Kay Chernush Virtual Gallery Call: In Transit: The Body as Currency

By East City Art Editorial Team on January 10, 2023

Deadline: Tue, January 31 2023

Submissions due: 31 January 2023
A special call for entries for the inaugural exhibition of the Kay Chernush Virtual Gallery, In Transit: The Body as Currency, is officially open! You can read the prospectus directly at https://intransit-thebodyascurrency.artcall.org/, or access it through their website at https://artworksforfreedom.org/call-for-entries/ (main navigation: Artworks > Call for entries).

The Kay Chernush Virtual Gallery

The Kay Chernush Virtual Gallery is an immersive experience from ArtWorks for Freedom that gives visitors from around the world access to a professionally curated selection of original artwork exploring the complexities of human trafficking. Gallery visitors can engage with a wide range of drawings, paintings, films, videos, murals, performances, textiles, and conceptual art that fights stigmatization and elevates the voices of survivors.

In Transit: The Body as Currency

Curated by Helen Frederick and Kate Somers 

The gallery’s inaugural exhibition, In Transit: The Body as Currency, will feature multidisciplinary works that contemplate what it means to live in a world in which one’s freedom has been cruelly stolen. Possible themes include domestic servitude, labor trafficking, sex trafficking, debt bondage, migrant labor, and trafficking in transit, among others.

Ten invited artists will be joined by ten artists chosen through a juried open-call selection process. The exhibition will launch in spring 2023 and remain online for one year.

Call for entries

Submissions due: 31 January 2023

Artists who wish to be considered for In Transit: The Body as Currency may apply digitally on this site through 5pm EST on 31 January 2023. The fee to submit is USD$12. (A limited number of waivers are available upon request for artists for whom the fee is a barrier to applying.) Applicants must register and create a profile to access the application.

All artistic media and styles are accepted, including 2D, 3D, short film and video, and installation, in addition to short literary forms, music, and filmed original theater, dance, and other performance.

Anyone 18 years of age or older may apply with up to three (3) samples of existing original work. Artistic teams are permitted under a single entry. Application samples will be used by the jury for artist selection only. These samples are not required to reflect a previous connection to human trafficking but should give the jury a strong sense of the artist’s vision, style, and thematic interests.

Complete submissions will consist of the following:

  1. The artist’s full contact information, including website and social media links, if available
  2. A brief statement (max. 150 words) describing the artist’s interest in or experience with the exhibition’s theme and/or the subject of human trafficking
  3. Up to three (3) samples of existing original artistic work with the title, medium, year, and size/length of full work clearly listed
  4. A submission fee of US$12 (unless waived)

Once accepted, participating artists will have a period of five (5) weeks to create new work inspired by the exhibition theme, or they may choose to include existing work that is relevant to the exhibition theme. Participating artists will work in consultation with curators Helen Frederick and Kate Somers, if needed, to prepare up to three (3) pieces to be featured in the exhibition.

Each participating artist or artist group will receive an honorarium of US$250. Artists will retain the copyright of their work published in the Kay Chernush Virtual Gallery. Participating artists agree to allow the accepted artworks to be used for publicity, educational, and archival purposes. A full description of terms will be provided in the Artist Agreement included with notifications to accepted artists.

Submission guidelines
2D & 3D: Up to 3 individual works; any accepted image format. Multiple files for each work are permitted, if needed (e.g., multiple angles, detail views), but any images exceeding the limit of 3 works will be automatically removed from consideration.

Literary: Up to 3 individual pieces (full works or excerpts), 10 pages total; PDF (preferred) or Word.

Time-based & performance: Up to 3 individual pieces (full works or excerpts), 15 minutes total; any accepted audio/video format. If your file size exceeds upload capacity, you may submit samples on streaming platforms (Vimeo, YouTube, Soundcloud, etc.). To submit a web link, please upload a file listing the work information and the complete URL for accessing the sample.

About Kay Chernush
Kay Chernush (1944–2022) was an internationally acclaimed photographer who made fine art and commercial images for more than 40 years. After documenting people being trafficked and exploited for labor while on assignment for the U.S. State Department, she became determined to use her art to bring attention to this global crime. She founded ArtWorks for Freedom in 2011 to create, support, and activate art that exposes the complexities of human trafficking with honesty and with respect and compassion for survivors.

About ArtWorks for Freedom
ArtWorks for Freedom uses the transformative power of art to inspire action to end human trafficking. We work to change public perceptions; educate affected sectors; and motivate individuals, communities, and systems to directly engage in the movement to eradicate trafficking and exploitation.

Our approach is grassroots but our reach is global. ArtWorks has launched anti-trafficking arts initiatives in cities throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Nondiscrimination statement

In accordance with our core belief in the inherent dignity and value of all individuals, ArtWorks for Freedom does not discriminate in our conduct, policies, or processes against any persons based on race, ethnicity, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth, or other status such as disability, age, marital and family status, sexual orientation and gender identity, health status, place of residence, or economic and social situation.