Very Special Arts - Call for Entries - Deadline: June 10th

posted Mar 29, 2011, 9:45 AM by Jackie Yearby   [ updated May 11, 2011, 7:40 PM ]

VSA seeks entries for Momentum, a national juried exhibition for emerging artists with disabilities, ages 16-25.
Deadline: June 10, 2011

Who can apply?

The call is open to artists ages 16-25 living in the United States who have a disability. As defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Previous award recipients are not eligible to apply.


Submissions must be original work completed within the last three years and after the onset of disability.

Both representational and abstract work may be entered. Artwork may illustrate actual aspects of your motivation, such as the physical world or personal discoveries. Abstract work that relates to the inner world of emotions is also encouraged.

Eligible media include but are not limited to paintings and drawings (oil, watercolor, acrylic, pencil, or charcoal); fine art prints; photography; computer-generated prints; digital art; and time-based media (video, film). All work must have a visual component. Two-dimensional artwork should not exceed 60 inches in either dimension. Sculpture should not exceed 24 inches in any dimension.

Fragile or precious materials that cannot withstand handling, storage, and transportation will not be accepted.

VSA serves K-12 students as well as adults with disabilities. VSA reserves the right not to adjudicate any individual work(s) deemed inappropriate for our mission and audience. Artists should not submit work that contains religious or political themes, inappropriate language, or excessive nudity.

The jury process

A panel of distinguished practicing artists, curators, and arts administrators will determine work standards, review submitted materials, and select the 15 artists for the exhibition. Applicants are asked to present materials best exemplifying the extent and quality of their accomplishments. The jury will look for a demonstration of original ideas in the work submitted-imagination, competence, and the skillful use of materials. Work that suggests visual plagiarism, such as a direct copy of another artist's work, will not be accepted. All decisions are final.

Entry instructions

All materials should be submitted in digital format through CaFE™ at No slides will be accepted. Interested artists will be required to create a CaFE profile to apply.

Applicants are required to submit four separate works of art for consideration, uploading one JPEG image of each to the CaFE site. These images should represent the subject matter and techniques to which the artist is most committed. The judges are looking for overall quality in the submissions.

The images will be reviewed simultaneously with any applicable supplemental audio, video, or film materials (see below). The images will project exactly as uploaded and in a horizontal row during the jury process. Be sure to submit four different images rather than uploading the same image multiple times. If necessary, a detail may be included as one of the four images if the work requires it (for example, when using a large canvas or unusual medium).

Do not send original artwork.

A three-step guide to using the CaFE system:

·    Register on CaFE to create a user name and password that allows you to save information and return to it at any time.

·    Create your portfolio by formatting and uploading images of work.

·    After your portfolio has been completed, click on "Apply to Calls," find Momentum in the list of exhibitions, and click on "Apply to This Call."

Applicants must prepare their images to CaFE specifications and complete their submission prior to the midnight (U.S. Mountain Standard Time) deadline of June 10, 2011. It should take approximately two hours to prepare images and submit the application. Applicants are strongly urged to allow enough time to compensate for any unforeseen technical difficulties during the application process. Applicants may begin the application, save it, and return to it at any time prior to the submission deadline.

Supplemental material

Artists in all media must complete the full application on CaFE, including images that represent the visual component of the work. Please allocate at least one of the four JPEG images to a still from your video or film as appropriate.

For films and videos as well as installations that include video, film, or audio elements, supplements your application by submitting a CD or DVD. Videos must be ready to play using Windows Media Player, Real Player, or QuickTime. U.S.-compatible formats are encouraged; no VHS tapes or mini-DVDs will be accepted.

The jury will initially review two minutes of a video or audio file along with the four submitted images. Artists should note a specific two-minute segment to be reviewed, indicating the segment times in their submission. The jury may opt to view the entire video based on this segment.

Please send supplemental materials directly to: VSA, c/o Momentum call for art, 818 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20006. All supplemental materials must have a corresponding CaFE profile and be postmarked by June 10, 2011.

Applicants will be asked to enter or upload an artist's narrative (no more than one page) and a personal statement responding to the exhibition theme (no more than one paragraph) in Microsoft Word (.doc) or PDF format. This information will be used to create an artist's biography. A headshot or photograph of the artist in high-resolution (300 dpi) JPEG format is also required.

The artist's narrative should provide your artistic background information and answer each of the following questions:

·    When did you start creating art and what motivated you to begin?

·    What techniques and media do you use?

·    What role does art play in living with your disability? Does your disability affect your artwork in any way?

·    Do you remember a significant experience during your education where the arts played an important part? What about a favorite art teacher or art class?

·    When, and under what conditions, do you feel the arts were most effective in your education?

Submitted materials will not be returned. Materials may be archived in the VSA Artists Registry, a comprehensive online directory that is consulted when identifying artists with disabilities for professional opportunities.

VSA is not responsible for submissions that are incomplete or that fail to upload to a CaFE profile.