Call for Crafting Civil (War) Conersations at MicKissick

We just saw the announcement of jurors for this competition and wanted to make sure  you'd all seen the call itself. Lifted this straight from the  USC - McKissick website. Deadline for images is October 31st. $25K up for grabs.


Exhibition Concept

As the first state to secede from the Union, and the place from which the first battle shots were fired, South Carolina arguably started the Civil War.  One hundred and fifty years later, McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina aims to end it with a juried exhibition of contemporary craft we hope will animate civil conversations about Civil War legacies.


A WPA-era building located on the University’s historic quadrangle, McKissick Museum stands in the company of the largest collection of slave-made structures on any campus in the United States.  These structures bear witness to enslaved African Americans’ artisan skill and manual labor.  They also provide a poignant backdrop for the Museum’s significant collections of 19th-century, alkaline-glazed stoneware and sweet grass baskets, cultural forms intimately tied to the presence of African slaves in the region and now seemingly synonymous with the southern experience.  It seems fitting, then, that McKissick Museum commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War on April 9, 2014, with a major exhibition that symbolically re-enacts the Civil War’s end as a scene of reconciliation—not between the North and the South—but between former slaves and former slave owners.


We seek entries from artists working in what historically have been regarded as craft-based media--clay, fiber, glass, metal and wood—who will imagine and give visual and sculptural form to this scene.  It is perhaps the scene that Martin Luther King conjured when he dreamt of a day when “the sons of former slaves and the sons of slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.”


What kind of table might energize and sustain continued civic dialog about how the institution of slavery continues to shape southern life?  What kind of table, chairs, and table wares might bring people together to share a meal, share experiences, and speak candidly about the collective work that remains to be done?  Would the table be set with china, ceramic stoneware or wooden plates?  Would sterling flatware or oyster shells serve as eating utensils?  Would guests drink from glasses or gourds?  Would a tablecloth grace the table’s surface?  Do napkins or placemats define individual place settings?  Are there serving pieces on the table suggestive of the food traditions southerners forged and share?


In other words, what might the material culture of restorative justice look and feel like?



$25,000 in purchase awards will be given to prize winning artists and/or artist collaboratives.  Artists are welcome to submit images of an individual artwork conceived of as a component part of a scene of reconciliation OR to submit images of an installation with multiple components OR to collaborate with other artists to submit images of an installation with multiple component parts.


Timeline for Exhibition

March 31                    CALL for ENTRIES issued

October 31                  DEADLINE for submission of IMAGES of objects entered

November 30             ACCEPTANCE notices go out

December 15              DEADLINE for delivery of artwork at Museum

Feb 2-May 30             FEB 2, EXHIBITION OPENS



To participate, artists must have been born in, raised in (minimum one year), or be currently living and working in one of the states that joined the Confederacy:  Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.  This eligibility requirement ensures that the prize-winning artworks that will become part of McKissick’s permanent collection are aligned with the Museum’s collections policy.


Artists must work in craft-based media—clay, fiber, glass, metal, and/or wood.


Submitted artworks must have been completed since April 2011, the start of sesquicentennial commemorations of the American Civil War.


To be eligible for this juried exhibition, artists must be 18 years old on or before the October 31, 2014 submission deadline.


Artists must pay a $25 non-refundable entry fee.


Artists may submit up to five high-resolution digital images (minimum 300dpi/1MB) of artwork(s) for consideration to


All artwork/installations submitted for consideration should be able to fit in the elevator and/or be broken down into component parts that will fit in the elevator, the dimensions of which are 72”x48”x50”.  Designs for objects that will not fit these dimensions should be discussed with McKissick’s Curator of Exhibitions, Edward Puchner at 803-777-2515 or prior to production and/or submission.


The artist is responsible for transporting artwork juried into the exhibition to and from McKissick Museum.


Should an artist or artist collaborative submit for consideration an installation that includes digital media, that artist or artist collaborative will be responsible for providing the hardware (projector and/or motor) for the duration of the exhibition at McKissick.


Should an installation be juried into the exhibition, the installation artist or a member of the artist collaborative originating the work must be present one week prior to the opening of Crafting Civil (War) Conversations to assist Museum staff with installing the installation.


The artist’s or artist collaborative’s work must presently be wholly owned by the artist or artist collaborative.


Artists whose work is juried into the exhibition will receive and must sign and return to the Museum a loan agreement that will require the artist to loan the artwork for up to 3 years in order that the exhibit might travel to other venues.  McKissick aims to travel Crafting Civil (War) Conversations to a minimum of one venue in each of the states that joined the Confederacy to foster civil post-Civil War conversations regionally and nationally.  Hence, artwork juried into the exhibition needs to be available to travel for three years after the exhibit premieres in South Carolina.


Artworks juried into the exhibition may not be sold before the exhibition opens.


Artists may not substitute a different artwork for that juried into the exhibition.


Works must be original creations.  Gicleés and reproductions will not be accepted.


Wall-mounted works must be ready-to-hang (wired or include D-rings, screw eyes, or other hanging apparatus).


If the artwork requires any special mount(s) for display, the mount(s) must be provided at the time of artwork delivery.  Museum staff will furnish some standard risers/platforms for presentation purposes only.


Prize-winning artists must agree to transfer all ownership of and reproduction rights to the winning artwork to McKissick Museum On May 31, 2015.  Any sales of artwork in the exhibition will be considered pending until the exhibit closes at McKissick and prizes are awarded.  If prize winning artwork(s) were sold pending prize announcements, those pending sales will be voided once the artist accepts a purchase award.


Prize-winning artists must agree to grant McKissick Museum an irrevocable limited, permanent license to reproduce the artwork for the purposes of promoting the exhibition or McKissick Museum.



Columbia, SC - The University of South Carolina’s McKissick Museum recently identified five distinguished museum professionals and academics with expertise in the craft-based media of ceramics, fiber, glass, metal, and wood to serve as jurors for Crafting Civil (War) Conversations, on display February 2 – May 30, 2015. This major exhibition invites artists who work in these various media to create artworks that imagine a scene of reconciliation between the descendants of enslaved people and the descendants of slave owners, all as a means to commemorate the sesquicentennial of the end of the Civil War.


The jurors include:

•           Carla Funk, Director & Chief Curator, Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts, The Foosaner

Art Museum, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL


•           Anne C. Currier, Professor of Ceramics, Division of Ceramic Art, Alfred University,

Alfred, NY


•           Albert LeCoff, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Center for Wood Art,

Philadelphia, PA


•           Jim Masterson, Shop Forman, National Ornamental Metal Museum, Memphis, TN


•           Diane C. Wright, Barry Curator of Glass, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA


Our hope is that this roster of jurors—including people with national and international perspectives on ceramic, textile, glass, metal and wood arts—will inspire even greater participation on the part of artists throughout the Southeast.  McKissick Museum will present $25,000 in purchase awards to prize-winning artists and/or artist collaboratives.


For more information, visit or call Edward Puchner at 803-777-2515 or Ja-Nae Epps at 803-777-2876.