JUROR: Spencer Hutchinson, MFA UIC 2020

EXHIBITION DATES:  Oct 27 – Nov 19, 2022

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: Thursday, Sept 22, 2022 at 11:59pm CST


ARC Gallery, as part of its mission to promote inclusion and diversity in the representation of contemporary art, calls to all African-Diasporic artists working across media to submit work that is either in the vein of representational/figurative/realistic or abstract/non-objective/conceptual art.

For nearly the entire history of Black artists’ existence in the U.S. and throughout the world, black art has been largely defined by what Darby English refers to as Black representational space. Even visual artists as unconventional as Jean Michel Basquiat still frame the representation of the Black body as the center of their art making. Recently, this trend has been undergoing a change. Artists such as Julie Mehrutu and Mark Bradford have crossed the rubicon into Abstraction and into a frame of discourse that long excluded Black Artists while much older Black artists working in Abstraction going back decades such as Macarthur Binion are experiencing a renaissance and having their art being given the credibility that evaded them in years past. At the heart of this show are the questions: what respectively drives Black Representational and by extension Black Abstract Art? How are these motivations distinct from “Mainstream” representational and abstract art that the general public are more familiar with?

How do representation and abstraction inform and contextualize each other in the discourse surrounding black art and are there implications within this realm of discourse that can help shed light on the ontology of figuration and abstraction more broadly? Are the criteria by which the general audience, and mainstream institutions and galleries represent art made by Afrodiasporic peoples too narrow?

This show attempts to equally represent Black figurative and abstract artists working mainly in the mediums of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, collage, installation, sound, video and sculpture across the entire range of the African diaspora. We seek to include artists at all levels of their careers regardless of age, gender, ability, or sexual orientation to help drive the
conversation and engender broader understanding of these two major themes in Contemporary Black Art.

All mediums and materials are eligible for submission including video and performance. Due to space limitations, no large projections or media-based installations will be accepted.

Deadline for Submission of Applications: Thursday, Sept 22, 2022 at 11:59pm CST

Notification of Acceptance: Will go out by email on Oct 1, 2022
Work Delivered to ARC: Thurs & Fri, Oct 20, 21, 2-6pm; Sat, Oct 22, 12-4pm
Pick-Up Work at Gallery: Sat, Nov 19, 2;30-4pm
Shipped Work Return Date: the week of Nov. 23-24 *Pre-Paid FedEx or UPS label is required.*
Do not use the U.S. Postal Service.

$30 for one to three images. $10 for each additional image. (Lower charge for students: high school or college students can pay a reduced fee of $20 per 3 entries with $10 for each additional entry. Please include copy of Student ID.) If paying by check, it must be received prior to jurying.
* Artists who are unable to afford the fees listed are asked to pay what they can afford. ARC is run by a group of artists who want to support other artists and give visibility to underserved communities. We only ask artists to contribute to our costs to help us keep the doors open.

Click HERE to apply.

Juror: Spencer Hutchinson

We are honored to have Spencer Hutchinson acting as juror and curator for this show.

Spencer Hutchinson is a 2020 MFA graduate from The University of Illinois at Chicago where he studied Studio and New Media Arts (specifically Painting and Sound) and a 2009 BFA graduate from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he studied Sound, Painting and New Media. His work primarily deals with intersections across visual media, particularly painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, performance, 3D animation, video and sound as well as topics relating to race and art theory and criticism. He has shown nationally and internationally in Mexico City, Ravenna IT, Assisi IT, Dubai UAE, and Manchester UK and previously served as editor and art critic for the New Art Examiner as well as being a founding member of Agitator Cooperative Gallery in Chicago. He has been a working artist based in Chicago, IL since 2007.

Opening Reception, Friday, Oct. 28, 5-8pm
Exhibition dates: Oct 27– Nov 19, 2022
Gallery hours: Thurs & Fri – 2-6 pm,  Sat & Sun – 12-4 pm

Deadline for Entries: Sept 22 11:59 pm CST

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.