The annual Art & Words show takes place every Fall around September. Submissions for art and written work are open from March 1st to April 1st of every year. You do not have to be located in Texas or able to attend to show in order to submit, though preference is given to local visual artists for practical reasons. We accept unpublished or previously published work. Written works submitted will not be published online or in print, only displayed and read aloud at the show, so submitting to this project should not harm your chances of publishing the work elsewhere.
To submit, please send up to three .jpgs of your visual work or up to three .rtfs or .docs of written work (up to 1,000 words for each work of fiction, poetry, or nonfiction accepted, all genres from the realistic to the fantastic) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include “Submission” in the title. Please send a bio or cover letter with your submission mentioning any publications, degrees, or memberships in critique groups/writers’ or artists’ organizations. In a show like this, where the second work will be created specifically for the show, it’s important that I have a good idea of the general quality of your work in addition to the quality of the story/poem/essay/visual art work submitted. Therefore, submitters who submit three pieces or can demonstrate their overall ability through publications will have a better chance at being selected. (Previously unpublished writers who send three pieces have an equal chance of being accepted as published writers.)
In 2012 I curated the first Art & Words collaborative show; in 2014 I curated the third. 2015 will be the fourth annual Art & Words Show. For these shows, I accept ten-twelve visual pieces of art and ten-twelve written pieces (poetry, flash fiction, and flash nonfiction). Each writer whose work I chose then picks, from the visual submissions, one piece of visual art on to use as inspiration to compose a new written work. Each visual artist then chooses one of the written pieces to use as inspiration for a second visual work. This silent collaboration produces about forty-four incredible, original works of art and words, which are displayed at Art on the Boulevard in Fort Worth, Texas, for one week. An opening reception is held the first night of the show.
At the show’s opening, I host the reading of the written pieces, and a live jazz band performs (in the first and third years, the band performed compositions based on poems and stories as well as original compositions by musicians Jake Dester and Peter Brewer).
For a few examples of visual art that was on display last year, please check out the Art on the Boulevard website.
Art & Words is not a publication, and unfortunately I am unable to offer explicit payment for the display of works both visual and written. For written works, the work submitted will not be published either online or in print; I do not acquire any rights to work, except the one time right to display a single broadside of the story/poem/essay for the week of the show. The intent of Art & Words is to encourage collaboration and inspiration; thus, participation should be considered more an inspirational tool. You may absolutely submit work used in the show to other venues either before, during, or after the show.
If your work is selected, however, you have the option of selling broadsides of your work at the show; I make and design these broadsides, and they are printed at no cost to you. This is entirely optional. You also have the option of allowing us to include your work in a PDF of the show which is sent out only to the creative participants in Art & Words (as many of the participants are from out of state and are unable to attend, the PDF allows them to experience the show in which their work was displayed).
Visual art work included in Art & Words is treated much the same as at a regular gallery; you have the option of allowing us permission to include the art work in promotional materials and on the Art on the Boulevard website, and of selling the work. To pay for the costs of the show, Art on the Boulevard has raised their commission on visual art to 30%.