July 2021 Opportunities: Open Calls, Residencies, and Grants for Artists

July 1, 2021


“The Safety Patrol” (2018) by Bisa Butler

Every month, Colossal shares a selection of opportunities for artists and designers, including open calls, grants, fellowships, and residencies. If you’d like to list an opportunity here, please get in touch at [email protected]. You can also join our monthly Opportunities Newsletter.


Open Calls

New Futures at The Other Art Fair Chicago Featured
As part of The Other Art Fair’s mission to break down traditional barriers of the contemporary art world, New Futures is designed to launch the careers of talented emerging artists through a prize that includes free exhibition space at this fall’s fair and mentorship. Selected artists will have the opportunity to exhibit physically at the Chicago fair and digitally through Virtual Editions. New Futures Chicago is presented in partnership with Colossal.
Deadline: July 19, 2021.

Booooooom’s New Art Book Quiet
Booooooom announced an open call for its next art book centered around a theme of quiet, or “images provides a little escape from the blaring sounds and the busyness of daily life.” It’s open to drawings and digital and traditional paintings.
Deadline: July 9, 2021.

Public ARTery at the Garment District NYC
The Garment District NYC is looking for a local artist to transform the Port Authority Midtown Bus Terminal into a large-scale mural. Positioned on 40th Street between 8th and 9th avenues, the chosen work will be installed at the world’s busiest terminal this fall.
Deadline: July 15, 2021.

7th Annual National Juried Exhibition at Oxford Arts Alliance
Oxford Arts Alliance is hosting its 7th Annual National Juried Exhibition this October with $700 in prize money for the winning entrant. Juried by Charles Goolsby, professor of art at Emory & Henry College and chair of the Division of Visual and Performing Arts, the exhibition has no theme, and the entry fee is $15.
Deadline: August 27, 2021.


Residencies & Grants

The Neon Museum National Artist Residency
Applications are open for The Neon Museum’s 2021 residency, which will run from October 25 to December 5, 2021, and award one artist a $2,500 honorarium, in addition to providing travel, lodging, and materials. Whether working in digital, performance, or visual arts, the resident will develop a project inspired by the museum’s collection. Neon production is not a prerequisite.
Deadline: July 11, 2021.

Oak Spring Garden’s Botanical Artist-in-Residence
Oak Spring Garden is hosting its third annual botanical artist residency, which will run between two and four weeks during the period of March 27—May 7, 2022. It’s open to artists who create scientifically accurate depictions of plants in watercolor, pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil, mixed media, oil, acrylic, gouache, egg tempera, and original prints.
Deadline: July 15, 2021.

#BlackDesignVisionaries Aspiring Designer & Small Business Grants
To support the global Black design community, the inaugural #BlackDesignVisionaries program, which is presented by Instagram’s @design and the Brooklyn Museum, will award three $10,000 grants to aspiring Black designers between the ages of 18 and 30, as well as one $100,000 grant to a small, Black-led design business no more than 10 years into its practice.
Deadline: July 16, 2021.

The Ginkgo Creative Residency
This three-month residency brings artists working in fiction, poetry, sound, coding, linguistics, anthropology, philosophy, and visual art and design to Gingko to pursue projects at the intersection of creativity and synthetic biology. It’s open to international applicants and awards residents a $5,000/month stipend.
Deadline: July 18, 2021.

Creative Futures Grant
Led by the Black Artists and Designers Guild, the Creative Futures Grant will award $5,000 each to four recipients working in visual arts, furniture, lighting, textiles, interior design, and architecture. It’s open to Black third- and fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students at U.S. institutions.
Deadline: July 26, 2021.




A Morphing Fractal Vise Pivots to Grasp Irregular Shapes for Engraving

July 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

Nebraska-based artist Steve Lindsay is equally interested in engraving metals and other surfaces as he is in the tools needed to etch with exacting precision. He’s spent the last six years toying with this vise design, which in its latest iteration, has jaws that pivot to hug whatever object is placed between them. Based on a 1900s milling machine, the fractal components create a tight grip on irregular shapes like wrenches and scissors.

Lindsay currently is taking pre-orders for the 16- and 8-finger versions on his site, and check out his YouTube for a deeper dive into his engraving processes. (via Core77)




Photography Science

A Scrupulous Blue Tit Perfects Her Nest and Lays Her First Egg in a 46-Day Timelapse Recorded Inside the Roost

July 1, 2021

Grace Ebert

It turns out that blue tits are just like us: finicky about their living quarters. Captured with a camera mounted in a box near the town of Loughborough in the U.K., a highlight reel follows one of the birds as she establishes her roost with extreme care. Although female blue tits tend to build their nests alone during the course of a week or two, this particular creature spends nearly seven weeks perfecting hers. We see her initially peck the prospective home’s walls, remove her first bit of grass in favor of new material, and constantly adjust her growing roost. Soon after she finishes construction, she lays her first egg in the upper left corner.

There’s an entire YouTube channel devoted to the new family, and you can watch the chicks hatching and leaving the nest. (via PetaPixel)





Immersive Installations by Liz West Convert Spaces into Glowing Arenas of Prismatic Light

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl, and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters. All images courtesy of Liz West, shared with permission

Whether nestling an iridescent tunnel inside a Georgian-style church or encircling a concrete walkway with multicolor ribbons, Liz West transforms whatever space she approaches into a dynamic field of kaleidoscopic light and shadow. The prolific British artist (previously) is known for her large-scale pieces that use reflection and refraction to create dazzling immersive environments. Often utilizing translucent panels and a combination of natural light and LEDs, West’s intention is to enhance sensory awareness, showing the potential the full spectrum of color has to impact both psychological and physical reactions.

On view through August 21 at Canary Wharf in London, “Hymn to the Big Wheel” (shown above)  is an architectural installation comprised of two concentric octagons that cast layered jewel-toned shadows depending on the viewer’s position. The piece draws its name from Massive Attack’s “Hymn Of The Big Wheel” and has what West calls a “sun-dial effect” that changes how the light streams through the panels depending on the time of day.

Other recent projects include “Aglow,” which arranged 169 fluorescent bowls in a hexagon outside of the Musee Nissim de Camondo in Paris. The individual elements were designed to catch rainfall, which once pooled in the base, added an extra layer of color and illusion to the patterned grouping. Similarly deceptive is West’s 2021 piece titled “Presence” at Christ Church in Macclesfield, which produced an obscured and prismatic path through the historic site that presented the existing architecture through the lens of colorful panels.

West is currently working on two permanent installations launching in August and September in Salford, while “Hundreds and Thousands” (shown below) will be taken down this fall. You can follow her vibrant constructions on her site and Instagram.


“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Aglow” (2018), acrylic, 1,500 x 45 x 1,500 centimeters

“Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment injected polyester, 700 linear meters

Detail of “Hundreds and Thousands” (2021), pigment injected polyester, 700 linear meters

“Hymn to the Big Wheel” (2021), steel, PVC vinyl and polycarbonate, 480 x 480 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Our Spectral Vision” (2016), dichroic glass, LEDs, and acrylic, 700 x 220 x 40 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters

“Presence” (2021), metal, dichroic vinyl, and polycarbonate, 1,500 x 140 x 300 centimeters




Macro Photos Spotlight the Colorful, Whimsical Plant Growths Caused by Cynipid Wasps

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Timothy Boomer, shared with permission

When an herbivorous insect like an aphid or mite needs a place to feed and reproduce, it sometimes seizes a tiny section of a plant where it establishes an abnormal growth or gall. These tissue pockets, which are spurred by a reaction in the host, provide shelter and nutrition for the creature, and although some can be unsightly blemishes, others, like these brightly colored growths of cynipid wasps, are bizarrely beautiful additions to the otherwise green leaves. Photographed by Timothy Boomer, the macro images capture the imperceptible details of the galls, which appear like fairytale-style mushroom houses, prickly sea urchins, and fuzzy, striped domes. See more of the whimsical growths, which generally only cause cosmetic damage to the host plant, on Instagram and Boomer’s site, where you can also purchase prints.




Art Craft

Delicate Cross-Cut Pods Encase Seeds and Other Fruitful Forms in Porcelain

June 30, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Sally Kent and photographer Matthew Stanton, shared with permission

Melbourne-based artist Sally Kent visualizes the fleeting processes found in nature in her fragile porcelain pods. Cross-cut to reveal an inner seed, flower, or other fruitful organisms, the ceramic works compare the inner life-producing forms that are teeming with color and texture with their stark, smooth shells.

Each piece, which ranges from just a few inches to about a foot, is composed of individual patterns, whether through minuscule orbs or with thin strips of ceramic hung from the outer edges. This use of repetition is a form of embodiment, Kent says, because it evokes the cycles that produce and sustain all life, no matter the species or age. “Each pod begins with an egg form—an archetypal symbol of the cycle of life, death, and renewal, but it also acts as a shell to delineate and protect, albeit fragile, the seen (physical body) and the unseen (the spiritual and emotional world),” she shares.

If you’re in Sydney, you can see Kent’s Protection series, which includes human hands and busts embellished with mythological details, during the first weekend of August at House of Chu. Until then, dive into her process and see more of her hand-built works on Instagram.