Call for Artists: The Babel Masks

Deadline: 19/09/2020  |  Published: 24/07/2020  |  City: Online  |  Country: United States  |  Paula Billups

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The Babel Masks, a juried selection of original artist's masks, are to be shown in a virtual exhibition space, There is no submission or participation fee.

Masks have become a way of life in 2020. They are instruments of protection: of health, of life, of the continuation of families, of work.

This exhibition imagines that masks remain with us into the future and evolve into something more expressive, building on the essential instrument which protects the mouth and nose and keeps droplets from spreading into the air.

Imagining the masked world 100 years in the future, what will we have created to match our human need for self-expression, self-identification, affiliation, community, and expressed emotion and intention? How can a mask tell the world more about who and what we are as individuals — what power we wield, what place we hold, what dreams we inhabit, what dreams inhabit us?

Masks in the past once served the sacred, the ceremonial, the powerful, and the shamanic for the elect. In times of carnival they served the bacchanal, the anonyme, the spirit animal.

If masks belong as a matter of health and protection to all, where will artists move that functional item into the imaginative realm of worn magic and worn art?

Submit three digital images of one original mask of your own design and creation which envisions the mask as a statement of fashion, ceremonial use, or everyday apparel in the year 2120. Also submit an artist's statement on the work under 300 words and an artist's bio under 150 words.

Image requirements:

Work will be selected by a blind jury consisting of the Librarian and two guest curators. Please do not include your name or any identifying information in your photos.

Please upload images in JPG format. One entry per person.

One image must be of the mask only, unworn, facing front, all edges showing, on a solid-color background. This image size must be 7.5x7.5 inches. The other two images must be sized 4.0x4.0 inches.

These can be alternate views of the mask, a model wearing the mask, or the mask in a setting, as a few suggestions. These can be composed in any number of ways, as long as the mask is featured in the image. To ensure a blind jury, please do not include yourself, your name, or any identifying text in these photographs.

All images must be in color, resolution 300dpi, and set for sRBG print setting.

NOTE ON SIZE: Upload size limit to CuratorSpace is 4MB. At the print sizes required, if your images are too large a file size, please upload reduced images under the size limit to this application for reference.

To ensure high print quality, you must then submit the original full-size JPG images to the show's email address at The size limit of attachments there is 20MB. If you do this, please title your email in the Subject Heading with "Last Name, First Name, Full Size Image #1 (or 2 or 3)." You can submit these separately if the three attachments together exceed 20MB. When naming image files, the file name format is as follows: the title and dimension of the piece in inches, and the exhibition name, separated by underscoring as follows: title_size_babelmasks

The mask must perform the normal function of a medical mask, to cover and protect the nose and mouth to prevent or minimize droplets from escaping or entering. It must be physically wearable in such a way that it can perform this essential function. After meeting this requirement, the mask may be of any design, shape, or size, of any medium or media.

The exhibit is sponsored by  A full-color exhibition catalog with essays and artist's statements will be available for purchase via print-on-demand on the opening day of the exhibit. Dates of the virtual exhibition are October 15, 2020 to March 1, 2021.

Deadline Extended:  Midnight (EST) September 19, 2020.


Contact the curator
Who is eligible for this opportunity?
Anyone, living anywhere. There is no age or location limit and no fee to enter or to submit work.
When is the deadline?
Deadline for submission is Midnight (EST) September 19, 2020.
How many works can I submit?
You may submit one original work, created after January 1, 2020. You must submit three images of the work following the instructions provided in the Image Requirements section of the main description.
How much does it cost?
There is no fee to submit work or to exhibit.
Are there payments to artists?
What publicity will be provided as part of the opportunity?
There will be sneak peeks and boosts on the Librarian of Babel Facebook page, on Twitter and Instagram, and there will be individual works virtually showcased solo during the run of the exhibition. There will be a color catalog with curatorial essays, images and artist's statements offered as a print-on-demand publication.
Do I need to be present?
There will be opportunities to connect with the curators and fellow artists on October 15 for a curatorial live stream roundtable and at a Zoom midissage on October 31 where artists can meet and share their masks. These are optional events but we would certainly love you to attend!
Where will my venue be listed?
The show will be announced and covered by Librarian of Babel's Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. Press releases will also be sent to various publications.
What are the selection criteria?
A high level of creativity and a high quality of execution along with a strong artist's statement and bio are the criteria by which we will select and accept work. A group of three curators will jointly select works based on the excellence of the submitted work, the excellence of image quality, and the strength of writing in the artist's statements and biographies. All three criteria have weight in the decisions.

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