» WE ARE ART: The Roanoke Self-Portrait Project


Our first call to the YEAR OF THE ARTIST network was for WE ARE ART: The Roanoke Self-Portrait Project. Below is the original call.

To celebrate 2022 as Roanoke’s YEAR OF THE ARTIST and advance the role of arts and culture in recovery and resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Roanoke Arts Commission (RAC) seeks exhibition-ready art for a ten-month exhibit in the City of Roanoke Municipal Building. The resulting exhibition, WE ARE ART: The Roanoke Self-Portrait Project, will be curated by members of the RAC Collections Committee.

Work may be in any medium: photography, painting, printmaking, collage, film, etc. Two-dimensional works must be framed and ready to be hung with installed hanging wire. Maximum dimensions allowed are 24″ by 36.” Exhibition space for sculpture is very limited and exhibition of video and audio entries will be primarily online.

Artists are not required to be residents of the City of Roanoke; however, as indicated through written responses, selected artists will have demonstrated professional and civic ties to the city. Artists must be 18 years of age or older.

Selected artists will receive a $500 stipend to develop a self-portrait, one that illustrates the artist in a public setting within the City of Roanoke. The self-portrait should comment on the work of the artist in the community and an aspect of the community assets, goals, causes, or qualities that the artist addresses or celebrates through their work and/or civic engagement. The piece must be new work developed between January 25 and June 14, 2022. Existing work developed before the call will not qualify.

Up to 50 artists will be selected for the commissions. Submissions via online interest form are due by MIDNIGHT, Tuesday, February 15.

Artists will be selected by a panel of qualified volunteers who will assess artistic merit and excellence, community-mindedness, and potential to deliver a quality product. As selected artists will represent the creative energies and valuable contributions of ALL residents, the RAC is committed to highlighting a diverse range of artists.

Selected artists will be notified by Tuesday, March 8, and then will have until Tuesday, June 14, to submit both physical and digital portraits. A short concept report will be due on April 26. Final drop-off periods will be assigned closer to the submission date.

Selected artists will be required to loan the work to the City of Roanoke for up to one year. This City may use images of the art in promoting the project, the artist, and the work of the Roanoke Arts Commission. At the end of the loan period, the artwork will remain the property of the artist. Artists will be responsible for the drop off and pick up of the work, and the City will be not be held liable for any damage or loss during the load period.

Watch the Year of the Artist meeting on this call.

Feb. 15, midnight: applications due
Mar. 8: artists notified, W-9s collected, payments processed
April 26: midnight: short concept report due
June 14: final submissions due
July 18, 2022 – May 26, 2023: exhibition

The Year of the Artist is funded by the City of Roanoke and the National Endowment for the Art’s ARPA Local Arts Agency subgranting program. Because of the funding source, subgrantees are required to comply with the NEA’s Specific Terms and Conditions for Local Arts Agencies Eligible to Subgrant (https://www.arts.gov/sites/default/files/LAAS-Specific-Term-for-LAA-Eligible-to-Subgrant-11.3.21.pdf).


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