Sharing local art during the COVID-19 pandemic

Attention artists in the Dubuque Tri-State area:

Submit a recent self-portrait to the Dubuque Museum of Art for a new virtual and museum exhibition.

During this era of COVID-19 and subsequent physical isolation, your Dubuque Museum of Art friends would like to "see" you, our local artists, since we can't be together in-person just yet. We are calling for you to submit a self-portrait that you've created since March 2020 that is representative of you during this time of voluntary and forced isolation.

Artists are encouraged to interpret the concept of self-portrait broadly. Anything from a true-to-life likeness, think Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh, and Odd Nerdrum, to a reinvented self-portrait using an object or text that captures who you are, think Jim Dine and Robert Rauschenberg. All styles of self-portraiture, including realism, abstraction, representational, traditional, non-representational, modern, and conceptual, will be accepted. Artists are encouraged to showcase their individuality and unique style while also revealing insight into their experience of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Self-portraits can be made in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, textile, or video (under 3 minutes).

There is no fee to submit your work, however the call is only open to artists living in the immediate Tri-State area around Dubuque. This includes the following counties in Iowa: Dubuque, Clayton, Delaware, Jones, Jackson; in Illinois: Jo Daviess, Carroll; and in Wisconsin: Grant, Iowa, Lafayette. Artists of any age and skill level are encouraged to apply.

Self-portraits will be featured on the Dubuque Museum of Art's Instagram and Facebook pages, and on the museum's website. The Dubuque Museum of Art will select works from those submitted for inclusion in an exhibition at the museum with a planned opening in October 2020. (Size limitations for works considered for the museum exhibition: no larger than 84 inches and wall-mounted works limited to 100 pounds. More details about the museum exhibition will be released this summer.)

To submit your work please e-mail the following to info@dbqart.org

  • 1 - 4 images of your work/s (phone photos are fine as long as they are high-res, bright, and clear). Videos or text pieces also welcomed.
  • Title, medium, dimensions of the work/s shared
  • A short statement of one or two sentences about the work or your current experience with social isolation and COVID-19
  • Your name, address, and age (artists under 18 years of age will only have first names online)
  • Your website address if you have one
  • Your social media handles if you have them

Depending on the number of submissions, we plan to showcase several artworks a week and can’t guarantee all art submitted will be displayed.

The deadline for the virtual exhibition will be rolling until further notice and we may send out occasional reminders over the next weeks. The deadline to be considered for the museum exhibition has been extended to September 8, 2020.

The self-portrait virtual exhibition is inspired by the Stay Home, Make Art movement with the goal to help local artists remain visible during the pandemic and share their work with the wider community. It also aims to promote staying at home as an urgent action right now and we encourage other institutions to organize their own Stay Home, Make Art virtual exhibitions.