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Souls Grown Deep expands mission into economic justice for artists, Plus Opportunities from Fleisher Wind Challenge and Practice Gallery

Two great Philadelphia opportunities with June 15 deadlines, from Fleisher Wind Challenge and Practice Gallery. Plus, an organization you should know about (if you don't already), The Souls Grown Deep Foundation, doing good work for artists of the African American South. Read on, friends.



The Souls Grown Deep Foundation, with a mission to promote the work — and economic well being — of African American artists in the South, has more than 1,100 pieces in its collection from more than 180 artists, including some well known names like Lonnie Holley, Purvis Young and the Gees Bend quilters and many more who are deserving but under-known, like Bessie Harvey and Nellie Mae Rowe. This is a Foundation whose mission is now growing deeper to include “initiatives to improve economic and social outcomes for the artists in its collection and their communities.” I pass this organization along because it’s doing great work and the website is a deep archive of the artists they support. You can see some of the work supported by the Foundation in the just-opened show History Refused to Die at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,(May 22 – Sept 23) a show of 30 words donated by the Foundation to the Met in 2014.  More below about this remarkable foundation:

image: Jennie Pettway, "Housetop," Photo Steve Pitkin, Pitkin Studio Copyright, Estate of Jennie Pettway
image: Jennie Pettway, “Housetop,” Photo Steve Pitkin, Pitkin Studio Copyright, Estate of Jennie Pettway

Following the annual meeting of its board of trustees, The Souls Grown Deep Foundation, the only nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the work of artists from the African-American South, has announced three major initiatives:

  • Adoption of a three-year strategic plan, with an expansion of its mission to include development of initiatives to improve economic and social outcomes for the artists in its collection and their communities
  • Election of Mary Margaret Pettway as board chair; Pettway is a third-generation quilter, member of the Gee’s Bend Quilters Collective, and daughter of renowned Gee’s Bend quilter, Lucy T. Pettway, whose works are featured in Souls Grown Deep’s collection
  • Acquisition of 34 works from Souls Grown Deep’s collection (including works by Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, the quilters of Gee’s Bend, and others) by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the latest museum to enhance its collection of artwork by artists from the African-American South through the Foundation’s gift/purchase program
  • As part of its new commitment to address socio-economic challenges within the communities that gave rise to the art in the collection, the Foundation is also initiating a grant program. The first grants provided travel funds for artists represented in the collection and their families to attend the opening of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift (May 22–September 23, 2018).


Fleisher Wind Challenge Call for Entries now open – DEADLINE JUNE 15, 2018.

Via Dominic Mercier…: ​”We’ve completely dropped the entry fee​…”​ That’s good news!  JURORS this year are PAFA Curator of Contemporary Art, Jodi Throckmorton and artist (and Artblog favorite) Betty Leacraft. Information below. Full information at Fleisher’s website


  • Artists must currently live in CT, DE, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA, RI, or Washington, DC.
  • Artists may not show the same major body of work in a local Philadelphia gallery or alternative space in the same year as the Wind Challenge exhibit.
  • Students enrolled in a full-time degree/certificate granting program during the year of the exhibition are ineligible.
  • Artist must be able to transport their work to Fleisher Art Memorial.
  • Previous Challenge artists are ineligible.
  • Exhibition Schedule
    • The Wind Challenge Exhibitions are held in the Dene M. Louchheim Galleries.
    • The 2019-2020 Challenge exhibitions are tentatively scheduled for: September 2019, December 2020, and March 2019.

Selected artists receive:

  • The opportunity to display recent work in a five-week, three-person exhibition.
  • An honorarium of $750.
  • A public reception on the opening night, during which they speak of their work to guests.
  • Support from Fleisher staff to create a public event or activity in conjunction with the exhibition.
  • A Saturday “Talk About” which is open to the public and includes families and young people and allows artists to enter into conversation with participants about their work.
  • Inclusion in Fleisher’s publications, electronic and print announcements, and online profile.

Deadline: midnight, June 15, 2018

Please direct inquiries to:

José Ortiz-Pagán
Exhibitions Manager
(215) 922-3456 ext.333

Practice ​Seeks rejected artists for its July Open Call Salon des Refuses – DEADLINE JUNE 15, 2018

Via Practice member, Peter Morgan… I am writing to pass on information about Practice’s July “open-call”… This is our “Salon des Refuses” style response to all the July juried shows in Philadelphia. Anyone who has been rejected from this year’s juried shows is invited to participate in “The Best of the Worst”. For a mere $10.00, and a copy of your rejection letter, entry is guaranteed. Synopsis of application details below. Full information is posted on the Practice website and social media.

Application Deadline: Friday, June 15th, midnight (11:59 pm)

  • Notifications:  The following week
  • Artwork Drop-off: June 30-31, July 7-8th, and by appointment
  • Installation: July 6-13, 2018
  • Exhibition: July 13 – 29th, 2018
  • Pick up of Artwork: July 29th after 6:00 or by appointment.

Mostly Cut and Pasted Legal Mumbo Jumbo

  • Artists are invited to submit 3 to 5 examples of completed works of art in any media. All submitted work must be available for exhibition, if chosen.
  • Entry fee of $10 and rejection e-mail pdf is required to apply.
  • Practice does not take commission on the sale of artwork.  Interested parties will be asked to contact the artist directly.
  • Artists are responsible for shipping artwork (delivery and pick-up) to and from Practice according to an agreed-upon calendar established on selection.
  • All work MUST be received ready for installation with proper hanging devices attached and thorough instructions when necessary.
  • Practice reserves the right to photograph accepted works for publicity and educational purposes
  • Works will not be insured, however Practice takes all efforts to insure the safety of your artwork.  Additional insurance, including during transit, is the responsibility of the artist. We urge you to consider the high-traffic, DIY nature of Practice’s exhibition environment when submitting your works.