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Call for Artists – Collaborage

This fall and into next year, Heights Arts will participate in a city-wide exploration of Surrealism in partnership with the No Exit New Music Ensemble and other collaborators. The celebration will begin with Collaborage, an exhibition opening in late August for which Heights Arts will tap its unique multidisciplinary resources. The concept for the exhibition employs the game strategies avant-garde artists used in the years after World War I to move beyond the world of forced rationality and unlock access to the unconscious (authentic) world. Many of these artists were part of the Dada movement, which soon was absorbed into Surrealism. Surrealists were pioneers in the use of collage and other means or appropriation of visual material from diverse sources. These works for Heights Arts will be created using elements of chance.

Here’s how it will work:

After the call for visual artists, Heights Arts will create four “teams,” each of which will include a random grouping of three visual artists. Heights Arts will provide copies of A Book of Surrealist Games to each team. Each of these teams will work with a few words provided by the Heights Writes Community Team. These words should have local relevance (which could still apply to national or international issues)–they might be lines of original poetry, historical quotes, or phrases lifted from the news, or conglomerations thereof—that part is up to the community team, which will provide 12 sets of words to be randomly assigned to the visual artists. Finally, the Heights Arts Music Community Team will select 12 pieces of music from Northeast Ohio, again randomly assigned to the artists.

The nature of and process for the collaboration between each visual artist team should also employ strategies from A Book of Surrealist Games. Each work must incorporate one of the three sets of words randomly assigned to that team (i.e. the actual text is in the composition) and each artist will respond to one of the pieces music randomly assigned (i.e., ideally the artists are listening to the music while they are working). Each team must produce three works of art by July 1, 2023.

The result will be 12 works of art, each the product of three visual artists, three sets of words, and three pieces of music. These will be on view at Heights Arts in the Collaborage exhibition, August 18 to October 15, 2023. There is a $150-per-artist materials stipend provided to the visual artists selected.

Finally, every work in the show will be auctioned off—another layer of chance and randomness—with the proceeds from the sales split according to the usual formula with 40% going to Heights Arts and 60% (20% for each team member) to the artists.

If you are a visual artist who would like to participate in this experiment, apply now. Heights Arts will randomly select the 12 artists from the entries. If by some chance there are insufficient entries, the Heights Arts Exhibition Community Team will select additional artists. Deadline March 31, assignments soon thereafter.


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