LA&M calls for works exploring materiality and alternative sexualities

CHICAGO — The Leather Archives & Museum, GAG Gallery is currently accepting entries for its first group exhibition scheduled to open in July 2017 and run through December 2017. There is no set theme guiding the content or subject matter of exhibited works; however, as the title MATERIALKINK suggests, we are interested in artists that creatively engage materials within the context of alternative sexuality. The final shape and themes of MATERIALKINK will emerge from the selected works.

Leather. Rubber. Latex. Denim. Steel. Wax. Rope. Shoe Polish. Body Hair. Electrodes.  These are a sampling of the materials that structure and accompany the varied identities and practices that broadly comprise Leather sex, BDSM, kink, and fetishism. Almost always in direct relation to the body, these and many other materials are hyper-charged surfaces, objects, and substances invested with erotic significance and value, accumulations of personal history, fantasies, attachments, affects, and desires. These materialities are often modified, manipulated, and re/combined in response to shifting needs, ways of playing, or to expand and intensify their sensorial potentialities. The materiality of kinky sex matters a great deal.

The Leather Archives & Museum, GAG Gallery is particularly interested in reviewing the submission of artworks produced within the last three years that: demonstrate creative uses of materials in relation to alternative sexality; are inspired by the varied materialities of Leather/BDSM/Kink/Fetishism themselves; explore kink-identified approaches to art-making materials; creatively incorporate, process, or transform kinky materials in ways that ask questions or generate provocative dialogues between art making and the crafting of radical and deviant sexualities.



MATERIALKINK is open to artists at any stage in their careers 18 years of age or older. Eligible entries must represent original works produced within the last three years which address or are informed by an interest in the practices, histories, and cultures of leather/bdsm/kink/fetish as well as an aesthetic or conceptual engagement with materials and materiality. All submissions will be carefully considered. Artists across and beyond the gender spectrum, trans artists, and artists of color are strongly encouraged to submit work for consideration.


Open to traditional and non-traditional works that engage the themes of the exhibition in the following mediums: painting/drawing, photography, sculpture, performance documentation/ ephemera, multiples, fiber and craft-based objects, mixed media, and video. Small-scale installation proposals will also be considered.



Your entry for MATERIALKINK will consist of 2 parts:

1) Complete the online Entry Form


2) Email 3-5 jpg images to:

Subject line: MATERIALKINK ENTRY: Last name and First name

**Time-based works require the submission of a representative image (video still) in jpg format. A link to the work should be submitted as part of the supplementary materials (instructions below).


The LA&M only accepts digital images for consideration. See specifications below. The LA&M will retain the submitted images of accepted artwork and reserves the right to use the images for exhibition publicity across social media platforms. Beyond promotional use, the artist retains full copyright of exhibited work. Submission CD’s or drives will not be accepted or returned.

Entry images MUST meet the following specifications:


All entry files (regardless of type or media) must be named as follows: last name_first name_entry number_entry number.jpg (i.e. Martinez_Sara_1.jpg). Please DO NOT include any other information in the file name, such as title, etc.

Detail, installation, or alternative view images MUST include the word “detail” in the file name as follows: last name_first name_entry number_detail number.jpg (i.e. Martinez_Sara_detail1.jpg)

Detail images should only be included if they are essential for understanding the nature or quality of the work. Information for detail images should NOT be included on the entry form. The image files should be in HIGH QUALITY JPEG format and no smaller than 1000 pixels in any direction and be exactly 72dpi.

Please do NOT submit links to jpeg files (i.e. Google Drive). Attach images directly to one or more emails. Multiple emails with separate entries, if required, should include a number in the subject line (1 of 3, 2 of 3, 3 of 3, etc.)

Images must be oriented properly (i.e. top of image is top of artwork) and should not include text info or borders that are not part of the works themselves. When emailing images it is preferred that you do not include messages in the body of the email, nor attach anything other than the entry form/supplementary materials and entry images to the email.

If you wish to comment or ask a question, please send a follow up email without attachments. Any communications should reference the exhibit title in the subject of the email.

SUBMITTING TIME-BASED ENTRIES (video, animation, performance, etc.)

All time-based entries must be submitted in the form of a link to a viewable online copy of each work AND a single representative jpeg image. It is understood that online versions of video files may be lower quality than those expected for exhibition.

Note that a jpeg still image should be submitted to represent the entry in addition to the video material, and the filename should include the term ‘video’. Please email us if you have any uncertainties about this (email:

Video links should be provided in the IMAGE LIST section of the online ENTRY FORM, and should link directly to online or downloadable content that does NOT require login, password or membership to view. These may be in the form of Youtube, Vimeo, or similar links. Effort should be made to eliminate confusion or extraneous information that may interfere with the viewing of the work.

Links to video entries must remain valid and active through the notification of jury results.


Submitting the Entry Form indicates that you agree with the conditions of entry and exhibit as outlined in this open call, that you are eligible to participate, that you are reserving spots in our jury, and that you agree to make your work available and will ship/deliver it to the Leather Archives & Museum GAG Gallery by the delivery deadline should it be selected for exhibit.

DO NOT submit an entry if you cannot follow through. Do not double-book your work, commit it to other conflicting exhibitions, or sell it without securing its availability for our exhibit, after submitting to this exhibition.


All work accepted for the exhibition must arrive ready to install no later than 5PM CT on Thursday, June 1, 2017. Works not gallery-ready, or not exhibiting good craftsmanship, may be omitted from the show. Accepted work that differs significantly from the entry images or suffers from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Please note that professional-level presentation and craftsmanship is REQUIRED.

Work may be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped works must be sent in an easily reusable container/packaging with return shipping prepaid. Works will be returned in the same manner as delivered or via UPS/USPS. All work must arrive at the Leather Archives & Museum by the specified date (see TIMELINE below). Accepted work will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Works not claimed within 30 days of the end of the exhibition will become the property of the Leather Archives & Museum. The artists are responsible for all shipping costs to and from the gallery.


Works will not be insured while on gallery premises. Exhibiting artists assume all responsibility for the safety of their individual work and will not hold the LA&M liable for the following: theft of artwork, damage caused during shipping do to any reason, including mishandling by carrier or failure of packaging to protect works in transit. In addition, exhibiting artists assume all responsibility for damage caused to the work by the failure of the work itself, its mounting systems installed or provided by the artist, disintegration/degradation due to the nature/quality of materials or craftsmanship, or incidental damage to works whose artist-directed presentation methods put them at risk.


Artworks are not required to be for sale in order to participate in the exhibition. It is required that works are indicated as either “for sale” or not for sale (NFS) on the submitted Entry Form. The Leather Archives & Museum, GAG Gallery will retain a commission of 30% of the sale price on all artwork sold during the exhibition. Artists set the sale price on the entry form, and in doing so should account for all logistical costs, framing, etc. related to making the work exhibit-ready. Sale price and status cannot be changed after the deadline to submit.



  • DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSIONS: March 29, 2017, 11:59PM (Central Time)
  • NOTIFICATION of selected works begins: April 13, 2017
  • DELIVERY DEADLINE for artwork: June 1, 2017
  • Opening Reception: June 30, 2017
  • Exhibition closes: January 14, 2018
  • Artwork available for pick-up: January 15 – 22, 2018
  • Artwork shipped to artists beginning: January 15, 2018

Leather Archives & Museum