ARTISTS CALL: Left, Right and Center

Thematically centered around the state of the American political scene, The Art of Democracy is a national coalition of art exhibitions scheduled for the Fall of 2008. Twenty-eight galleries from San Francisco to New York are participating in the project, which leads up to the November 2008 national elections. Other galleries, arts organizations, and artists are encouraged to organize their own events under the umbrella of the Art of Democracy coalition; which is currently circulating eleven different Open Calls for Exhibitions where artists may submit artworks.

Screenprint by Ian Pulia

[ The Art of Democracy - Ian Pulia. Screenprint. 2008. One of a number of prints designed by students of Michael Goro at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, Illinois. Pulia's silkscreen brilliantly depicts the costs of apathy when it comes to global warming. ]


One such Artists Call comes from my associate Patrick Merrill, who is organizing Left, Right and Center, an exhibition of political prints to be displayed at the Tustin Old Town Gallery in Tustin, California. In the past I had the great pleasure of exhibiting with Merrill, a talented Master Printer and the Director of Kellogg University Art Gallery at Cal Poly Pomona, so I would like to draw special attention to his efforts by publishing a few details from his open call for prints:

Left, Right and Center will be an exhibition of prints from the So Cal arts community. From our standpoint what constitutes a print is still (and hopefully always will be) open to interpretation. Prints may be traditional in execution and innovative in presentation; for the wall or the floor or ceiling; sculptural or as books. We are looking for diverse voices not just the ‘left’ speaking to the choir. Democracy is about dialogue. Even if the current scene seems to be one set of serial monologues haranguing the other, democracy is our goal. Let’s put the pundits and talking heads aside. Let us hear from our artists. This is not a competition in the standard sense, but a means to present a collective visual voice from the Southern California region. The intention is to curate an exhibition, not jury one.

As an additional incentive we can offer you the possibility of having your work accepted into the most important political graphics collection in the nation. Carol Wells, Director of the Center for Political Graphics here in Los Angeles has agreed to come to the exhibit and select work for permanent inclusion in the Center’s collection. There are two mandatory conditions: the work must be a multiple and it must be overtly political. There is no entry fee for Left, Right and Center. Entry due date by August 15, 2008.”

The Art of Democracy national coalition continues to expand, offering all types of artists the opportunity to create and exhibit works of art that speak of the current world crisis. Undoubtedly I will be writing about the coalition’s efforts in the near future, but at present I wish to urge artists across the United States to become active participants in this most exciting project.

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