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Open Call: Painting at Night

An Artist/Mother Podcast and Collar Works exhibition at Opalka Gallery

Curators: Alisa Sikelianos-Carter and Sean Desiree

Deadline to submit: April 1st, 2024

Exhibition Dates: September 3 - October 12, 2024

Artist/Mother Podcast, Collar Works, and Opalka Gallery are excited to announce an open call for entries for the fourth edition of the Painting at Night exhibition, curated this year by Alisa Sikelianos-Carter and Sean Desiree. As part of the Artist/Mother Podcast Community’s ongoing work to bring exposure to and provide opportunities for artists who are also caregivers, the A/MP is seeking submissions for this exhibition. The name for the exhibition came about during episode 28 of the A/M Podcast, a conversation between host, Kaylan Buteyn, and artist Allison Reimus. In the episode, Allison recalls the time she read a statement in a New York Times article about how “You can’t paint at night in your kitchen and hope to be a good artist. It doesn’t work that way.”

In true Artist/Mother fashion, this seemed like a great statement to respond to for a group show, as an act of resistance and rejection. To imply that good art cannot be made in domestic spaces, or that a person cannot claim the title of artist without meeting arbitrary requirements is a patriarchal myth, one that artists who are caregivers have been resisting for decades. For this show, we would like you to offer a response, addressing the ways you are making excellent and inspiring work while also navigating your role as a caregiver. The work may respond to thematic obstacles such as domestic duties, ambivalent feelings, restraints on time, minimal support, the joy and labor involved in caregiving. Show us, through the work, how you are “Painting at Night”—making art as an artist and balancing your unique caregiving responsibilities.

“Painting at Night” has become a monumental exhibition for our caregiving community. The first version took place at Fort Houston Gallery in Nashville, TN (2019), the second at Artlink in Fort Wayne, IN (2021), and the third was hosted by Collar Works, Troy, NY (2022). The fourth will be held at Opalka Gallery on the campus of Russell Sage College in Albany, NY. The exhibition has no defined expectation for type or style of work that will be considered or selected. This exhibition is open to artists of all gender identities.

Submission Materials

  • Artist Information
  • Artist Statement (150 words)
  • Artist Bio (150 words)
  • Up to 5 images or videos
  • Corresponding List of Works (title, medium, date, size, price)
  • Website and social media handles
  • Entry Fee: No fee through midnight on December 31st. Starting on January 1st, entry fee is $15 (If this is financially prohibitive, contact emily@collarworks.org for a no-questions-asked fee waiver.)

Guidelines + Information

  • Artists may submit up to 5 works for consideration.
  • All artists working in all mediums are welcome to apply.
  • All artwork submitted must be ready to hang or install.
  • All artwork in the exhibition will be for sale, with artists receiving 100% of all sales. 
  • Participating artists will receive a $150 stipend.
  • The call is open to artists internationally, however, please note that artists will be responsible for shipping costs.
  • Artists working in video or new media may need to provide their own equipment.
  • Selected artists will be notified by April 1, 2024.
  • All participating artists must return paperwork by May 22, 2024.
  • All artwork must arrive at Opalka on or by August 15th.
  • Exhibition runs September 3 - October 12, 2024
  • Reception and events will be held the weekend of September 13th, 2024.
  • Collar Works, Opalka, and A/MP are committed to artist equity and provides an inclusive space with access for all, regardless of differences of race, age, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, religion, national origin, migratory status, disability/abilities, political affiliation, veteran status and/or socioeconomic background.

About the Curators:

Sean Desiree is a self-taught mixed media and interdisciplinary artist, born and raised in the Bronx. Desiree produces sculptures and installations that serve as sanctuaries, protectors, and symbols of empowerment for marginalized communities. Their interest includes social engagement and disruptive interventions that counter biased societal structures. In addition to being an artist, they are an educator facilitating the BIPOC Builders Immersions at Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. In 2022 they were awarded fellowships at  Leslie Lohman, and Socrates Sculpture Park. They have attended residencies at More Art, MASS MoCA, and Wave Hill. While an Artist in Residence at More Art, they debuted their socially engaged public art sculpture,BEAM ENSEMBLE in collaboration with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.

Alisa Sikelianos-Carter is a mixed-media artist from upstate New York. Her practice explores themes of Black boundlessness, infinitude, and futurity. She is endlessly inspired by light (both physically and metaphysically), fractals, patterns in nature, and the dark night sky. Sikelianos-Carter is a recipient of the Sustainable Arts Foundation Grant and Foreland Fellowship. Sikelianos-Carter has been awarded residencies at Millay Arts, Vermont Studio Center, The Wassaic Project, The Fountainhead Residency,NXTHVN, Yaddo, Headlands Center for the Arts, and the Golden Foundation. Select group exhibitions include James Cohan Gallery, New York, NY; The Tang Teaching Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY; and solo exhibitions at Fridman Gallery, Beacon, NY; Union College, Schenectady, NY; Kavi Gupta Gallery, Chicago, IL. Her solo exhibitionIn Space and Splendor: A Topography of Wildnessis currently on view at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, San Luis Obispo, CA through March 2024.

About Artist/Mother Podcast What started as a podcast has morphed into a big, bold, beautiful community. In December 2018, Kaylan started recording episodes from her living room…reaching out to the small circle of artists who were mothers that she knew and asking to hear more about their story. Episodes were released beginning in February of 2019 and within a few weeks artist/parents from all over started reaching out and connecting. The rest, as they say, is sort of history… a retreat happened, a Crit group was formed and we have grown our community and tweaked our offerings and hope to continue to do this work for years to come. As long as there will be people making art there will be caregivers making art and we hope there is always a space to uplift and support their art practices and well being. We don’t believe you have to be a mother, to be a mother-er. Caregiving takes many forms. We hope our stories provide inspiration for change and visibility for those feeling marginalized by their caregiving responsibilities and roles. 

About Collar Works Collar Works is a non-profit art space dedicated to supporting emerging and underrepresented artists working in any media, and exhibiting challenging and culturally relevant contemporary artworks. Expanding the current art vernacular in New York’s capital region, Collar Works provides a venue for community dialogue focused on serious, provocative, and spirited work.

About Opalka Gallery Opalka Gallery is the formal exhibition facility of Russell Sage College. Located on the Albany campus, the Opalka’s primary focus is on modern and contemporary art and design from nationally recognized artists. An important part of the cultural life in the Capital Region, the Gallery frequently hosts lectures, films, concerts, and other events in conjunction with its exhibitions.

Opalka Gallery was constructed in 2002 with funds generously donated by the Opalka family. The 7,400 square foot facility includes a vaulted gallery and a 75-seat lecture/presentation hall. The Opalka replaced Rathbone Gallery, which served Russell Sage College for 25 years and garnered international attention for the quality and significance of its exhibitions.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.