Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Focus: Midwest, Call for Submissions

Here is a call for submissions for an exhibition I am helping to curate, so I thought I would post here in an attempt to reach a broad range of contemporary artists based in the Midwest.

Focus Midwest 2007
Call for Submissions


The Midwest Contemporary (MiCo) will be accepting submissions from contemporary fine artists working in the Midwest for an upcoming exhibition, Focus Midwest 2007. This exhibition is open to artists residing in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, and Missouri. All media are eligible, including painting, sculpture, installation, photography, video, drawing, sound, fibers, ceramics, and printmaking.

This exhibition will focus on cutting-edge contemporary artists working in a variety of media. Participating artists will be selected by a panel of jurors and will be invited to exhibit up to three pieces of work. Though artists will be selected based on images submitted, selected artists will be encouraged to include their most recent work in the exhibition, even if the work wasn't included in original submission.

Midwest Museum of Contemporary Art
30 W. Main St., Suite 200 (2nd floor)
Carmel, Indiana 46032

August 1st- Extended Deadline for entry (postmark)
Opening Reception held in November 2007

For complete call for submissions, click here.

24 Responses to “Focus: Midwest, Call for Submissions”

lirio said...
June 20, 2007 at 7:19 AM

Sorry....gotta ask....define "cutting-edge contemporary" please.

Carla said...
June 20, 2007 at 10:09 AM

If ya gotta ask......


lirio said...
June 20, 2007 at 9:59 PM

Heh! I suppose you're right. The term "cutting edge" is getting a little dull though. ;)

Anonymous said...
June 20, 2007 at 11:55 PM

No, wait. How about we talk some MOCA?

IMOCA down, Efryomson out.

MICO up Efryomson in.

Are we on the cusp of something or on the cutting edge?

Backyard & Light hearted in the Midwest: in focus or out?

Scott said...
June 21, 2007 at 12:03 AM

What can I possibly say that the three of us have not already read or written here before, haha. I too get tired of the words "cutting edge" just as I get tired of the word "contemporary" as a description of the type of art some one makes. But, I liken the words "cutting edge" to that of "pornography" when discussing art, as the saying goes, I know it when I see it.

Perhaps we need to view the words "cutting edge" as a synonym to "vanguard", the Anglo-French being "avantgarde". Websters gives us the following definition for "vanguard": at the forefront of an action or movement.

yo mamma! said...
June 21, 2007 at 11:51 AM

why try to define it? just feel the work or not feel the work. "cutting edge" or "avantgarde" these things tend to speak more towards process instead of concept. unfortunalty curators have spent so much time looking for the next "cool" thing that they ignore the "relevant" things.

when did science become fine art? everyone wants to do the next cool thing so they pull out the computers, work kenetically, blah blah blah...razzle dazzle.

other than technology based work, nothing is that new or original.

how many ways are there to paint a portrait? what makes one portrait avantgarde and another not?

lirio said...
June 21, 2007 at 12:15 PM

An internet friend was nice enough to offer me this....for what it's worth.......
"My understanding of that phrase means that the work on display will not be traditional fine art, that is, the kind of work you find in touristic areas and shopping malls. That is, the work on display will not be solely decorative, or sappy realism. It could be confrontational or political. If it's narrative-driven then the 'story' will not be sweet or sentimental. If it's abstract it will not be simply pretty but will have another layer of meaning perhaps dealing with process, materials, or vocabulary. It can be beautiful, but must have other layers of meaning."

yo mamma! said...
June 21, 2007 at 2:50 PM

thats my point, most of the stuff in contemporary art that gets any attention fits that definition so why bother with it. and whats wrong with work being sweet or sentimental? tell me Sally Mann is not sentimental and not cutting edge (or at least was back in the day)

Anonymous said...
June 22, 2007 at 2:06 PM

It would really help bolster the identity of this new entity (poetry not intended) by having the address/location of MiCo mentioned here as well as in the announcement sent around by the Arts Council. Your weblink is the first I've seen to show who/what is going on and that it's in Carmel, funded by Efroym, annointed/attended by M.L. Pappas, etc, etc.


Anonymous said...
June 23, 2007 at 10:28 AM

Hmmm.... what happened to IMOCA?

Scott said...
June 23, 2007 at 11:13 AM

Don't fret, IMOCA is alive and well, and will soon be bringing some wonderful and exciting exhibitions to the downtown audiences. IMOCA has been closed for the past couple months for some much needed remodeling along with some upgraded lighting. Keep an eye out for a post about the reopening of IMOCA in the near future. Chris has some interesting projects in store for us soon enough.

Anonymous said...
June 27, 2007 at 3:09 PM

focus: midwest
more like out of focus: Indiana
If the panel of judges are hand pick by Efroymson & Papas, Good luck if it's cutting edge.
But at least it's free to enter

Anonymous said...
June 27, 2007 at 3:46 PM

I am so glad Efroymson and Papas are doing this venture... just as I am glad Efroymson and Grow started Recent Projects with out the Efroymson start up capitol our art scene would languish and fall back into disrepair. We are growing into a strong community with a great variety of opportunities!

Amy said...
June 27, 2007 at 9:43 PM

Why the mystery about the location of the "Midwest Contemporary Art Museum" in the first notice I got? That was bizarre and very confusing. I just found out there was a website.

On the subject of this "contemporary" notion..... doesn't contemporary simply mean that it is being created in the current times? ....whatever time it may be.

Contemporary does not necessarily equal "video-art", "digital-art", "conceptual-art", "shocking-art !" .....yawn......

If its a collage made from pharmaceuticals, a digital image of social injustice or the political issue du jour, if it has a computer screen attached to it or is viewed only by downloading to a cell phone....Well then, BY GEORGE!...Its a winner !!

How sophomoric is that?

Even in every so called "traditional" art form, there is a contemporary reinterpretation. It may not be as shocking and obvious as in past times, particulary 19th - mid 20th cent. Today we may just have to work harder to find it. The term avante garde was from the 19th century and was made popular in that time because of the rapid succession of movements (stylistically, thematically, etc) that followed and overthrew each other, one after the other, making the most recent passe. This phenomenon probably had more to do with the incessant appetite for stimulation and entertainment by the Bourgeoisie than it had to do with the truth about any notion of a "superior" art.

That is not the nature of art any more, yet some seem to always be waiting for the next "movement" to appear. That time is gone.

If art in these times has any equivalent to that sort of thing, I would propose it is now about individual expression, the UNIQUE vision of a singular artist working..... not for money, gallery representation, self gratuitous fame, or out of nostalgia for some past art form; but for a purpose unique to that artist.

These "contemporary" artists work in any medium, are true to their own experience, uncompromising in their craft, exploring, developing and unconcerned with the above motivations (which would take colossal integrity these days). It would probably also take a curator possessing these same qualities to be able to recognize this type of art.

So, maybe "contemporary" art has nothing to do with technology, issues or gimmicks. Maybe it is about integrity. But then, maybe the best art always was.

Oh well, nothing changes.

Scott said...
June 27, 2007 at 10:32 PM

Hi Amy,
All I can say about the "mystery" of the location is that it was nothing but a simple oversight on my part. I believed that the address was on the Midwest Contemporary web site's home page, which I linked to along with the web site with the submission information. So no mystery, just human error. My applogies to all.

On the subject of what it is to be "Contemporary Art", I'm too tired to tread this territory again. Hope you understand.

Amy said...
June 28, 2007 at 10:43 AM

Hi Scott,

No problem, I don't think the notice I got was even from you, was just wondering out loud.

I understand about the "contemporary" fatigue. Just thought I'd throw my 2 cents in on the topic.


lirio said...
June 28, 2007 at 10:57 AM

Thanks Amy....loved your 2 cents!

Anonymous said...
June 28, 2007 at 9:51 PM

Ok, my question to you Scott is:

Why is there a call for artists for this show? You are likely to know most artists working here in Indiana and I'm sure many in the Midwest. So does taht mean it is pointless for the artists here to apply? Wouldn't you just have curated them in this show instead doing a call?

I'm just trying to sort it out for the people who might be interested in applying, so there is no waist of time with an application, knowing you don't want them in this show. Do you know what I mean?

Anonymous said...
June 28, 2007 at 9:54 PM

Ok, my question to you Scott is:

Why is there a call for artists for this show? You are likely to know most artists working here in Indiana and I'm sure many in the Midwest. So does taht mean it is pointless for the artists here to apply? Wouldn't you just have curated them in this show instead doing a call?

I'm just trying to sort it out for the people who might be interested in applying, so there is no waist of time with an application, knowing you don't want them in this show. Do you know what I mean?

Scott said...
June 29, 2007 at 1:21 AM

Fair enough question...

While I feel I have a good idea of the artists living and exhibiting here in Indianapolis and know a fair amount of Chicago based artists, I would never claim to know them all and never expect to. In fact I am often being introduced to artists here in Indianapolis that I have never met or seen their work. I believe that through submissions, great finds can be made that otherwise would have been overlooked. While aside from hours of looking at art on the internet, I do not get the chance to travel to other cities (St. Louis, Louisville, Cleveland, Detroit, etc.) as often as I would like and I do not know those art scenes well enough. While I do have my eye on a couple artists I would like to exhibit, I have yet to think about what Indianapolis artists I would like to show yet. A submission process opens more doors of possibility.

With submissions like this, there are never any guarentees of getting into the show, it is just another chance to get your work seen and hopefully chosen for the show. This is another reason we decided against a submission fee. With this show in particular, I don't even have an idea as to how many artists will be chosen yet (10, 15, 25, ?). I believe that once submissions start comeing in, the show will then begin to come into focus for me and at that time I will decide how many artists will make the cut.

I hope that I provided a fair and reasonable answer to your questions and concerns. If you happen to submit, good luck.

Anonymous said...
July 9, 2007 at 11:12 AM

There seems to be two different dates indicated for the submission deadline. Is it July 15th postmarked or August 1st postmarked? Please let us know.

Scott said...
July 9, 2007 at 4:04 PM

We have extended the deadline to August 1st. I will correct the error. Thanks.

Uncle Freddy said...
July 16, 2007 at 4:12 PM

Boy, they really give you a hard time Scott. This show is open to artists from 6 states that is reason enough for a call to artists. Get the word out and some new and exciting work will come in.

Hope everything is going well with the show!
Thanks to you, Jeremy et al for making things happen.

Uncle Freddy

Scott said...
July 16, 2007 at 4:36 PM

Hi Uncle Freddy,

Thanks for the support. You know, I never take the criticism to heart. Writing for this blog has long taught me to take it all with a pause and a smile. I enjoy the art community, I am doing the work that I love, and I have met some wonderful people doing all of this. What more can I ask for. One of these days, when gas prices are more reasonable, I shall come up for a visit. Keep up the great things you are doing as well. Have a great day.

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