MCASD’s ’25 and Under Art Contest’ is back!Online Only, Bottom Highlights, The Arts Thursday, April 24th, 2014
It’s no secret that I bemoan the lack of LGBT, or queer art in San Diego. Yes, the community has a theater that prioritizes gay productions and yes, there is the Art of Pride exhibition space that shows the work of a different LGBT artist each month. But, beyond this there is very little. Yet there are gay, lesbian and transgender artists in San Diego working diligently in a variety of mediums.
How do I know this? Well, I see artwork rotating on and off the walls of coffee shops and other “off the grid” spaces all the time. I participate in numerous workshops and classes and there is always a lone LGBT writer or artist in the group of heterosexual students telling their truth, making sure their story is shared.
The instinct to create and express is alive and well in our traditionally aesthetically-inclined community but it can be stifled in sunny San Diego. There are simply no spaces or opportunities for advancement, few stable forums to incubate ideas in front of a more sophisticated audience. As with our straight counterparts, there are no sales. It is pretty near impossible to make a living as an artist here in town.
To help ease this isolation I encourage all artists to research contests and competitions and juried shows in the greater San Diego community. The Athenaeum and the Museum of the Living Artist both promote competitions for local artists. CityBeat’s annual photo competition is open for entries now. But the Museum of Contemporary Art sets itself apart by inviting submissions from local artists on the younger side of the spectrum; they are actively seeking what artistic teens and twentysomethings make of the world. Yes, MCASD’s 25 and Under Art Contest is back!
So, if you’re age 25 and under I encourage you to visit some galleries, research our shared queer history, go to a library, surf that Internet thing, get inspired, and then create something great and bold and gay! The Museum of Contemporary Art is a nationally significant institution. It’s got important and influential curators and patrons. So submit something. It doesn’t even matter if your work is accepted or not. Getting seen is the thing. Your piece might not be right for this year’s theme, but if it is fresh and vital it will be remembered for another occasion.
But there is more. There are cash prizes for curator’s choice and people’s choice which means there will be a concerted effort to promote on Facebook and get San Diegans into the museum to cast their votes.
The deadline for entries is Friday, May 16 at 11:59 p.m. The museum is accepting artworks in almost all mediums and all they ask is that you use the human eye as inspiration. So, get to work. I challenge the younger folks in our community to flood the judges with art about their unique experience, art about us.
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