@Central Gallery, a small granite-floored hallway venue, has begun accepting proposals for 2013 exhibitions from Arizona artists 18 and older who are not already represented by a gallery.
Each of the four to five exhibitions receives approximately two months of time in the gallery.
The annual call for artists will be going into its 13th year, having started in 2000.
A five-person jury consisting of local artists and art professionals, selected by gallery coordinator Iris Huey, reviews the art submitted to @Central Gallery.
Huey emphasized the jury’s desire to feature as many artists as they can. Solo exhibitions tend to occur when everyone agrees on an artist to exhibit, she said. When disagreements occur, they use the opportunity to form group exhibitions.
Huey is pushing for as many submissions this year as possible. The gallery has had over 100 proposals submitted in previous years, but only 40 submissions were entered last year.
“I really want to know what’s out there,” she said.
The gallery’s hallway location in the library gives people “access to a gallery they can experience free of charge,” Huey said.
When the library was built 17 years ago, it was decided that it would be good to have a space to feature local artists, said Rita Marko, the library’s community relations manager. She calls the space “small, but mighty.”
The call for artists is a good opportunity for emerging artists to show their work, said artist Larry Willis, whose artwork will be viewable at @Central Gallery until Oct. 17. His work can also be seen at Portland’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, as well as at phoenixartspace.com.
Represented artists are not eligible for an exhibition, although non-represented artists who have work hanging in other galleries are not disqualified. Huey said the gallery’s goal is to leave exhibition space open for local artists.
@Central Gallery stopped giving receptions for exhibitions due to budget cuts. Artists can still host their own receptions through the library.
Age demographic varies greatly among submissions. Last year, Huey said, artists between the ages of 20 and 60 were part of a group exhibition with a musical theme.
One of the artists featured was Anne Allemann, who called the gallery a “lovely opportunity.”
“I’d like to have one, if not more, group exhibitions (in 2013),” Huey said.
In 2012, 11 artists were featured in five shows, three of which were group exhibitions, which feature similarly themed work.
Paintings, photography and sculpture exhibitions are the most common, but the gallery has featured glass artwork as well. Films are an option for exhibitions, although no films submitted in 2011 were selected, Huey said.
Featured artwork must be deemed appropriate for a library setting. Because of the traffic in the entrance to the library, breakable artwork will not be considered for exhibition, Marko said.
Artists are encouraged to sell their work, but sales are not required. The gallery has received three to four inquiries that have resulted in at least one sale in the past year and a half, Huey said.
The gallery “gives exposure to the artists that show there,” Willis said. “[That] exposure leads to other things, you never know what will come out of it.”
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