For many years, Blackfish Gallery has supported artists in the Pacific Northwest via a free opportunity for artists to exhibit work in our street side Fishbowl II window in Portland, Oregon. Blackfish Gallery is choosing to “be the change we wish to see” in response to the events of 2020. We are committed to creating more equitable opportunities for artists of color in our community. We are launching a new program to provide a platform specifically for BIPOC artists in the Pacific Northwest, with emphasis on artists from the Portland Metro area. Nine BIPOC artists will be selected by our guest curator with each artist exhibiting their work in the busy street side window in downtown Portland for an entire month. Beginning in May 2021 this program will run until April 2022 with the exception of 3 months already committed to other community programs. Fishbowl II is a safe space for artistic expression as well as an experience builder to practice self installation and to receive mentorship from the curator and the gallery.
STATEMENT | “Without Form and Void centers around the thought of creating in darkness and detaching away from traditional Eurocentric definitions - such as evil or lack. Inspired by a sermon from Pastor Toure Roberts, the message spoke to theological creation, with the verse “let there be light” symbolizing revelation in the light and creation in darkness. Without Form and Void focuses on the importance of darkness as time and space to create from an inner place. This theme is also inspired by Legacy Russel’s Glitch feminism as it applies to the concept of looking at non binary gender as going back to abstraction, reexamining the definition of the word body.
My curatorship is in support of the Absence of Light documentary on HBO which features some of the most monumental Black contemporary artists speaking of their resilience to keep creating without recognition and praise from prominent art spaces and critics. Thus this call is specially for all Black artists in the Oregon, Washington & Idaho areas. As Black creatives living in the Pacific North West, Portland specifically is a space that not only excluded us in legislation but was not created prioritizing Black life, Black lenses or Black creativity. These exhibitions address what was created during the time of darkness and give commentary of this new season of attention."
We are proud to announce that Christine Miller has accepted the first curatorship for this program. Christine Miller is a conceptual artist and curator currently based in Portland, OR. Her work centers around racial imagery, products and histories while simultaneously reframing her own cultural identity. In addition to her own work, Christine’s curatorial practice centers on bringing underrepresented contemporary artists to the front of the Portland art community and beyond.
ABOUT THE SPACE
The Fishbowl II, on NW 9th Ave, is approximately 27 square feet: 9 ft long by 3 feet deep. The walls are made of drywall, painted white, and the space is lit 24/7 with four florescent bulbs. The window is 7 feet wide and 5 feet high. A limiting factor for installation is the 17 3/4 inches wide, 6 ft 8 inches tall door through which all pieces must be able to fit. Pedestals of various dimensions are available for guest artist use. The gallery and curator will help accommodate all artists with disabilities during installation.
WHO CAN SUBMIT | This is a regional call for art by Black artists, as specified by Christine Miller’s curatorship. All artists are required to self install and deinstall. Artists from the Pacific Northwest encompassing Washington, Idaho & Oregon with an emphasis on the Portland Metro area are eligible.
WHAT TO SUBMIT |This is an all-media exhibition. Nine artists or artist duos will be selected by Christine Miller to exhibit their work for an assigned month in the 2021-2022 year. Works will be judged separately and on their own merits by the curator. All work must be original, unsold work and the artist must own the sole copyright to art. Frames, mats and wiring must be professional quality and in good condition and work should be ready to hang and be presented in a professional manner. Wiring must be securely fashioned and support weight of the artwork. All accepted work must remain for the duration of the artist’s designated month. The number of pieces varies depending on the artist’s medium, sizes and shapes of selected work. We have a variety of stands and shelving systems available for exhibition use. Please see the above specification of the space to ensure your work will fit.
COMMISSION | We prefer works that are for sale and you must price your own artwork. Gallery retains a 50% commission on all exhibition sales in gallery and online. Artwork and artists selected for exhibition will be listed on the gallery’s website for the term of the program. Artists are required to sign a contract with the gallery agreeing to the gallery’s terms.
WHO CAN SUBMIT
- May 2021 Exhibition (Artist 1): Installation on May 2nd & Deinstallation on May 29th
- BREAK June/July/August
- September 2021 Exhibition (Artist 2): Installation on August 29th & Deinstallation on October 2nd
- October 2021 Exhibition (Artist 3): Installation on October 3rd & Deinstallation on October 30th
- November 2021 Exhibition (Artist 4): Installation on October 31st & Deinstallation on November 27th
- December 2021 Exhibition (Artist 5): Installation on November 28th & Deinstallation on January 1st 2022
- December 31st 2021: APPLICATION DEADLINE for Christine Miller’s Curatorship Without Form and Void
- January 2022 Exhibition (Artist 6): Installation on January 2nd 2022 & Deinstallation on January 29th 2022
- February 2022 Exhibition (Artist 7): Installation on January 30th & Deinstallation on February 26th 2022
- March 2022 Exhibition (Artist 8): Installation on February 27th 2022 & Deinstallation on April 2nd 2022
- April 2022 Exhibition (Artist 9): Installation on April 3rd 2022 & Deinstallation on April 30th 2022
HOW TO SUBMIT
We have two easy ways to submit! Artists can apply via email or through our form below. All notifications and correspondence are sent back to artists via email. Artists selected for an exhibition will be given sufficient time to prepare their work prior to the exhibition month and plan accordingly for their self installation day and deinstallation day. Early applications are encouraged as exhibition considerations are made weekly with exhibitions being shown through out the year. This is a rolling deadline with applications for Christine Miller’s Curatorship: Without Form and Void accepted until December 31st 2021.
Information to Submit via email |
1) Contact information. Please include your phone number and email address.
2) Tell us a little about yourself. This could be a short bio and/or artist statement.
3) Description of your idea. What do you want to install? Please include an image of the
existing art or a sketch and description of your idea/concept.
4) Optional links: website, instagram or other links to your work.
Please put all above information into the body of the email or attach a PDF. Image Specifications: only .jpg files will be accepted. Images must be 2000px or less on the shortest side. No large files please! EMAIL your submission to:
Subject line: “Fishbowl II Application: “your name”.
IMPORTANT! Please send ALL questions, inquiries and applications only to . Applications or other communications sent to any other Blackfish Gallery email addresses will unfortunately never reach the curator.