Call for Submissions: Encounters

Photo courtesy of Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning

SAWCC Visual Arts Exhibition
Grace Aneiza Ali, Curator

Curator: Grace Aneiza Ali
Submission Deadline: December 1, 2020

The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) is pleased to announce a Call for Submissions for our upcoming visual arts exhibition, Encounters, curated by Grace Aneiza Ali and presented at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning, April 1, 2021 through May 15, 2021.

Curatorial Statement
Encounters brings together artists whose work aims to bridge geographical, cultural, and political boundaries within South Asia and its diaspora.* The exhibition will depart from the individual artist model. Instead, Encounters will feature artist pairs—partnerships between two artists who each have strong connections or roots in the South Asian diaspora. Their collaborative work will emphasize narratives of connection and intersection, weave shared histories and experiences that may have been otherwise unknown or invisible, and envision collective futures and dreams among communities within the South Asian diaspora. In the present moment, as all forms of “distance” and “division” and “isolation” overwhelm our daily lives and our world, the exhibition will turn to a model of creative partnership, dialogue, community-building, and collaboration as social acts. The artworks featured in the exhibition will illuminate exchanges and shared bonds within the South Asian women’s diaspora—creating a space for support and an economy of care.

For more information on the curator, Grace Aneiza Ali, see her bio here.

This exhibition is part of the Building Equity Project, an initiative undertaken by Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL), funded initially by New York Community Trust, to foster opportunity and representation for Immigrant, Indigenous and Native American artists in Southeast Queens. We encourage artists from these historically underrepresented communities to apply.

The South Asian Women’s Creative Collective (SAWCC) is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to the advancement, visibility, and development of emerging and established South Asian and Indo-Caribbean womxn, cis and trans women, trans men, gender non-binary or non-conforming, and femme-presenting artists and creative professionals by providing a physical and virtual space to profile their creative and intellectual work across disciplines.

*SAWCC uses the United Nations’ definition of South Asia to include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. The Diaspora includes the worldwide migration of peoples from the above countries to the following regions: East and South Africa, the Gulf States, the Caribbean, United Kingdom, and North America, among others.  

Guidelines for Submission:
SAWCC invites pairs of artists to submit a short abstract expanding on their collaborative artwork, specific locales within the South Asian diaspora the work addresses, and how the work engages the ideas of intersections and shared histories set forth in the curatorial statement for Encounters.

Submitted artworks can be in any media, including painting, work-on-paper, sculpture, installation, photography, video, performance, internet-based art, and audio works.

Proposals must be submitted through this form.

The submission form will ask for the following information: 

  • Names and emails of the two artist in the artist pairs
  • Artists’ bios (200 words each) 
  • Artists’ websites, social media, or other online portfolio
  • Up to 5 images of the artwork (or if in progress, a rendering/sample of the work). For video/audio, please share a URL where the work can be viewed.
  • Title, medium, dimensions (or duration for video/audio works) for each work sample
  • Artists’ statement (300-400 words) expanding on the proposed artwork
  • Production/installation requirements
  • Paragraph on how the Artist Pairs would like to see the work incorporated into the public and education programs/community engagement (250 words)

Detailed instructions are included in the submission form. All submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST December 1, 2020.

Selected artists will be notified in mid-December 2020. Artist pairs accepted into the exhibition will receive a modest honorarium of $150 for each artist. Detailed instructions on the installation schedule for accepted works will be communicated to the artists after the juried process. Please note that JCAL and SAWCC cannot provide art shipping or insurance for artworks-in-transit.

Please email all questions to