Application deadline is January 26, 2015 midnight EST (received by Entrythingy.com with $5 fee)
Brick Layers, curated by Jennie Shanker, seeks artworks that are grounded in the Workhouse site and its rich and layered history. We’re looking for work that humanizes that history, and encourages conversation about themes that remain relevant to this day, such as the criminal justice system, women’s rights, the Constitution, workers/labor, issues of race/class/gender, how natural resources were essential to the region’s development, etc.
HISTORY OF THE WORKHOUSE ARTS CENTER:
The Workhouse Arts Center (WAC) occupies a unique historic site, originally the Occoquan Workhouse opened in 1910 as a federal prison. The prisoners built the Workhouse. Initially they camped out and built structures in wood. The Workhouse buildings we see today were made from clay formed into brick on site, fired in a large beehive kiln they made from their bricks. Walls were created as the bricks were layered, one onto the next, creating spaces that imprisoned the prisoners through their own labor.
From January 1917 until June 1919, for two and a half years, women stood vigil in front of the White House twenty-four hours a day, six days a week. They displayed banners that argued for the right for women to vote. There were 168 suffragists who were arrested and sent to the Workhouse where they were gravely mistreated. As stories of beatings, torture, worm-infested food and force feedings spread, sympathy for the women and their cause grew. What happened to suffragists at the Workhouse contributed to a shift in public opinion, and swayed President Wilson, ultimately leading to the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.
Historic Resources / Links:
- The Workhouse Prison Museum at Lorton
- Jailed for Freedom, by Doris Stevens (Search for “Occoquan”)
- Kate Heffelfinger: From the Workhouse to the State Hospital
- 19th Amendement
- Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
ABOUT THE JUROR:
Jennie Shanker is a Philadelphia-based artist, curator, educator and activist. In 1996, Philadelphia’s historic Eastern State Penitentiary hosted “Prison Sentences: Prison as Site, Prison as Subject”, curated by Julie Courtney and Todd Gilens. Jennie oversaw the safety of the site and the installation of the artworks in the exhibition. Since then, Eastern State has recognized the contributions that artists can make in the interpretation of an historic site, and has maintained a unique, highly regarded program of artist installations. She continues to act as a consultant in the selection and installation of artist projects for the site. She teaches sculpture, ceramics, and community arts courses at Tyler School of Art, and also teaches in the graduate studio art program at the University of the Arts.
The exhibition is open to current members of the Washington Sculptors Group only. Artists may join WSG by paying annual dues of $45 ($15 for full-time students). Prospective members may download a membership form from the WSG website, www.washingtonsculptors.org and send in a check, or may join online with your submission to the exhibition.
WSG members must have paid their dues for 2015 by the entry deadline of January 26, 2015 to be eligible for this exhibition. The address label on this Call or the most recent copy of the WSG newsletter, The Washington Sculptor, will show your membership status (example: MEMBER THROUGH 2104). Notices for 2015 dues will be mailed in Nov. 2014.
WORK TO BE CONSIDERED:
The exhibition will be located in the Vulcan Gallery and designated outdoor spaces adjacent to the Gallery building. Three-dimensional freestanding and wall-hung sculpture, installations, and video/film-based work are welcome, though there is limited access to electrical outlets. A/V equipment must be supplied by the artist. Individual artists as well as collaborative groups are permitted, though no individual should be included in more than one submission.
The juror will consider a maximum of 11 images per artist or team of artists. Proposals (for works to be made), pre-existing works and video may be entered for the exhibition.
All applications must be submitted through www.entrythingy.com
If your piece is site or situation specific, please make it clear in your submission. We highly recommend that artists research the site and its history, and visit the Workhouse Arts Center.
WAC is open to the public Wednesdays – Saturdays, 11am – 6pm, and Sundays 12 – 5pm.
The Workhouse Prison Museum is open Wednesdays – Friday, 12 – 3pm and Saturdays – Sundays,12 – 4pm.
Entrythingy / Application Submission Technical Assistance:
Assistance with submissions is available by email request, [email protected]
ABOUT THE VENUE
Workhouse Arts Center: An innovative collaboration of visual and performing arts and education in the unique historic setting of the former DC prison.
Workhouse Arts Foundation Mission: To be a self-sustaining, thriving arts center with programs in the visual and performing arts and arts education through the repurposing of the former Workhouse correctional facility.
Workhouse Arts Center Vision: Leverage the architectural heritage of the former Workhouse correctional facility by transforming it into a unique arts center that provides visual and performing arts, arts education and entertainment for the community-at-large.