Don't Look Away: Because Mattering is the Minimum Exhibition

Artist Call for Submission

Don’t Look Away: Because Mattering is the Minimum

An exhibition at the University of Pittsburgh

Application Deadline: February 1, 2021, 11:59 pm

Exhibition Details

For Don’t Look Away, reproductions of original works by regional artists will be printed onto mesh canvas panels (approximately 8'x5' in size) to be exhibited outdoors, for maximum accessibility for the duration of the exhibition. The exhibition will be installed in public areas of the University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh Campus and will travel to other Pitt campuses. Approximately 30 works will be selected for display.

In addition to the physical installation, the exhibition will feature short video performances that will be shown on digital screens on the University campus and website.

Eligibility: Open to artists of Western Pennsylvania and to Pitt students, faculty, staff, and alumni.


What does Black Lives Matter mean to you? The University of Pittsburgh requests submissions by artists for consideration for an upcoming outdoor exhibition on this question.

‘Black Lives Matter’ as a slogan is the culmination of hundreds of years of effort, fighting, resilience, and sacrifice on the part of Black leaders, activists, trailblazers, and visionaries. Following the tradition of the United States’ Civil Rights Movement, it is the call demanding that everyone, from our government to our neighbors, recognize the patterns of structural harms and inequity that target Black people on a social, economic, and political level.

This exhibition will recognize the work done and the work still left to do to achieve true equity: to not only honor the lives we have lost and affirm that Black lives do indeed matter, but also to celebrate and spotlight the Black experience as essential to our community’s future. Works might retrieve the lessons learned from past generations about love, family, and supporting one another; reflect on breaking cycles of generational trauma and how to create new and just futures; respond to the contemporary movement and how it has changed the public consciousness; and remind the world that outside of death, there is Black life.

Because mattering is the minimum.

Criteria For Submission

Eligibility: Open to artists of Western Pennsylvania and to Pitt students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Number of Submissions: No more than 3 submissions per artist or artist group

Media: All media considered, but emphasis will be on works that can be reproduced in a two-dimensional format. Work must be able to be reproduced at a high resolution in photo or video form.

Size Limitations: Works will be reproduced on mesh canvas, approximately 8’ x 5’ in size, or run as short videos on digital displays.

Submission Process

Deadline for Submission: Work must be submitted through the online submission form by February 1, 2021, at 11:59 pm EST.

  • Submit up to 3 work(s) to be reproduced for this exhibition; each work must be submitted through its own submission form.

  • JPGs or PNGs should be approximately 8”X10” at 144ppi or 1152 pixels X 1449 pixels. Video performances (MP4s) should not exceed three minutes in length.

  • Name each JPG and/or MP4 file with your first initial, last name and image or video number (example: ASmith1.jpg ASmith2.jpg, ASmith3.jpg).

  • Additional applicable identification (titles, media, sizes, dates made) or links can be included in the submission form.

  • The submission form will include space for a short narrative, accompanying each piece, explaining how the piece relates to the exhibition theme.

  • The form also asks for a brief artist statement.

  • Late or incomplete materials will not be considered.

Selection Process

  • Works will be selected by a selection committee comprised of Pitt representatives and community members from local Black arts organizations.

  • Approximately 30 works will be selected for display.

  • The selection committee will select works that support the central exhibition concept.

  • All decisions made by the committee are final.

  • Payment: $500 per artist, or artist group

  • Final exhibition panels will be the property of the University of Pittsburgh; artists retain ownership of the original work of art.

  • Artists will be credited on exhibition labels, exhibition website, and related promotional material.


This exhibition is part of a series of initiatives by the University of Pittsburgh to recognize and celebrate the diversity of our campus and, more particularly, the value of Black lives and Black art.

Led by Dr. Kathy Humphrey, Senior Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Engagement, the Don’t Look Away exhibition is made possible through the efforts and contributions of representatives from the University of Pittsburgh and local Black arts organizations.

Questions? Contact