Pittsburgh Glass Center THE UNITED: (Due May 31)




All artists wishing to present new ideas and existing projects in the context of immigration are invited to apply to “The United” art exhibition held in Pittsburgh, PA, USA at the Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Hodge Gallery, from October 2, 2020 to January 2021.


“The United,” curated by Johanna Lasner, examines the incredibly complicated topic of immigration in a time when immigration systems are in crisis —affecting many of us closely, as members of diverse communities, as descendants of immigrants, or as immigrants ourselves. The exhibition explores the possibilities for proactive engagement with immigration issues, reconfiguring the status and function of art from passivity to active agency. This subject is timely and in line with one of our goals of inspiring people to come together as an interconnected active community through their participation in this project, by being responsive to current concerns; and even more so, by supporting and celebrating diversity.
Historically, the immigration experience has been of great social, economic, and cultural benefit to many countries throughout the world. Increasingly, however, immigration has become a topic of intense public debate, with significant political and social disagreements over its place. In light of this, the works included in this exhibition aim to generate a discussion about the need of a national and global understanding of how to handle cross-border human mobility worldwide, that is sensitive and respectful to well-meaning migrants, permanent or temporary, whatever their reasons for wanting to move —while addressing common misconceptions. Further, we want to promote what it means to have a safe, humanitarian and orderly migration system with responsive laws that respect and maintain human dignity.

Memory, history, and sociopolitical-cultural constructs coexist within the same space of art and identity. Let us be proud of our immigrant heritage and honor our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe. We invite you to join and share the vulnerable and victorious stories of individuals and families striving to make a new home in an unfamiliar place.

“We’re a nation of immigrants, and we ought to be proud of that story,”
- Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator of the musical “Hamilton” 

Pittsburgh Glass Center will provide:

  • Exhibition space dedicated to the artist's works

  • Artist residencies for some artists

  • Assistance with customs formalities, international shipping and local transport

  • Assistance to find accommodations for artists who wish to attend the opening

  • Design and the printing of all promotional materials

  • Press releases, social media networks and publicity

  • Mounting and dismounting of the exhibition

  • Exhibition opening event

Please contact Heather McElwee or call 412-365-2145 x202 with questions. 

We will accept online submissions that include an array of ideas and practices best aligned with proposals that fit the subject of Immigration. The deadline to apply is May 31, 2019.

Proposals should describe concise, focused, idea-driven, and original practices.

Submissions should be in English.

Artists will receive a confirmation email if their work is chosen. The submitting artists own the copyright to their competition entries as their author(s). By submitting an entry to the art competition the artist gives Pittsburgh Glass Center permission for the entry to be used on the Pittsburgh Glass Center website and its social media channels.

Apply Online

An international jury composed of individuals from a wide variety of professional backgrounds will rate the proposals based on interest, content and the applicants’ ability to communicate their ideas. 

Artists will be notified of their acceptance by July 30, 2019.

Jurors include:

Karla Lamb

Karla Lamb is a multidisciplinary Chicana poet & artist. Her work has appeared in A Women’s Thing Magazine, The Shallow Ends, Coal Hill Review, Vox Populi, Word Riot, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, Uppagus, Rogue Agent, & Voices from the Attic. Lamb earned an MFA from Carlow University, is currently working on a full-length poetry manuscript, a solo art exhibit slated for early 2020, & various analog & digital collage projects. Lamb lives in Pittsburgh, PA where she works as a program manager for City of Asylum, an organization that provides sanctuary to endangered writers. She has edited for After Happy Hour Review, and can usually be found collaborating with various artists and writers. Visit karlalamb.com to learn more.

Johanna Lasner

Johanna Lasner is an independent curator and artist with formal studies in photography and interior design. Prior to moving to Pittsburgh, she lived in the United Kingdom, Canada and the Caribbean. During her time in Pittsburgh, she has worked with Casey Droege Cultural Productions, The Carnegie Museum of Art, and GalleriE Chiz. She has curated and organized numerous exhibitions in the United States and in her native country of Ecuador. Her endeavors have been as varied as projects with many local, national and international organizations. Lasner's passion for community and social practice has taken her to participate in sociocultural projects such as Canadian Mill Woods Assembly Medical/Dental Mission in Guatemala since 2008 until present. She is a member of the Network for Arts Administrators of Color, the Pittsburgh Chapter of ArtsBoston's NAAC program. 

Work in the exhibition does not need to be made entirely of glass, but should have a significant glass element to be considered. If you are an artist who does not normally work in glass, but you have an idea of something you would like to create for this exhibition that has a glass component please apply and tell us what you would like to make. Pittsburgh Glass Center has a limited number of artist residencies available to help artists create new work around this topic. Residencies are for both glass and non-glass artists. If you are interested in an artist residency please indicate this in your application. 

Pittsburgh Glass Center will pay for one way shipping up to $500 for costs associated with transporting the work to Pittsburgh.

Jamie Earnest