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Call to Artists: Printmaking and Social Engagement

Call to Artists: Printmaking and Social Engagement

Call to Artists: Printmaking and Social Engagement
Call to Artists Printmaking and Social Engagment text overlayed on an image of featured artwork Saskia G. Van Vactor, Remembering, Honoring, Cherishing, a quilt dedicated to and inspired by BIPOC and Trans Women

The Mosesian Center for the Arts invites artists to submit work using at least one traditional printmaking technique such as relief, silkscreen, intaglio, lithography, either by itself or in combination with digital printmaking techniques and other mediums like painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography. Artists exploring themes of war, trauma, climate change, race and the complexities of contemporary life that move us to protest to strive for change to fight against injustices and address issues ranging from the personal to the global are welcome to submit work.

Printmaking, from relief printmaking to intaglio to lithography and silkscreen, has a long history as a medium used to comment on political and social issues. Printmaking was used both in political propaganda as well as the medium of choice for political activism and protest. Different printmaking techniques at different points of history made the reproduction of images relatively inexpensive and allowed for easy distribution to wide audiences. Printmaking was used and it is still used in anti-war movements, political campaigns, and campaigns for social and environmental change.

Great examples of socially engaged art that utilizes printmaking techniques are the works of artists such as Kathe Kollwitz whose woodcuts and intaglio prints depict suffering, grief and are generally viewed as a powerful message against war. Goya’s The Disasters of War series depicted the cruelty and horror of war. Artists also used printmaking to comment on social injustices and inequalities as seen in the work of Daumier and Posada.

Artists continue to use printmaking today to address issues of climate change and in most recent years tackle issues like trauma and community revitalization. Alison Saar’s prints and large woodcuts address race, American history, and contemporary events.

In addition, this exhibition aims to explore traditional printmaking techniques and their relevance today in creating socially engaged works. Why do contemporary artist still choose to use these techniques even though digital printmaking is available as a cheaper and faster alternative?

Important Dates:
Submission Deadline: February 13, 2023
Announcing Selected Artists: February 20, 2023
Drop off Dates: Saturday, March 11, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM, Tuesday, March 14, 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
*Shipped work must be received no later than March 16
Exhibition Opens: March 24, 2023
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 30, 5:30–7:30 PM
Exhibition Closes: May 5, 2023
Artwork Pick Up: Saturday, May 6, 10:00 AM–12:00 PM, Tuesday, May 9, 10:30 AM–4:00 PM
Gallery Talk: April 26, 2023
Please note that the Mosesian Center for the Arts reserves the right to make minor adjustments to the exhibition timeline.

Eligibility: Artists regardless of location are welcome to apply, including international artists. Local artists will be provided with drop-off time and date details upon acceptance. Non-local selected artists work must be received at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472 c/o Exhibitions by March 16, 2023. Non-local artists are responsible for shipping costs both to and from MCA, unless other arrangements are made, and are responsible for insuring their work while in transit. If shipping works, each artist must provide a pre-paid, UPS or FedEx return shipping label including insurance. Please pack your work in sturdy reusable packaging. The Mosesian Center for the Arts carries appropriate insurance to cover all artwork in the show for the duration of the exhibition, including the time frame of drop-off, installation, de-installation and pick-up.

Submission Fee: $10 per submission. Limit 5 submissions per artist. Artwork must be submitted online at:

Green Submit Button

Accessibility: MCA gallery spaces are fully accessible, and we strive to make the exhibition submission process accessible to all artists as well. We encourage anyone to enter our open call exhibitions. If you need any additional information or accommodation in order to enter, please email our Director of Visual Arts, Boriana Kantcheva at or call 617-932-0100 x 8305.

Commission Structure: Artists receive 60% commission, and The Mosesian Center for the Arts receives 40% for art sold during the exhibition. The Artist reserves all copyrights and reproduction rights on the artwork in the exhibition. The Mosesian Center for the Arts may duplicate and reproduce images of work for purposes of public relations and exhibition announcements directly related to the exhibition.

Featured artwork:
Saskia G. Van Vactor, Remembering, Honoring, Cherishing
A quilt dedicated to and inspired by BIPOC and Trans Women

January 09 - February 13, 2023
Thomas A. Pannesi Lobby (1st Floor), Watertown Saving Bank Gallery (2nd Floor)