Call to Artists


Things Feel Heavy and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History Presents

Bent, but Unbroken: Art and the Resilience of Women

July 28, 2017 - October 29, 2017

Two cultural organizations: 1) Things Feel Heavy and 2) the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (The Wright), have joined together to present Bent, but Unbroken, an exhibition celebrating the resilience of women.

Things that can bend seldom break. Under the crushing weight of history, women have become particularly adept at weathering storms, unbroken by the harshest conditions that would see them snap, but instead, makes them stronger.

News footage covering tropical hurricanes become highlight reels of destruction. Gusts of wind tearing up rooftops, houses crumbling under torrents of rain; a scene set in which armies of palm trees double-over under the weight of the storm, valiantly weather the wrath.  After the storm subsides, the coast laid to ruin, the palm tree remains standing—worn and weathered, but unbroken.  Unlike other trees, the Palm tree is uniquely built. Fortified from its core to its leaves, it can practically bend in half in the midst of a disaster. Some things in this world are literally built to better withstand the worst of what life has to throw at it.  Engineered to bend when we should break, the resilience of women throughout time is proof of that.

This is a call for art depicting the way women have remained unbroken throughout the trials of history. From enslavement to segregation, witch hunts to honor killings, women have fought back, and have remained standing throughout the atrocities of time: arranged marriages, child brides, ritual servitude, acid attacks, forced prostitution, rape, stalking, domestic abuse, the continuous denial of their basic rights and autonomy, and still they stand.  In the face of unrelenting violence, they are defiant, unyielding, undefeated; bent, but unbroken.

Work in this exhibition should in some way reflect, whether historically or personally, the power and resilience of women. It can deal directly or abstractly with issues affecting women, and women’s unique ability to rise in the face of adversity, and overcome.

This exhibition is open to any female or female identifying artist of any ethnicity, with work focusing on the African American struggle or other ethnic minority’s struggles and trans-racial issues that affect women, in accordance with the Charles H. Wright Museum’s mission to open minds and change lives through the explorations of African American history and culture.

NOTE: The Contemporary Artists Program gallery is an all-ages, family-friendly, multi-functioning space used for a variety of museum functions. Food and drinks may be served in the space during normal Museum operations while artwork is being displayed. Only two-dimensional works that are ready to be wall-mounted—such as paintings, textiles, fiber art, photography, or bas-relief sculpture—will be considered for display. For safety and security reasons, no art may extend more than four inches from the wall surface.

Important Dates:

Submission Deadline June 9, 2017

Opening reception is free and open to the public on July 28, 2017.


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