Gearbox Gallery invites you to express through your art your personal concept of hierarchy, a system that ranks people or things according to importance or power. (1) Social and racial hierarchies are systems of strat- ification based on the belief that some groups of people are superior to others based on a variety of attributes such as gender, identity, race, ethnicity, religion and social class. Movements such as Black Lives Matter and MeToo continue to draw attention to perceived racial and gender hierarchy, addressing systemic racism and gender discrimination. (2) Hierarchy may be applied to ecology and how the interaction of living things maintain a natural balance or how its imbalance may lead to the emergence of a pandemic and even global climate change. (3) Maslow’s hierarchy of needs addresses psychological needs. On a personal level we generally prioritize our daily actions, relationships and decisions in some type of order or sequence, and prioritize the value of a wide array of materials and commodities based on strength,rarity or perceived desirability. (4) As artists our work reflects our values and how we respond to societal and personal systems. The work also speaks to our personal hierarchy with regard to the materials and moves that we make to best express those values and feelings.
Juror Elena Gross (she/they) is the Curatorial Manager of Exhibitions and Emerging Artists Program at Museum of the African Diaspora and an independent writer and culture critic living in Oakland, CA. She received an MA in Visual & Critical Studies from the California College of the Arts in 2016, and her BA in Art History and Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2012. She specializes in representations of identity in fine art, photography, and popular media. Elena was formerly the creator and co-host of the arts & visual culture podcast what are you looking at? published by Art Practical. Her research has been centered around conceptual and material abstractions of the body in the work of Black modern and contemporary artists. She has presented her writing and research at institutions and conferences across the U.S., including Nook Gallery, Southern Exposure, KADIST, Harvard College, YBCA, California College of the Arts, and the GLBT History Museum. In 2018, she collaborated with the artist Leila Weefur on the publication Between Beauty & Horror (Sming Sming Books). The two performed a live adaptation of their work at The Lab, San Francisco. Her most recent writing can be found in the publication This Is Not A Gun (Sming Sming Books/Candor Arts) and OutWrite: The Conferences that Shaped LGBTQ Literary Culture, forthcoming from Rutgers University Press, co-edited with Julie R. Enszer.
Open to artists in Northern California. Please note, accepted artwork must be hand delivered to Gearbox Gallery in Oakland. Awards include future exhibition opportunities.