2023 VCUarts Undergraduate Juried Exhibition CALL

Submission period: 9/8–9/20
Exhibition: 11/16–12/9

THE ANDERSON and VCUARTS are excited to announce the 2023 VCUarts Undergraduate Juried Exhibition, November 16–December 9 at the Anderson, juried by Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY (see “ABOUT THE JUROR” below).

The Undergraduate Juried Exhibition is open to undergraduate students from all VCUarts Departments, working individually or collaboratively in any media or discipline—or combination thereof. If you are a current VCUarts undergrad, you’re invited!

Selected by our Juror, the theme for the Fall 2023 Undergraduate Juried Exhibition is “Growing Pains.” The theme is intended to inspire rather than limit. The Juror will take a broad interpretation of the theme and participants are encouraged to do the same. If you have a work you’d like to submit but are unsure about its relationship to the theme, submit it! The full thematic prompt is provided here:

“Growing pains,” a term dating back to the early nineteenth century, refers to physical discomfort during periods of rapid growth, typically in early childhood or adolescence. In literature, this term is used to metaphorically describe the challenges and difficulties that characters face as they undergo personal development or go through significant changes in their lives. These painful experiences, while difficult in the moment, can later become a source of nostalgia, evoking a sense of longing for the simpler times of our youth. This prompt invites artists to delve into and expand upon personal, political, and social facets of “growing pains.” Consider the ongoing and conflicting cultural reckonings in our nation. What lessons should we carry forward from our past, and what should remain in the annals of history? Recent studies indicate that a significant number of Americans yearn for the nostalgic vision of 1950s America. However, as author Zadie Smith astutely observes, “Time travel is a discretionary art: a pleasure trip for some and a horror story for others.” In an era marked by a growing divergence in perspectives on history and, indeed, on reality itself, how can artists act as catalysts in the process of recontextualizing and creating new understandings among the cultures of the past, present, and future?

While the Anderson will serve as the primary hub of the exhibition, off-site, online, and alternative venue projects are encouraged. In such cases, students may be called upon to assist in securing the locations and permissions required to carry out their project. And remember that, in addition to traditional gallery space, the Anderson has an array of exterior and non-traditional interior spaces that can be made available on a case by case basis.

You will be asked to provide the following…
– Up to 3 works. (see file size and format requirements on the Submission Form for details)
– A resume or CV.
– An artist statement, up to 250 words, that will help the juror appreciate the meaning(s), material techniques, concepts and/or context of your work.


9/8 – Submission period opens
9/20 – Submission period closes
10/20 – Selected artists notified
11/16 – Juror lecture, Juror awards announced, & Opening Reception of Exhibition
12/9 – Closing Day of Exhibition

While we expect that work will be dropped off in most cases, we understand that students studying remotely may need to ship their work for inclusion in the show. Shipping of works will be addressed on a case-by-case basis following the jurying process.

A number of scholarship awards including the Dean’s Award, Juror, and department-specific recognitions will be given out. A detailed list of awards will be made available in the coming weeks.

Questions can be directed to: Chase Westfall (cawestfall@vcu.edu) and Monica Kinsey (kinseym@vcu.edu). To ensure a prompt reply, please use the subject line “UJE Question!”

Kaitlin Garcia-Maestas is the Curator and Director of Exhibitions at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens, NY. Born and raised in New Mexico, her research and curatorial interests have primarily explored themes of decolonial resistance, displacement, and cultural heritage in the United States and the Americas. For over a decade, she has been devoted to the advocacy and realization of site-specific, architectural interventions by BIPOC and emerging artists. Previously, Garcia-Maestas was Acting Curator of Visual Arts at the Momentary, the contemporary satellite space of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, AR. While at the Momentary she oversaw the artist-in-residency program and organized over a dozen exhibitions and outdoor installations, including site-specific projects by Martine Gutierrez, Matthew Barney, Nicholas Galanin, Xaviera Simmons, and Rashawn Griffin. Notable exhibitions include Diana Al-Hadid: Ash in the Trade Winds, In Some Form or Fashion, A Divided Landscape, Yvette Mayorga: What a Time to Be, and Mary Mattingly: Ebb of a Spring Tide. Prior to the Momentary, she held curatorial positions at the Denver Art Museum, the Biennial of the Americas, and MCA Denver.

Formerly known as the Anderson Gallery, the Anderson reopened its doors in 2017 as VCUarts’s student-centric exhibition facility. Focusing on creative engagement and discovery, the Anderson is a laboratory where students can experiment with conceptual and practical strategies of art making and display.