Dream House: Dwelling in Fantasy / Calls & Submissions

September 20, 2023

Organization Name: Mindport Exhibits

Organization Location: Bellingham, WA

Type: Calls & Submissions

Fee: Free


Call for Proposals of creative works on the theme of housing insecurity
Installation & events beginning January 2024

Dream House is a multi-genre exhibit that talks about the housing crisis in our region. Permanent, secure and affordable housing is out of reach for many. As real estate and rent increases outpace wage growth, many find themselves in precarious living situations. People are faced with incredibly difficult decisions as they struggle to prioritize housing alongside other basic needs. Our landscape continues to be developed with buildings, and yet we have many who cannot reliably sleep or live in an indoor space. The archetype of home and belonging has become an unattainable fantasy, as people struggle to become or remain rooted in their communities.
The contemporary reality of severe weather pattern changes further exacerbates inequities. Flooding, erosion and drought continue to disproportionately affect the already marginalized: migrants/day laborers, service/hospitality workers, senior citizens, low-income people and those struggling with mental illness. Visible homelessness is rapidly increasing, indicating a corresponding rise in the number of non-visibly unhoused people. The heavy imbalance between housing supply and demand creates an environment rife with the potential for exploitative and predatory practices to people who don’t own property.
This exhibit asks each of us to consider our own relationship to shelter and security. What happens to the human psyche when the material realities of modern living deny people the chance to become established in a physical place? What role does the history of colonialism and displacement play in this crisis? Who builds our houses, and can those laborers find dwellings? What toll is taken when daily living activities can’t be conducted with the dignity of a private interior space? What can the securely housed in our community do to advocate for those who are going without basic human needs? Who has the right to live in comfort and safety, and who doesn’t? It also provides a place to talk about the many intersectional factors that play a role in determining who can have shelter: Gender, Labor, Citizenship, Safety, Identity, Health, Family, Climate Change and Generational Wealth.

Selection Criteria
Works selected for this exhibit will:
Be original works in visual, writing or performative arts
Center the voices/experiences of individuals impacted by the housing crisis
Align with issues of home/house/belonging/ownership
Connect in some way to the idea that security can be an unattainable fantasy
Potentially address multiple, intersectional facets of housing insecurity
Be appropriate for showing in an interactive, family-friendly space

Proposals for visual, written, interactive, performative, temporary and or site/specific works are welcomed. Already existing works as well as proposals for new pieces will be considered. Complimentary site visits to Mindport can be arranged for artists interested in drafting a proposal. To learn more about the parameters and possibilities for installation works at Mindport, please email margot@mindport.org
Because Mindport is situated in the Pacific Northwest, priority will be given to works that address the housing crises in our region. However, work that takes a more general form or that speaks to how the crisis is affecting other regions will also potentially be a good fit for Dream House.

Application Materials:
1. Statement demonstrating a creative connection to the theme (500-word limit)
2. Bio that begins with a single-sentence explanation of the applicant’s own current housing situation. (200-word limit)
3. Curriculum Vitae (2-page limit)

Additional Materials depending on your category:

VISUAL WORKS: For applications to show existing visual works, up to 5 images & Image ID list that indicate title, dimensions, media, year completed and any special installation requirements.
For applications for site specific pieces, submit a document that describes the visual appearance, materials and installation requirements of the proposed work alongside images of previously completed projects in a similar scope, and/or drawings that indicate the planned appearance of the work.

PERFORMANCE: such as poetry readings, panel discussions, or musical performances, submit a proposal outlining the topic, time & space requirements for the event.

WRITTEN WORKS: submit the manuscript or a selective sample, if the work is a larger piece, such as a book.

Combine all relevant application materials into a single PDF and email it to margot@mindport.org with “Dream House Submission” as your subject line. Deadline for submission is September 20, 2023. There is no submission fee.
Final selection decisions will be made by the Mindport team. Decisions will be made based on the relevance of the work and the total number of applications.

For more information about our venue, please visit our website opportunities page.


Opportunity Website

BellinghamCalls & SubmissionsFree To ApplyRFP