Durham Development: Call for Art


Durham under Development

A Juried Art Exhibit and Community Discussion Presented by Aaron Mandel and Pleiades Gallery

February 11 – March 6, 2016

At Pleiades Gallery 109 E. Chapel Hill Street, Durham, NC 27701

Accepting entries from artists working in all media with strong connections to Durham who wish to use their artwork to document, define, and discuss the development changes happening in Durham.

ENTRY DEADLINE: January 1, 2016


Durham is going through a massive period of development and change. As a resident, it is all but impossible to ignore. At one point in 2014, $1.15 billion dollars’ worth of development projects were proposed and underway within one mile of the Durham “Downtown Loop.” We want to challenge the Durham community to engage in a conversation about our development now and going forward. We believe that change is inevitable, but the nature of change is malleable. We construct our reality.

Anthropologist Clifford Geertz calls the interconnected lines between members of a community the “multiplex.” He revolutionarily challenged the notion that members of modern communities play one role. In our reality: your baker is my exercise buddy, my social media director is your cashier, your flower delivery guy is my favorite DJ (to use three, literal, Durham examples). The person who works behind the retail counter or in the bike shop or in any occupation has a whole other interconnected life, within the community, outside the bounds of the role in which we may know them. Geertz says we are not simply connected linearly, one role each, one line each, rather we are a web of interconnectedness.

We can’t and wouldn’t presume to dictate the discussion about Durham’s development. But we would challenge all of us, the multiplex, to come together as a community to think about and discuss how we want go to forward, rather than to presume development is linear and therefore that certain people have expertise, sway, authority, that we, as a community, do not. We, the People, are Durham.

Pleiades, in the middle of the downtown loop of Durham, in the center of so much construction and development, is an ideal forum to hold this conversation. Art is at the nexus of societal change. Physically, Pleiades is at the nexus of change. We learn by relating our experiences and sharing acquired knowledge. Our whole is greater than each of us individually. We believe in intentional community. We are made better though our active, collective efforts. Pleiades has sought over time to curate and house Art that challenges, inspires, and provokes.


Together, we want artists to submit work on this theme, “Durham under Development.” This is a time of transition in Durham. The process is unfinished, the result undetermined. What do you see, hear, sense, and feel about the changes happening in the community? How do you wish to contribute to the conversation about these changes? We are looking only for work that has been created in the last two years. We want to look at Durham though your work as the change is in progress. We want to look at Durham through your vision about the future. What say you?

We ask that artists either reside in the greater Durham area or have a strong connection and/or affinity to Durham that can be traced or explained to the jury. Original artwork created in the past two years in all mediums will be considered. A jury panel including representatives of Pleiades, members of the community, developers, and community activists will evaluate and select the best and most appropriate works for this exhibit. Installation and temporary pieces will be considered, but please remember there are limits to scale. Selected artwork will be displayed at Pleiades Gallery from February 11th to March 6th with a Third Friday reception on February 19th from 6-9 pm.

Artwork must be submitted online. https://pleiadesgallery.submittable.com/submit Accepted pieces must be hand-delivered to the gallery on February 6th or 7th, 2016.


Call For Artists …………………………….. November 1, 2015 – January 1, 2016

Entry deadline …………………………….. Friday, January 1, 2016

Notification of acceptance……………….. by January 8, 2016

Hand-delivery of accepted pieces ……… Saturday, February 6, 12-8 pm or Sunday, February 7, 12-4 pm

Exhibit dates…………………………………… February 11 – March 6, 2016

Third Friday Reception ………………………Friday, February 19, 2016, 6 – 9 pm

Pick up art not sold ………………………. Sunday, March 6, 2016, 4-7 pm


ELIGIBILITY: Original works in all art media completed within the last two years are eligible. No massproduced prints. Hand-pulled prints, original digital prints and photographs are acceptable. Photographers should enter the first edition of a print run. All artwork must be the exhibitor’s original idea and be created independently by the exhibitor, not done under the supervision of an instructor. Artists must be at least 14 years old and have strong ties to Durham, North Carolina.

ENTERING IMAGES: Artists will enter their images online at www.pleiadesgallery.submittable.com/submit For best results the longest side of an image should be 1920 pixels. Resolution should be 72 dpi. Images should be in JPEG format. 1. For 2-D work, enter both the dimensions of artwork AND the dimensions of artwork with FRAME. 2. We suggest a neutral background in photographing 3-D artwork.

SIZE LIMITATIONS AND PRESENTATION: Two-dimensional or three-dimensional pieces must weigh less than 50 pounds. All two-dimensional pieces must be framed in a professional manner with wire attachment and be ready to hang. No ‘alligator’ type hangers. Canvases must be suitably framed or gallery wrapped with no visible staples or unpainted sides. Canvases with wet paint will not be accepted. SALES: All artwork will be for sale. Artists will receive 65% of the sales price, and Pleiades Gallery will retain a 35% commission. Artists will be notified of sales within 72 hours of a completed sale. Checks will be mailed out in March, 2016.

ENTRY FEES: Each artist may submit up to two entries for a single fee of $20. Entry fees must be paid by the entry deadline. We are happy to consider fee waivers if needed.

INSURANCE: Pleiades Gallery will take every reasonable precaution to prevent loss or damage to artists’ work, but will not be responsible for any loss or damage. Artists are responsible for insurance of their work during the show.

REPRODUCTION OF IMAGES: Entry of images for the exhibition constitutes agreement to the conditions set forth in this prospectus. The artist grants Pleiades Gallery, Clarion Content and Aaron Mandel permission to photograph any work accepted for the exhibit for archival purposes or publicity, including: social media, gallery website, publications, slideshows, film, or television programs which are produced or sponsored by or with the permission of the Gallery.

ABOUT PLEIADES GALLERY: Pleiades is a community-focused, artist-driven contemporary art gallery founded in 2013. Located in the heart of downtown Durham, Pleiades builds relationships between artists and the community. By juried invitation, Pleiades represents ten talented, Triangle-based artists in diverse media who are participating members of the gallery. Member artists are involved in all aspects of the gallery business including curating exhibitions, extensive knowledge of artwork, marketing, social media, sales, and staffing. Opportunities arise for new members when a current member leaves the gallery. Interested artists can contact the gallery via the website and will be notified when there is an opening.

ABOUT AARON MANDEL: Aaron Mandel is a writer and the long-time publisher of the Clarion Content, a Durham, North Carolina based, cultural and political on-line magazine. Over the last eight years he has written hundreds of articles about Durham, and its residents and places, while the Clarion Content has published more than twenty-five terrific local writers and distinguished guest columnists, garnered hundreds of thousands of views, and broken important news stories. Mandel has volunteered for Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project, served as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, and presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce Chamber U on “New Media.”. Mandel holds a BA in History and Religious Studies with a certificate in Uralic-Altaic Studies from Indiana University.