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Open Call: Fall 2020 Group Exhibition

Application Deadline: April 15, 2020, 11:59 pm EDT

Bound up Together: On the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment
Curated by Rachel Gugelberger
September 26–November 8, 2020 (opening date to be confirmed)

2020 marks the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which granted women the right to vote. This year also marks the 59th United States presidential election, with women's rights taking center stage. 

While there is a direct line from the spectacles of the suffragist movement to the legion of activists wearing pink pussy-hats at Women’s Marches protesting the 2017 inauguration of President Donald Trump, a broader and more nuanced suffrage history needs to be illuminated. The struggle for women’s rights did not end with the 19th Amendment. Among the urgent issues that are still driving the political debate leading up to the 2020 presidential election include gender equality and voting rights.

Smack Mellon seeks submissions for works that acknowledge the achievements of the 19th Amendment, examine suffrage from a historical perspective and consider its complicated history. Artists are encouraged to submit work that engages with and interprets the theme of suffrage in an expansive way. How has the 19th Amendment built on the intersectional visions and voices that presage the Women’s Suffrage Movement? How has it shaped subsequent legislation, corporate culture, social mores and codes and “gender wars?” How has the Civil Rights Movement intersected with—or been downplayed within the history of suffrage in advancing social justice? How can voters today confront gender equality, women’s empowerment, reproductive rights, voting rights and intersectional human rights?

The exhibition will be organized by guest curator Rachel Gugelberger and will be on view from September 26 through November 8, 2020 (opening date to be confirmed). In an effort to include a wide range of viewpoints, the majority of participating artists will be selected from an open call. Smack Mellon welcomes submissions across media and disciplines, including, but not limited to 2D, 3D, sound, performance, installation, time- and research-based works, and public programs. Submissions of existing works and proposals for new and/or site-specific projects are welcome. 


April 15, 2020: Submission Deadline

By June 30: Selected artists will be notified. If selected, artwork must be received at Smack Mellon between 10am and 6pm on September 21 (date to be confirmed). We recommend hand-delivering the work. Artwork can be shipped to the gallery, but Smack Mellon is unable to cover shipping or return costs. Under most circumstances artists will be expected to install their own work. Artists must pick up their work on either November 9 or 10, 2020 between 10am and 6pm. Additional logistical details and scheduling information will be discussed with artists who are selected for exhibition.

Rachel Raphaela Gugelberger is a NY-based curator with a focus on place-based practices around social, cultural, and civic issues. Projects include (after)care, a site-specific exhibition in a former emergency waiting room at Kings County Hospital in East Flatbush, Brooklyn; the inaugural Southeast Queens Biennial; and Jameco Exchange, a site-responsive exhibition and socially engaged education platform in a vacant storefront in Jamaica, Queens. Projects at the intersection of information, data and art, include, Once Upon a Time There was the End, The Center for Book Arts, New York, NY; Data Deluge, Ballroom Marfa, TX; and Library Science, Artspace, New Haven, CT. Gugelberger is currently Residency Program Director & Curator of Programs at Residency Unlimited. She is the former curator at No Longer Empty (NLE) and former director of the NLE Curatorial Lab. Gugelberger has served as a Curator at Exit Art and co-director of Sara Meltzer Gallery. 


Thank you for your interest in exhibiting at Smack Mellon!

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