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 Open Call for Artworks 

Submissions are now closed.

Submissions are officially open for the highly anticipated Playing the Race Card exhibition at Hastings Museums and Art Gallery. Running from 3 May - 25 August 2024,


This ground-breaking exhibition will be accompanied by a vibrant programme of talks, performances and workshops across Hastings, celebrating Black culture, resilience, resistance and happiness.


Artists are invited to respond to the theme of 'Black Joy'. As a society, we’re facing overwhelming challenges, and the things that bring us joy / offer a brief respite should not be diminished. In an age where Blackness is still under attack, the idea of Black joy is an act of radical (self-)care and an integral part of the ongoing civil rights movement.



This opportunity is open to professional artists and enthusiasts who identify as Black. The term "Black" encompasses people of African descent, including the global diaspora. We also welcome applicants with mixed ethnic backgrounds who have African ancestry. Applicants must be over 18 and based in the South East of England* (Buckinghamshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Kent, Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex).

*South East of England as defined by the Office for National Statistics


We are interested in presenting a range of artistic mediums including; painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, digital art, installation, collage, film & video, mixed media, fibre art, graffiti. Artworks can be new or existing works providing they fit the context.



All participating artists will have the option to list their artwork for sale during the exhibition and will receive 60% of the sales figure. Artists are expected to cover the transportation costs associated with their works to and from the exhibition. In the event that your artwork is sold, Playing the Race Card will take care of the postage duties. There are no fees to submit work.


All applications must be submitted online via this application form. The deadline for submissions is 29 September 2023.



These curatorial themes aim to celebrate the positive aspects of Black culture, resilience, and happiness, and to counteract the narratives that often focus on trauma and oppression. Applicants are welcome to consider the following themes which include: 


  • Cultural Celebrations and Festivals: Exploring the significance and impact of cultural celebrations and festivals in the Black community, such as Carnival, Kwanzaa, and Juneteenth, which promote black joy, identity, and community cohesion.

  • Healing and Well-being Practices: Investigating healing practices, self-care, and community support networks within the Black community that contribute to Black joy and promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

  • Intersectionality and Black Joy: Exploring how intersectionality influences the experience and expression of Black joy by considering how various social categories like race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect and impact the lives of individuals or groups.

  • Community Building and Activism: Investigating the role of grassroots organisations, social movements, and community initiatives in cultivating Black joy by dismantling systemic oppression, advocating for justice, and creating spaces that celebrate Black joy and resilience.

  • Intergenerational Connections: Examining the importance of intergenerational connections and the transmission of traditions and cultural knowledge in cultivating Black joy, fostering a sense of joy, belonging, and identity among younger generations.


All applications must be submitted online via this application form. The deadline for submissions is 29 September 2023.

The selection panel will include Dorcas Magbadelo, Euan Roberts and Lorna Hamilton-Brown

When submitting your application, images/files representing your artwork must be sent to us as a hi-res JPEG or MP4 file. Moving image submissions should not exceed 10MB, if the work is larger than this, please share a link to the work from a relevant hosting site (YouTube, Vimeo). For advice on how to photograph artwork click here


You will be asked to provide a short text about your artwork and how it relates to the term BLACK JOY, and a short bio about you and your work is also required. For accessibility, this can also be submitted as a short video.


Artists will be notified of the outcome of their submission - successful or otherwise - via email by the end of November 2023.


If you have any questions, please email: 



24 July 2023: Applications open 

29 September 2023: Applications deadline

9 - 16 October 2023: Selection panel review applications

10 November 2023: Exhibition works finalised and confirmed with selected artists

29 April - 2 May 2024: Exhibition install

3 May 2024: Exhibition opening / private view

25 August 2024: Exhibition closes

28 August 2024: Artwork collection 

  • Please note, artists can collect their works in-person or send a pre-booked courier



  • Display

    • All works must be ready for display.

    • 2D works must not exceed the height of 150 cm to fit within the gallery space.

    • Unframed work must include clear instructions for display with relevant fixings 

    • Framed work should be suitably framed with mirror plates.

    • 3D works and sculptures need to be easily portable and no more than 25kg.

    • All works will be hung/installed by the Hasting Museum team.


  • Drop-off and collection

    • Artworks that have been chosen for the Exhibition must be dropped-off and collected on the dates given. Artworks can be delivered in-person by the artists or sent by a courier. 

    • Playing the Race Card will not cover associated costs with transportation of works.

    • Artists are responsible for arranging their own ‘nail to nail’ insurance to cover damage or loss to their artwork while in transit. 

  • Sales

    • There is an option for any artworks included in the exhibition to be listed for sale. The maximum price of a single artwork must not exceed £10,000.

    • Payment for any artwork sold during the exhibition will be made to the artist at the end of the exhibition, minus 40% commission that will split between Hastings Museum and Playing the Race Card for facilitating the sale.


  • Promotion 

    • Images of selected works and related copy supplied as part of your application will be used for promotional purposes on Hastings Museum and Playing the Race Card’s social media, website, and print materials. Images may also be used for promotion purposes in press outlets and listing sites. Images of artworks will be fully credited where appropriate and will not be used for commercial purposes. 



For advice on how to document 2D artwork, click here

For advice on how to write about your artwork, click here

A cost effective way to get insurance that will cover the shipping of your work is to join a-n as an Artist member: click here.

Header Image: Anita by Dorcas Magbadelo

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