March 4, 2020

(New Orleans, LA - March 4, 2020): Today the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) New Orleans announced a call for visual artists living and working in the Gulf South states of Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida for its upcoming exhibition “Make America What America Must Become.”

The CAC invites artists to submit up to four pieces of artwork beginning March 4 through April 8, 2020. The CAC will premiere “Make America What America Must Become” at the Contemporary Arts Center (located at 900 Camp Street), July 18 through September 6, 2020. For submission guidelines, important dates, and to submit, please visit cacno.org/opencall2020

As the nation prepares to partake in the democratic act of voting, CAC Executive Director George Scheer was inspired by a letter written by philosopher, writer, and American commentator James Baldwin to his nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, in which Baldwin offered an optimistic message: "Great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become.”

Scheer notes about the exhibition, “In the context of our shifting regional landscape, we are seeking artworks across media that examine how power is made manifest in culture, politics, economics, and ecology. We are also curious to see works that were created urgently in response to the current political paradigm and reflect broadly on the conjuring and churning of the American fever dream.” 

About the Exhibition:

America is an anxious nation chasing a more perfect union. As its political body struggles along the arc of justice, the truths “we” hold rarely appear self-evident. Complicated by an overtly mediated era, today's social movements demand a punctuated examination of #historicalconsequence and #power. At this moment, the distance between Art and Politics—reflection and response—seems to be collapsing. In a letter to his nephew on the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, philosopher and American commentator, James Baldwin, offered an optimistic but urgent message, "Great men have done great things here, and will again, and we can make America what America must become." 

During a summer of electoral consternation, the CAC presents "Make America What America Must Become," a call for artists living and working along the Gulf Coast. In the context of our shifting regional landscape, we are seeking artworks across media that examine how power is made manifest in culture, politics, economics, and ecology. We are also curious to see works that were created urgently in response to the current political paradigm and reflect broadly on the conjuring and churning of the American fever dream.

This exhibition is organized and presented by the Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans. Support for this exhibition is provided by Sydney & Walda Besthoff, The Helis Foundation, and the Welch Family Foundation. This exhibition is also supported by the City of New Orleans through a Community Arts Grant, as well as by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council. 

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Media Contact:

Laura B. Tennyson
ltennyson@cacno.org

Media Resources:

Website: https://cacno.org/opencall2020
Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/275109580143894
Artist Submission link: https://cacno.submittable.com/submit
Promo images and submission guidelines: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1EYjYYYcPkKzLfE1aMJ9xwvVAzO2Bh8ww?usp=sharing

About the CAC:

The Contemporary Arts Center (CAC) is a multidisciplinary arts center dedicated to the presentation, production, and promotion of the art of our time. Formed in 1976 by a passionate group of visual and performing artists when the movement to tear down the walls between visual and performing arts was active nationwide, the CAC expresses its mission by organizing world class curated exhibitions, performances, and public programs that educate and enlarge audiences for the arts while encouraging collaboration among diverse stakeholders composed of artists, institutions, communities, and supporters throughout the world.

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