• Editors Pick

Art in Isolation: Open Call

Submit by Tuesday, July 21, 2020, 11:59 pm EST


Through an international Open Call, the Middle East Institute’s (MEI) Arts & Culture Center invites emerging, mid-career, and established artists from the MENAT region (i.e. Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey) and its diaspora to submit artwork for the forthcoming exhibition, Art in Isolation: Creativity in the Time of COVID-19. The exhibition will be featured at the MEI Art Gallery in Washington, D.C. from September 23, 2020 - January 13, 2021.


The exhibition, organized in response to the impact of the global pandemic on artists, seeks to benefit artists from the region through the sale of artwork presented.  Participating artists will receive 70% of sales, in line with MEI’s Arts & Culture Center’s mission to promote Middle Eastern artists.


Art in Isolation: Creativity in the Time of COVID-19 will investigate how “sheltering in place” has influenced artists’ work—mentally, emotionally, or physically—addressing the impact of confinement on artistic practice. How are artists finding ways to continue to cultivate creativity despite movement restrictions? Has the pandemic hindered or positively altered the way in which artists work, creating unexpected opportunities to explore new mediums, scale or subject matter? Are artists using this time to foster new initiatives, to look forward or back in time, or are they now addressing the pandemic and its impact on the region directly? Art in Isolation will feature artwork of diverse media, highlighting the universality of artists working in isolation and the distinctive perspectives of artists from the region during this unprecedented time. 

Barring the continued closure of the gallery due to the pandemic, the exhibition will be mounted in MEI’s Art Gallery at 1763 N Street, NW in Washington, DC from September 23, 2020-January 13, 2021. It will be available for viewing in person by appointment, as well as be featured online. It will also be accompanied by related public programming (online or in-person depending on pandemic guidelines).


Artists will be responsible for the shipment of artwork to MEI’s Arts & Culture Center in Washington, D.C. MEI will provide support for basic artwork installation, such as canvas stretching, and be responsible for the return shipment of any unsold work. MEI will promote the exhibition and encourage sales through extensive media and social media outreach and a robust schedule of public programs, including artist talks.  

For more information and to access application, please click here.


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