Fleisher Art Memorial is excited to announce the call for entries for the 45th exhibition season of the annual Wind Challenge. Established in 1978, the Wind Challenge is an annual juried competition committed to enriching people’s lives through art, featuring the work of exceptional artists living in the region. Artists living within a 450-mile radius of Philadelphia are welcome to apply.
For this series, six selected artists will be featured in two Wind Challenge Exhibitions—each featuring three artists—to be hosted at Fleisher in 2023. The jurors for this year’s competition are Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez and Yolanda Wisher. The selected cohort of artists will work closely with the Director of Exhibitions in curating their work and exhibition-related programming.
The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series is made possible thanks to generous support from the Wind Foundation.
Applicants are reviewed in a two-stage selection process:
Round 1: Two jurors review submitted artwork online. From this initial review, finalists selected to advance to the second round will be notified via e-mail by the first week of May 2022.
Round 2: Finalists deliver one original artwork to Fleisher, reviewed along with their original image selections by the jurors. (Installation artists being considered as finalists will be encouraged to come to Fleisher for a site visit if interested in submitting a specific proposal for the Fleisher galleries. The resulting round 2 submission could include a plan for the space and/or physical work related to the proposed installation.)
Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez
Victoria Ahmadizadeh Melendez holds an MFA in Craft/Material Studies from VCU and a BFA in Glass from Tyler School of Art and Architecture. She has been an Artist in Residence at Pilchuck Glass School, WheatonArts, MASS MoCA, and the STARworks Glass Lab. Her work has been exhibited at Glasmuseet Ebeltoft in Denmark, The National Glass Centre in England, DOX Centre for Contemporary Art in the Czech Republic and UrbanGlass in Brooklyn, NY, among other venues. Her sculptures—which are transmutations of her personal writings—have been included in New Glass Review #33 and #38, published by The Corning Museum of Glass.
Victoria is passionate about being an educator as well as an artist, and has taught at VCU, The University of the Arts, Ox-Bow School of Art and Artists’ Residency, UrbanGlass, and is currently adjunct faculty in the Glass Department at Tyler School of Art and Architecture. She has been a contributing writer to GASnewspublished by the Glass Art Society and GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly. She resides in Philadelphia, PA, where she maintains her private studio and large plant collection.
Philadelphia-based poet, singer, educator, and curator Yolanda Wisher is the author of Monk Eats an Afro (Hanging Loose Press, 2014) and the co-editor of Peace is a Haiku Song (Philadelphia Mural Arts, 2013). Wisher was named the inaugural Poet Laureate of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania in 1999 and the third Poet Laureate of Philadelphia for 2016-2017. A Pew and Cave Canem Fellow, Wisher was awarded the Leeway Foundation's Transformation Award in 2019 for her commitment to art for social change. Wisher taught high school English for a decade, served as Director of Art Education for Philadelphia Mural Arts, and founded and directed the Germantown Poetry and Outbound Poetry Festivals.
She performs a unique blend of poetry and song with her band The Afroeaters and has led workshops and curated events in partnership with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Free Library of Philadelphia, and the U.S. Department of Arts & Culture. Wisher was part of the first cohort of artists with studios at the Cherry Street Pier on the Delaware River Waterfront. She is currently the Curator of Spoken Word and producer of the podcast Love Jawns: A Mixtapeat Philadelphia Contemporary, a freestanding space for contemporary and performance art.
- Applicants must live within a 450-mile radius of Philadelphia
- Selected artists must not be showing the same major body of work in a local gallery or alternative space in the same year as the Wind Challenge exhibition
- Selected artists must be available to install their work, participate in the Wind Challenge Artist Exchange public program (a panel conversation led by the selected artists in which they ask each other questions and share insights into their creative process), and be present at the opening reception
Please note that students enrolled in a full-time degree/certificate granting program during the year of the exhibition and previous Wind Challenge artists are ineligible.
The Wind Challenge Exhibition Series is held in the Dene M. Louchheim Galleries at Fleisher Art Memorial. The 2023 exhibition series is tentatively scheduled for winter (Feb-Mar) and spring (Mar-Apr). Artists should be ready to exhibit starting in early 2023.
Selected artists receive:
- The opportunity to display recent work in a four-week, three-person exhibition
- The opportunity to work with Fleisher’s Director of Exhibitions in one of the country’s first community art centers, helping to curate their work in the selected gallery space
- $750 honorarium
- Opportunity to gain exposure and promote your practice through participation in the Wind Challenge Artist Exchange and public reception
- Promotion in Fleisher publications, online materials, and related marketing
- Optional: Opportunity to engage with young artists in Fleisher’s Teen Lounge program by creating a one-hour workshop
Deadline: 11:59 pm on Sunday, May 1, 2022
For more information about the Wind Challenge Exhibition Series, visit fleisher.org.
Please direct inquiries to:
Gerard Silva, Director of Exhibitions and Community Outreach
firstname.lastname@example.org / 215-630-0501