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Exhibition Description: The Midwest Open is an annual exhibition at WMG that highlights women and non-binary artistic excellence from the Midwest. According to the United States Census Bureau, the 12 states in the Midwest include Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. This exhibition puts forth the vibrancy, diversity, and strong feminist voice right here in the Heartland. 

As a juried exhibition, each iteration of the Midwest Open offers applicants the unique opportunity to have their work reviewed by esteemed arts professionals and industry connectors. The exhibition then results from a highly selective juried competition and presents excellent work across career levels. Hundreds of artists enter our competitions every year, but only a limited number make it through the jurying process. Cash prizes are awarded to three artists in the exhibition, as designated by the juror. 

Awards: 1st place: $300 | 2nd place: $200 | 3rd place: $100 

The exhibition benefits artists and viewers alike. While included artists receive exposure, those with an interest in art made by women and non-binary folks are provided with an invaluable resource for discovering Midwestern talent.   

Woman Made Gallery seeks artwork in all mediums. The theme of the exhibition is OPEN.

About the Juror: Kimberly Oliva
Kimberly Oliva received her Bachelor of Art degree from Loyola University in 2001. She is the owner of Oliva Gallery and co-founder of ALMA Art and Interiors in Chicago. Prior to opening ALMA, in 2021, Oliva Gallery exhibited at SOFA. Kimberly is a member of the Arts Club Chicago, founder of Mozart Park Mural program, and co-chair of Mozart Park Chicago Park District. With a diverse professional background ranging from interior design to jewelry to contemporary art, Kimberly has been immersed in the art scene for over two decades. 

In early 2002, Kimberly started selling at the Chicago Randolph Street Market. She has since expanded to exhibiting local and world-renowned artworks in cities such as Detroit, Massachusetts, Michigan, Texas, Oregon, and Washington. Kimberly is also in the process of organizing museum exhibits for 2024. In her free time, she enjoys attending art exhibits, strolling the historic tree-lined boulevards of Logan Square and Humboldt Park, and road-tripping across the United States in search of fresh inventory for Oliva and ALMA. Her passion for art, design, and community has made Oliva Gallery and ALMA Art and Interiors a unique and inspiring destination for art enthusiasts and collectors alike. For more information visit https://www.olivagallery.com/   

Important Dates
Exhibition Dates: September 2 - 30, 2023
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 2 at 4-7 PM CST
First Entry Due Date: July 6, 2023, 11:59 PM CST
Extended Due Date (fee increase to $35): * July 13, 11:59 PM CST
Notification: July 22, 2023

Entry Fee
*The entry fee is $30 until the first deadline. The entry fee will then increase to $35 per entry for an extended due date.  Each entry requires a minimum of one artwork, though up to three artworks may be considered per submission. Entry fees are non-refundable.
Members at the Enhanced Artist Level and above receive one free entry annually. Please email general@womanmade.org to receive your one-time code for free entry redemption.

WMG offers fee waivers to those who request the need. WMG offers up to 30 fee waivers per exhibition. To acknowledge the historic inequities of wealth distribution, they are exclusively reserved for ALAANA/BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+. Factors that result in an approved application include financial instability or low income status, student or recent graduate status, identification as ALAANA/BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+, or a demonstrated need otherwise. The WMG team will approve and send a fee waiver link within 2 days of artist's request. Please email WMG at general@womanmade.org to request a fee-waiver.

Woman Made Gallery is a space for women and nonbinary artists, including trans women and femme/feminine-identifying genderqueer artists. We welcome art from women and non-binary artists from our local community, regionally based, and around the world.

Due to wall size restrictions, artworks must fall within 6’ horizontally and under 75 pounds in weight, unless delivered to and picked up from our 4th floor gallery by the artist. Artists may be additionally responsible for the installation of oversized works.

New media artworks are eligible. To be considered, artists must  submit a sample .mp4 or URL under 10 mins for purposes of consideration. For exhibition, WMG requires a digital transfer (Google Drive, Vimeo downloads, WeTransfer) as well as a USB formatted in .mp4 file format delivered to the gallery. WMG can provide a limited number of media players, Epson projectors and TV monitors with basic speakers. All other new media needs are the responsibility of the artist.

Art Sales
Accepted work may be listed for sale or be not for sale (NFS). WMG will retain a 40% commission on sold works. Work remains the property of the artist until sold. Sold artworks shall remain in the exhibition until the end of the exhibition. Artists will be paid no later than 30 days after the close of the exhibit.

Terms of Exhibition
An artist contract with full terms of the exhibition will be administered at the time of acceptance notification.

Artists need to retrieve their work by the date noted in the artist contract or make alternate arrangements. WMG is unable to store work beyond the pick-up date. Artists may donate their art to WMG's fundraising efforts if unable to pick it up. WMG is happy to talk through preparations, offer advice, and recommend resources as requested.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.