Thursday, November 06, 2008

DIwhy?: A Juried Exhibition

NEW DEADLINE: December 1, 2008

Deadline: November 14, 2008 at 5:00 PM (RECEIVE) & (Email)


A Juried exhibition presented by the Ontario Crafts Council and Toronto Craft Alert
February 5 – March 1, 2009

One of the fastest growing and contested sites of contemporary culture is the DIY movement. Broadly speaking, DIY is a socio-political stance enacted through the processes of creating. In reaction to multi-national corporations and modern industrial society's basis in mass-production, DIY stresses the importance of thinking globally and making locally. At the same time, each community practicing DIY has its own approach, and consuming less as a political statement is often found in tandem with aesthetic concerns.

DIY can be traced back to several historical moments: the Arts and Craft movement of the 1900's, the 1970's craft movement, and third-wave feminism alongside the 80's punk, zine and Riot Grrrl movements. However, despite these connections, pinning down exactly what DIY is, and what it looks like, remains a challenging task at best. There is no common definition for DIY, and as it becomes more mainstream, the act of distinguishing a particular mode of making according to "do it yourself", is an issue that continues to be raised.

Hosting a DIY exhibition in partnership between the OCC and Toronto Craft Alert is an attempt to bring so-called 'fine craft' into dialogue with DIY, and explore the ways in which they intersect and diverge. One response to the issue is that of Dennis Stevens, who states in his article, "Polar Polity: American Craft versus DIY Craft":

"DIY craft is about style, irony and sometimes a touch of kitsch. It's about wit and humor and it is about being in the know; but also, without question, it is about choice." (

So, in keeping with approaching the issue of DIY as a dialogue, we are asking that all applicants answer the following question in 150-300 words as part of their submission:

What does DIY mean to you?


  • One entry per person.
  • Submitted work must address the theme of DIwhy?, and include a 300 word response to the above question.
  • Works in all craft media are encouraged - entries can include unconventional craft mediums relevant to DIY culture such as buttons/pins.
  • Each entry must be of original design: the jurors will assess works based on originality of craftsmanship, and whether the entry addresses the theme in an interesting way.
  • All works must be available for the duration of the show.
  • Each work submitted for entry must have been created within two years prior to the date of submission.
  • A set of multiples (such as a sculptural group) will be considered as one entry.
  • Submissions must include a current cv, artist statement and/or biography.
  • Submissions must be accompanied by digital images (with a maximum of two images per work).
  • Submissions grant the OCC use of images of accepted works for promotional purposes, including web content and print material.
  • Late or incomplete entries will not be accepted.


  • Works that are for sale will be sold under our usual consignment arrangement: 60 per cent for the artist and 40 per cent for the gallery.
  • Works must be prepared for display.
  • The exhibitor will be responsible for insuring all work during shipping and delivery. The OCC will insure all items for theft and damage while on the Gallery premises.
  • Works accepted for display will be delivered or shipped to the OCC Gallery at the exhibitor's expense. At the conclusion of the exhibit all unsold works are to be picked up from the OCC. Entries will only be returned by mail or courier if the postage/courier fees have been provided by the artist(s).**Please allow at least two weeks after the conclusion of the exhibition for return of your work by mail or courier.

1) Jen Anisef
2) Michelle Rothstein
3) Allyson Mitchell


  • Entry forms must reach the Council offices no later than 5:00 p.m., Friday, November 14, 2008 (via mail or e-mail). Email applications must be submitted to
  • All applicants will be informed of the jury's decision by mail or email on Monday, December 1, 2008. Decisions of the jurors will not be given by telephone.
  • Successful applicants will be required to transport the selected work to the OCC Gallery, no later than Monday, February 2, 2009.
  • The exhibition will take place February 5 – March 1, 2009. The opening reception is on Thursday, February 5, 5:30 – 9:00 pm.


The fee is $10 to cover administrative costs. Applicants may submit one entry only. Fees are non-refundable.


  • Images must be saved as JPGs with a minimum width or height of 2625 pixels and a resolution of at least 300 dpi (dots per inch), submitted on a CD or emailed to
  • Up to two images of each submission can be presented for review.
  • All image file names will have the following format:
The first 3 letters of your first name followed by the first 3 letters of your last name, then a dash and the letter "p" (which indicates it is a print ready file) and finally the number of your image.
Example for John Smith:
johsmi-p01.jpg, and johsmi-p02.jpg

Entries can be delivered or mailed to:

Ontario Crafts Council
990 Queen St. West
Toronto ON
M6J 1H1

Or sent by email to: