31 Jan 2021
Accepted until: January 31, 2021
In 2020, questions around “community” in the art world were supercharged. While artists and arts workers have always been influenced, inspired, and supported by the communities of which they’re part, in the face of a global crisis, everyone was forced to consider the role of art therein, and understand the sector’s inseparability from issues of healthcare, housing, food safety, fair wages, and safe working conditions, among others. The art world—comprised as it is of many sub-communities, each with its own mores, codes, and rules of engagement—saw folks out at marches, ad hoc Instagram art auctions crop up to funnel money to communities in need, and non-profit arts organizations encourage their audiences to donate to social justice projects. At the same time, however, in light of forced gallery closures and ensuing financial burdens, many institutions chose to cut staff in areas of public programming, education, and outreach—in essence, the very people responsible for strengthening the connective tissue between “the community” and the institution. With the mass uptake (however meaningful) of equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives—including the embrace of practices that aim to disinter forgotten histories and renovate the canon—many curators, programmers, and organizers have realized the need to look beyond familiar contexts. Some have found that essential contributions to community-centred work lie just beyond the line that delineates “the art world” from “the rest of the world” and many others have spent their entire practice straddling this border—or rather, in the rich terrain that has been perceived as one. The work here might take shape as “outsider art,” traditional craft practices, DIY aesthetics in the name of activism, or the work facilitated by community arts organizations—which have previously been kept at arm’s length from contemporary art, and even snubbed. Is the wall between so-called high art and community practice slowly dissolving? How are those new to this blurring reckoning with it, and how might a pursuit of its affordances change the fabric of art as we know it?
Feature, column, and review pitches accepted on a rolling basis until January 31. We suggest pitching before then to avoid disappointment.
Send pitches to firstname.lastname@example.org, with a subject line that starts with the word PITCH and clearly indicates the submission type (essay, interview, One Thing, Composition, for example) and subject.
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