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This is an Open Call for an exhibition about connecting to oneself, to others and to one’s surroundings. The exhibition will comprise visual material, tactile and sound explorations, dance, poetry, moving image, and more, through the prism of how we establish and maintain our connections on multiple levels.  

Societies and cultures have been transformed over the last decade or so, through the global access to and use of new and emerging technologies and smart textiles. Our methods for communicating and connecting with one another is accelerating, with so many more ways to connect across the planet in real time. 

At the same time, particularly during the height of the pandemic when everything came to a jolting halt, we discovered how to “be in touch” and “maintain contact” in new ways. Isolation-induced longing engendered remarkably innovative ways to communicate. In a world with so much urgency, how do people in crisis get in touch, taking action or form protest? Who is in contact with whom and what are their ways for contact and communication?

What are the unknown forces that move us, and what or with whom do we maintain contact? Do immediacy and speeding up everything help or hurt us? Do we need to slow down to find a deep connection with sensation? What about the importance of touch to foster deeper connection? What will be the next interface for human connectivity?

Artists are pivotal social catalysts who filter, express and help reveal new pathways for verbal and non-verbal communication. This exhibition aims to showcase artistic explorations into connectivity via the realms of fashion, design, craft, artificial intelligence and social consciousness. We seek work that reflects both social justice and imagination.

Exhibition Description:

The aim of the exhibition is to convey how contact and connectivity can be expressed through an array of various mediums and artforms. We seek artwork that focuses on connectivity, exploring how we come in contact and maintain connections. There is no hierarchy among the areas of craft, design, technology, sound, performance or the spoken word, nor among the five senses. How do we unite and stand together as one? We hope to present explorations from diverse fields investigating inclusive ways of contact.  

The exhibit will present different intensities and qualities, filters, viewfinders and interfaces within a variety of practices investigating ways of contact that spark a chain reaction, an echo or a call and response.

The exhibition will be held from July 13 to August 17, 2024 at Woman Made Gallery, 1332 S. Halsted St., Chicago, IL 60607. Entry fee allows submission of up to three works.

First Entry Due Date: May 23, 2024, 11:59 PM CST (entry fee: $30) | Final Entry Due Date (fee increases to $35): May 20, 2024, 11:59 PM

About the Juror: Anke Loh is a designer, artist, and educator who works at the intersection of fashion, art, and technology. With a focus on textile development and wearable tech, her collaborative practice explores the potential ways of building community through craft and making. In the process of creating installations and site-specific interventions, Loh will invite scientists, designers, artists, and community members to collaborate on innovative projects such as touch sensitive embroidered textiles that trigger pre-recorded soundscapes. Her practice also explores the inherent meaning and symbolism imbedded into everyday materials such as wire, which has been used to build fences as well as serve a conduit for communication across borders.

Loh’s multi-disciplinary approach to art and design has attracted international media attention and recognition in addition to awards, such as the Laureate at the Festival International des Arts et de la Mode in Hyères, France. Her work has been featured at New York’s Fashion Week, Paris’ Centre Pompidou, Japan’s Osaka Collection Show, and Mode Expo Antwerp, Belgium. https://re-fream.eu/pioneers/embroidered-touch/


Exhibition Dates: July 13–August 17, 2024 

First Entry Due Date: May 23, 2024, 11:59 PM CST 

Extended Due Date: May 30, 2024, 11:59 PM CST 

Notification: June 8, 2024

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 13 from 4 to 7 PM CST 

Artist Walkthrough: Saturday, August 17 from 2 to 4 PM CST 

Entry Fee 

*The entry fee is $30 until the first deadline. The entry fee will then increase to $35 per entry. 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 ($100) and above receive one free entry annually. Please email general@womanmade.org to receive your one-time code for free entry redemption. 

WMG offers up to 30 fee waivers per exhibition. To acknowledge the historic inequities of wealth distribution, they are mainly reserved for ALAANA/BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+. If you require a fee waiver simply email us explaining your need and we will assist you. Please email WMG at general@womanmade.org to request a fee-waiver. 

Eligibility 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 be no larger than 6’ horizontally and under 75 pounds in weight, unless delivered to and picked up from our 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 screens and projectors 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. Artists may donate any portion of their commission to WMG. 

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.