Get with the Downtown Saline art scene! Learn about The 109 Cultural Exchange here.
When I first arrived in Saline to take the helm as executive director at Saline Main Street, I thought how great it would be to have a mixed media arts space in the heart of downtown — something similar to Amazing Things Arts Center (ATAC) in my hometown of Framingham, Mass. I saw how instrumental ATAC was in attracting visitors and patrons to its small business neighbors, and believed that an arts and culture community space like that would benefit the small businesses in Downtown Saline.
That arts space vision included a gallery — open to artists not just in Saline, but in nearby communities as well.
In 2019 as we were working to open The 109 Cultural Exchange, I spoke with artist John Anderson about the prospect of a Call for Entry. At the time, John was the vice chair of the City of Saline’s Art and Culture Committee and a driving force behind efforts to promote and preserve the Bixby Marionettes. His family moved to Saline in 2015 after living in Washington DC, where he was an art professor, art critic, and curator.
As an artist, Anderson’s work addresses a variety of social issues. He also creates contemporary, funky-shaped paintings. This is the kind of work I envision at The 109 — an arts and culture space where people are inspired to engage with dialog and also find work that’s unexpected. I invited John to be the juror and to exhibit his work at The 109 in the beginning of 2020. Initially, we thought to launch a call for art sometime last summer. Then Covid hit and put everything on pause.
So happy to say that the wait is over!
Seven (7) month-long exhibitions have been worked into our 2022 Schedule, which includes exhibitions by Salt Valley Arts, culture fusion nights, live music and a Neil Simon play, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers performed by Mind the Gap Theatre.
Residents and college students throughout Washtenaw County are eligible to submit work. (Psst… artists in Milan, Clinton, and Whitmore Lake — you can submit to the open call, too.) The call isn’t limited to subject matter or medium, just dimensions. Because The 109 is a mixed use space, and because we rely on the assistance of volunteers, the work needs to hang on the wall.
Download the call for entry here. The deadline to submit work is October 22, 2021. All application materials can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m really excited to see what winds up on our walls in 2022! Thank you for your support and creativity — and hope to see you soon.