Dear Current or Former Chicagoland Artist,
I’m inviting you to a public art project at the Chicago Cultural Center I’m organizing titled ENCOUNTER, opening on November 19th and running through January 15, 2023.
ALL submissions will be accepted and continually added to the project until its closing on January 15, 2022.
The installation will open to the public at the Chicago Cultural Center on November 15, 2022.
There will be a public opening reception for ENCOUNTER on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at the Cultural Center, 2-5pm.
If you’re reading this and would like to submit, you can either mail your submission to the cultural center at the address down below, or, if in Chicago, you can hand deliver to the Buddy Shop located within the 78 E. Washington Blvd entrance. If the shop is closed you can ‘slide your submission through the gaps in the Buddy Shop doors which are quite generous.
Scroll down for full project invitation and submission instructions >
Scroll to the bottom for a peek at some submissions received >>
Simply put, the exhibition seeks to feature small handmade ‘drawings’ by current or former Chicago artist-residents visualizing a TRANSFORMATIVE encounter with a single artwork they had somewhere in Chicago while living in the city. This is a chance to acknowledge a work (and its maker) who helped us see what is possible, urgent, relevant, and liberating.
These drawings don’t have to be rendered as an artwork per se; if you prefer, a simple note or diagram describing the artwork you’d like to acknowledge can suffice as well!
What are the scale parameters?
–as small as a postcard, to an upper limit of 8.5×11”.
–any medium to draw or render visually in some way is welcome: pencil, pen, watercolor, acrylic, etc.
–the work should be standard mail-envelope friendly
How do I ‘label’ the drawing? Options include:
–drawing on front / hand-written text on back
–drawing on front / hand-written text in front, in margins
–drawing only (only a drawing on front, no attribution, keeping it mysterious/elliptical)
–only a hand-written description of the encounter on front (great text by itself can be powerfully visual)
**recommended text to help give context to your encounter of a chosen work for this exhibition’s audience includes: the artist, venue of the encounter, the artwork’s name, and the year of the encounter (you can approximate if needed!)…please don’t forget to put your name somewhere on the piece as well
How will these be displayed? They will viewable in two ways:
1) in the street-level window display at the Cultural Center’s Randolph Ave entrance, only the front of the drawing will be visible in this part of the exhibition (see the bottom of the invite for images of the display window)
2) there are plans to create a book and/or website after the exhibition featuring as large a survey of the submissions as possible; both front and back will be visible in this format (each book spread or website page will have the front of the drawing on the left side, back of the drawing on the right)
The drawings/renderings will not be for sale, and after the exhibition (and after high-resolution scanning) they will be returned to the artist via mail (if they choose) or kept in an archive for future possible exhibitions. ***Submissions will be accepted until the end of the exhibition on January 15, 2022.
Chicago was formative for me, and in retrospect, many intimate and radiating encounters with single works still resonate with me and inform my worldview. I’m guessing the same may be true with you? This project draws on the formative Encounter(s) we have as ecstatic, deeply inscribing, profoundly disorienting, and liberation we didn’t even know we needed.
One more thought, the project will likely receive submissions featuring major-art institutions / recognized-artists repeatedly, so any encounter that falls outside of this is highly encouraged and vital to the project’s success.
After November 1st, 2022 and through January 15, 2023, submissions can be sent directly to the Chicago Cultural Center:
Chicago Cultural Center
78 E. Washington
Chicago, IL 60651
*Last, please forward this invitation to folks you think may be moved by this prompt. We will be taking submissions throughout the fall/winter (once the project is running in the Cultural Center, the project will still be actively calling for submissions throughout its duration).
*Below: images of the exhibition window at the Chicago Cultural Center where ENCOUNTER will take place. There are plans for a digital or physical publication after the run of the exhibition, stay tuned!
A peek at some of the submissions so far: