhibition will receive a stipend***
HOW TO SUBMIT YOUR WORK-DEADLINE January 17th, 2022
1. Application Form-Fill in all of your contact information on Submittable.
* Applicants must be working in the Midwest. The Midwest is defined as the following states: IL, IN, IA, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, ND, OH, SD, and WI.
2. WORK SAMPLES-EXACTLY 5 IMAGES-this can include details and alternate views of a work (FOR VIDEO SEE BELOW*) Digital Image Specifications: Images should be in JPEG format no larger than 3000 x 3000 pixels @ 72 dpi. Format each jpeg file name as “Artist’s last name_Artist’s first name_1.jpg,” “Artist’s last name_ Artist’s first name_2.jpg,” etc. *Video Submissions are also accepted in .mov or mp4 format, no larger than 200MB and no more than 2 min clips for each video submission, label files the same as images files. Work samples cannot exceed 5 but can be a combination of video and image files.
3. IMAGE LIST- Fill out each Image description field with the following information (make sure your image number corresponds to the label on your JPEG images): -Title of work -Date completed -Medium -Dimensions (H” x W” x D”) PLEASE INCLUDE ALL REQUESTED INFORMATION OR YOUR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.
4. ARTIST STATEMENT – doc, docx, txt, rtf or pdf format accepted. Label this document: Artist’s last name_Artist’s first name_artiststatement.doc ex. Doe_Jane_Artiststatement.doc. No longer than 1 page.
5. RESUME – doc, docx, txt, rtf or pdf format accepted. Label this document: Artist’s last name_Artist’s first name_Resume.doc ex. Doe_Jane_Resume.doc. Please provide a website if you have one. If you are applying as a group or collaborative team include all participating artists' resumes in one document.
About the Curator:
Gregory J. Rose is an East Coast native transplanted in the Mid-West. Formally educated at The Pennsylvania State University, Gregory received his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in 2000, and received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota in 2004-both with a concentration in Drawing and Painting. Gregory has been teaching for Minnesota State since 2003 and is Fine Arts Faculty at Minneapolis College based in Minneapolis. Gregory has exhibited in New York along with many other US cities and has begun to build an International career. Namely known as a painter, Gregory J. Rose has been a creative force working in – Music and work in TV Commercials; The Fine Arts, Art Education and Community Engagement adding to his growing Global presence.
About the Exhibition Advisors:
Caroline Kent explores the relationship between language, translation and abstraction through her enigmatic paintings and drawings. Kent received her MFA from the University of Minnesota and a BS in Art at Illinois State University. Recent exhibitions include the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL (2020) and The Shed Museum, New York, NY (2020); as well as a solo exhibition at The College of New Jersey, Ewing Township, NJ (2020), Five Ways In: Themes from the Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2019); The FLAG Art Foundation, New York, NY (2018); Monique Meloche, Chicago, IL (2018); DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, IL (2018); and California African American Museum, Los Angeles (2012). Kent is a recipient of the 2020 Artadia Award and Joan Mitchell Foundation Award for Painters and Sculptors, 2016 McKnight Fellowship for Visual Arts; 2015 Pollock-Krasner Grant; and a 2009 Jerome Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Macalester College, The New Orleans Museum of Art, and Walker Art Center. Kent currently lives and works in Chicago, where she is an Assistant Professor of Art at Northwestern University.
Clarence Morgan is a visual artist based in painting and drawing, with additional experience in printmaking. Morgan is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he also received his formal education and art training. He is based in Chicago, IL and Minneapolis, MN where he is a Professor of Art at the University of Minnesota. During his career, Morgan has been an artist-in-residence at the McColl Center for Visual Art (Charlotte, North Carolina) and the Harwood Museum of Art (Taos, New Mexico). His list of solo exhibitions includes Rosenberg+Kaufman Fine Art (New York), Kidder Smith Gallery (Boston), Macrostie Art Center (Grand Rapids, MN), Thomas Barry Fine Arts (Minneapolis), David Lusk Gallery (Memphis), Penland School of Craft (Penland, NC), Downtown Gallery, University of Tennessee (Knoxville), and the Morris Gallery at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia), among many others. Group exhibitions include The American Academy Institute of Arts & Letters (New York), David Richard Contemporary (Santa Fe), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Minneapolis Institute of Art (Minneapolis), Cleveland Museum of Art (Cleveland) and Rochester Art Center (Minnesota). Morgan has produced prints at Tamarind Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Highpoint Center for Printmaking in Minneapolis, Brandywine Workshop in Philadelphia, and the Patton Printmaking Studio/Workshop at the Anderson Ranch Art Center (Snowmass Village, Colorado). His work is in the permanent collections of the Cleveland Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Michigan State University Music College Billman Pavilion, among numerous other museums, galleries, and institutions.