Stamp Gallery Call for Artists: Radical Threads

By Editorial Team on May 13, 2019

Deadline: Mon, 10 June 2019

Courtesy of Stamp Gallery.
Deadline: June 10, 2019

Notification Date | June 17th
Exhibition Dates | July 22nd – August 31st

What is the difference between fine art and domestic handicraft? In the tradition set out by European art salons and academies, fine art has historically been created by classically trained artists — those who spent decades honing their technique in strict academic settings. Domestic handicraft, while also dependent on highly talented and trained creators, has not received the same level of acclaim and prestige. This may be because handicraft is largely comprised of “women’s work,” featuring mediums such as embroidery, cross stitch, sewing, and other stereotypically feminine art practices. However, what was once considered an idle pastime has since become more highly regarded as a fine art form. While the definition of fine art has expanded to include a wider array of backgrounds than it did during the time of all-male exhibitions and institutions, there is still much to be done in terms of accepting and celebrating traditionally female-oriented art practices in high-brow art spaces.

In this exhibition the curator is seeking works that would traditionally be considered domestically craft-based in nature. This can refer to embroidery, cross stitch, knitting, quilting, and other art forms that have typically been practiced by women in the home. This exhibition aims to highlight and elevate “women’s work” to the level of fine art, while also questioning the omission of women from this field both historically and in the modern era. It will consider questions such as: What makes certain art forms be seen as inherently feminine? How have patriarchy and misogyny played a role in the ways in which craft-based mediums and work is viewed? How can artists use historically domestic art practices as vessels for resistance and change?

The curator will select a small group of artists whose work she feels critically and

creatively engages the exhibition concept outlined above to show their work at the Stamp

Gallery, a contemporary art space located in the University of Maryland-College Park’s Adele H. Stamp Student Union — Center for Campus Life. Any existing works must have been completed within the last 5-10 years to be considered.

This exhibition is the Stamp Gallery’s annual undergraduate-curated show. Previous exhibitions in the series include:

  • Vox Lacunae: Vox Lacunae calls attention to the gaps that exist both among and within languages, and then asks: when are these gaps beautiful, spaces that should be left unfilled? When are they harmful, spaces that need filling? When do we use language to bring people together, and when do we use language to isolate them? Where do we separate language and visual art and where do we unite them? And, ultimately, to what extent does emotion, artistic intent, and voice, transcend language? Curated by Gallery Manager Grace DeWitt (B.A. Studio Art ‘18, B.S. Animal Science ‘18)
  • capital lives: capital lives explores the diversity of lived experiences in Washington, D.C., through photography. The exhibition highlights the work of young photographers documenting the residents and events of the nation’s capital during a time of heightened political tension. Curated by Gallery Manager Katherine Mullineaux (B.A. English ’18).

Erin Allen, B.A. Art History 2020
Inspired by both the decorative and sociopolitical aspects that art can take on, Erin is interested in pursuing a career in museum work that includes space for meaningful discussion of social issues. Minoring in French and Archaeology, she is also curious about how language and the visual arts act as gateways to understanding other cultures, both past and present.


Applicants must submit:

  • Artist’s Statement about specific works being submitted
  • Link to artist’s website (if applicable)
  • Proposed works with title and short description (up to 200 words), year of production, and medium)
  • Digital documentation of work
  • 5-10 images/files (JPEG 72 dpi), video/audio clips should be shared as a link to a streaming site (with password information as necessary)


Artists are responsible for delivering finished work to the Stamp Gallery between July 11th – July 17th and for picking up their work from the Stamp Gallery no earlier than the close of the exhibition on August 31st, 2019 and no later than September 7th, 2019.