Call for Art: Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness


Mizna and Soo Visual Arts Center (SooVAC) invite early career, US-based artists from the Southwest Asian and North African (SWANA) region or of SWANA descent to submit artworks for a juried exhibition titled Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness. The exhibition will take place December 7, 2019-January 9, 2020 at SooVAC in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Submissions are due September 15 at 11:59 pm.

Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness is a quote by Khalil Gibran, famed Arab American poet of the early 1900s. While SWANA communities are scattered around the globe due to legacies of colonization and migration, Mizna serves as a critical platform and gathering space for Arab and Muslim creatives. Mizna has a twenty year history of featuring the work of established and emerging visual artists in our lit + art journal, Mizna: Prose, Poetry, and Art Exploring Arab America, as well as in exhibitions and public artworks. In this exhibition, we are looking to showcase the perspectives, practices, and artworks of a new generation of US-based SWANA creatives as we look toward another two decades of cultivating rich spaces. Spaces in which, in Gibran's words, "the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow," spaces in which the diversity and artistry of our community is celebrated and sustained.

Let There Be Spaces in Your Togetherness is juried by Essma Imady, Hend Al Mansour, and Lamia Abukhadra, three Arab artists based in the Twin Cities. The jurors will show works alongside the works of selected artists, anchoring the exhibition. The exhibition will travel to St. Cloud and New York Mills in greater Minnesota as part of a visual art and film tour of Mizna's work.

We define early career artists as artists with a focused direction or goals who have not been substantially recognized within their field, in the media, with funding support, or through the public at large.

-Artist must be based in the US.
-Artist must be early career.
-Artist must be from the SWANA region or of SWANA descent.

Submission guidelines
Submit up to five images
Include: Title, material, size, date created, description of the piece (optional, limit 150 words). 
All artistic media accepted for review
Submission must also include CV (limit 1 pg), bio (limit 250 words), and artist statement (limit 250 word).
Full submission guidelines are available here.

Questions can be directed to [email protected] 

The fee to submit artworks for this exhibition is $10. This will go towards shipping artwork back to the artist, and documenting and promoting the exhibition. If you are unable to pay this fee, please email [email protected].


Tour to St. Cloud and NY Mills, MN
Should you be selected for this exhibition, your work may be exhibited in a touring show to greater Minnesota at the Kiehle Gallery at St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud and at the New York Mills Cultural Center in New York Mills.

About Mizna
Mizna is a critical platform for contemporary literature, art, film, and cultural programming centering the work of Southwest Asian and North African artists. For twenty years, we have sought to reflect the depth and multiplicity of our community and have been committed to being a space for Arab, Muslim, and other artists from the region to reclaim our narratives and engage audiences in meaningful and artistically excellent art. We publish Mizna: Prose, Poetry and Art Exploring Arab America, produce the Twin Cities Arab Film Festival, and offer classes, readings, performances, public art, and community events.

About Soo Visual Arts Center
Soo Visual Arts Center (SooVAC) is a nonprofit art space that connects our community with fresh, under-represented and provocative art. SooVAC envisions a dynamic community in which artists and audiences challenge each other in an environment where art is integral to everyday life.

About the Jurors
Essma Imady is an installation and film artist based in the Twin Cities. She grew up in Damascus, Syria, and was dislocated to Minnesota in 2011. Her practice addresses the political aspects of the personal, the formation of identities, and the complicated relationship between vision and knowledge. Her most recent exhibits include the MAEP program at MIA and curating a performance night at the Walker Art Center.

At first glance, Hend Al-Mansour's work appears traditionally Islamic, but sustained engagement reveals subversive messages that critique gender injustice. She is best known for her stylized figures printed within colorful geometric design backgrounds. Inspired by women's traditional artistic media in the Arab world, her shrine-like installations highlight powerful women in contemporary life and history. 

Lamia Abukhadra is a Palestinian American artist. Her interdisciplinary research based practice challenges harmful dominant narratives which perpetuate the settler colonial imagination as well as acts of violence and ethnic cleansing in Palestine and its diasporic spaces. Lamia is a 2018-2019 Jerome Emerging Printmaking Resident at Highpoint Center for Printmaking and a 2019-2020 Home Workspace Program Fellow at Ashkal Alwan. 

Opportunity Opens

Thursday, Aug 8th 2019

Opportunity Closes

Sunday, Sep 15th 2019, 11:45pm

Application Location

MN Artists