“The Mattress Factory has a history of hosting International Open Calls, so that's not new, but what is new is the format, in that the review panel is comprised entirely of artists who have previously exhibited at the Mattress Factory,” says MF artistic director Ian Alden Russell. “The decision to have artists be the reviewers is part of an ongoing commitment to center artist voices and de-center the institution's voice in how our programs are formed. Our hope is that the International Open Call will be a renewal of the Mattress Factory's unique identity as a space led by artists, for artists.”
The Artist Review Panel will shape upcoming MF programs by reviewing submissions and selecting artists to be offered residencies and solo exhibitions. The International Open Call is open to “artists from around the world as well as from around the corner,” with a deadline of Dec. 10.
The artists forming the Artist Review Panel for the 2021 International Open Call are vanessa german, Sohrab Kashani, Christopher Meerdo, and Sarah Oppenheimer, whose work 610-3356 2008 is on permanent display at MF. Meerdo and Kashani were part of previous Factory Installed exhibitions, and german has shown at the museum multiple times over the past two decades.
Russell says the museum recently also initiated a new open call for artists within 75 miles of Pittsburgh, whose submissions will be reviewed by a visiting curator from outside the region. “The Regional Open Call will increase the visibility of local Pittsburgh and regional artists in the wider art world,” adds Russell.
According to a statement, artists are free to explore wherever their process leads them during their residency. The museum will "support each artist’s process from development through production and installation to exhibition."
Solo exhibitions resulting from residencies will be scheduled to open in spring 2023 and beyond.
Submissions for the MF International Open Call will be accepted through Dec. 10 at 4:59 p.m. For more information, visit mfioc2021.artcall.org.