Call for Entries: IN MY BACKYARD Juried Show

Gearbox Gallery invites submissions to our 2022 Juried Exhibition, In My Backyard.

Entry Deadline: 6/15/22

In My Backyard refers to the area where you live, where you are, your domain, or a location very close to you. It could be as literal as the view out your window, or it could be an expression of your emotional state. As your backyard is an extension of your physical home so this backyard could be an extension of your spiritual self. In My Backyard can also refer to a situation that you are directly involved in, next to, near and not far away from, or responsible for. It could be something occurring closer to you than you had hoped, assumed, or thought. Things may happen there that we are unaware of or that need to be cleaned up. “There is nothing quite delightfully mysterious as a secret in your own backyard.” -Fantasy writer, Patrick Rothfuss In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy always wanted to go over the rainbow only to discover that there is no place like home. “If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” -Noel Langley

Whether it be a place, an event, or a mental state, submit artwork that reflects your interpretation of what is ”In my backyard”? 


Joyce Gordon, owner of Joyce Gordon Gallery in Oakland, California, has long been hailed as the heart of Oakland’s vibrant arts community, owning one of the longest-running fine art galleries in the city and one of the original members of Oakland’s thriving Art Murmur gallery walks. For the past 20 years, her gallery exhibits national and international artists in a diverse range of styles and mediums and is known to be a primary venue for African and African American Artists. Joyce Gordon’s artistic efforts have gifted Oakland not only with a consistently excellent downtown Oakland gallery but also with a cultural center hosting poetry and musical events. In addition, Ms. Gordon also has created the Joyce Gordon Foundation of the Arts sponsoring vendor events that work with underserved youth. For her, art, and being around creative people, comes naturally. “I really believe that art provokes conversation, brings people together to help understand different cultures, and opens narrow minds.”

Eric Murphy is currently the Gallery Curator of Joyce Gordon Gallery and has worked with the gallery as a curator and art installer since 2012. He is also a photographer, graphic design artist, independent curator, and art collector and has been supporting the Oakland arts since 1999. He was a long-time former staff of Pro Arts Gallery in Oakland for over 10 years and represented bay area artists during that time. He has supported bay area galleries such as Slate Contemporary, Firehouse Art Center & Harrington Gallery, Evolve the Gallery. Murphy is also a curatorial Advisor for Tea Roots organization and current member of the Oakland Public Art Advisory Committee (PAAC). He also successfully completed two terms (2012 – 2018) as a re-appointed member of the Alameda County Arts Commission and currently sits on its board.

ELIGIBILITY: Open to Northern California artists over the age of 18 in all media. BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ artists are encouraged to apply. Please note, artwork must be hand delivered to GearBox Gallery in Oakland, CA if accepted for exhibition.

AWARDS: Two prestigious awards will be given to two separate artists.

  1. Juror’s Award: One artist will be given the opportunity to be featured as a guest artist in a two-person exhibition at GearBox Gallery in the following year. 
  2. GearBox Gallery Award: Another artist will be given the opportunity to exhibit in the Inner Room at GearBox Gallery in the following year. The Inner Room is an intimate exhibition space within the gallery.

ACCEPTED ENTRIES: Entries must be of work original to the submitting artist. Entries may be of any media and created between 2018 and 2022. There are no size limitations for entries however works must be able to be delivered through a standard size doorway. All entries must include title, medium, year and specific dimensions. You may submit a statement about the work as it relates to the exhibit theme. Work differing substantially from the submitted image(s) may be rejected for exhibition. The juror will make the final determination if accepted work will be included in the exhibition. GearBox Gallery, LLC reserves the right not to accept exceptionally large, heavy, unstable, or cumbersome pieces. Work must be framed (when applicable) and ready to hang (wire, d-rings, or cleat). Artist must provide means of display for audio or video works.

Submit your entry online at CAFE for artists using the button below