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In Translation Prospectus and Application

Glen Arbor Arts Center [GAAC] August 18 – October 26, 2023
Online application period: March 9 through July 13 at 11:59 pm EST

Visual artists have long translated the world around them. As translators, they’ve played many roles:

For Instance: In the late 19th Century, painters traveled west throughout the North American continent to depict the vast, breathtaking, natural world of what became the Western United States. Their awe-inspiring canvases stirred people. And that work laid the foundation for the conservation movement, and the National Parks system. These artists were trailblazers.

For Instance: During the Depression, the federal government created the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Art Project. It put unemployed visual and literary artists back to work, and — in so doing — validated the belief that the arts mattered in public and civic life. The artists of the Federal Arts Project depicted American life during the Depression, leaving us with some of the most indelible images of that time and people; while others left their mark with murals painted in public spaces. These artists were cultural recorders.

In Translation explores these questions:

  • Do you operate from the perspective that all things are connected? That visual art and life are continuous?
  • Or, from the belief that some things are separate? That art is for art’s sake?  Poet Archibald MacLeish thought this: “ ‘Artists do not save the world … They practice art. Or they put the art aside and take a rifle and go out and fight. But not as artists.’ ”  [p. 89, Ninth Street Women]
  • How do you view your role as a visual maker? As a translator of beauty? As an interpreter of the times? Or, as something else altogether?

What is the role of the artist, the visual maker, in the 21st century? Visionary? Commentator? Taker of dictation? Aesthete? How do you, through your work, translate the world? Show us.

Looking For

Visual art in 2D + 3D, made by the applicant between 2021 – present.

Open To

2D and 3D work including paper, clay, fiber, metal, wood, glass, drawing, painting, photography, furniture, mixed media, weaving, sculpture, stitchery, and more.

Size Restrictions

2D work should not exceed 48” in width or 65 in length.

3D work must be freestanding and easily moved, not to exceed 35 pounds, or 65″ in height. Because of companion programs planned in conjunction with the exhibition, 3D work will be occasionally and temporarily relocated in the gallery and in the GAAC.

Application Fee

Applicants may enter up to two [2] submissions for the juror’s consideration. $25 GAAC member, $35 nonmember. This is a nonrefundable fee.

Exhibition Calendar

  • Exhibition runs August 18 – October 26, 2023
  • Apply on-line: March 9 through July 13 at 11:59 pm EST
  • Notification of acceptance: Late July
  • Shipped work deadline: August 7 – 10, 2023
  • Drop-off: Friday, August 11, 9 am – 2 pm; Saturday, August 12, 9 am – NOON
  • Pick-up: Friday, October 27, 9 am – 2 pm; Saturday, October 28 9 am  — NOON
  • Reception: August 18, 5 – 7 pm


Nancy McRay holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Michigan with an emphasis on Fiber Art. She has worked as a studio artist and community arts organizer since 1994. While living in East Lansing McRay served on the East Lansing Arts Commission, the East Lansing Art Festival Board of Directors, the East Lansing Art selection committee and the Greater Lansing Arts Council. She served as on-site juror for awards presented at the East Lansing Art Festival. After moving to Williamsburg, Michigan, McRay continued her involvement with local arts on the Board of Directors of Art Rapids as the Education Committee Chair. She worked with Boyne County artist Shanna Robinson to curate a fiber show for the Jordan River Arts Council in October 2018. Robinson and McRay also curated another exhibit for JRAC in October 2020, called “Elemental” in which invited artists created work in response to our natural environment. Robinson and McRay continue to work together to curate fiber shows for Lansing Art Gallery and JRAC. An award winning fiber artist, McRay’s current works are with tapestry, rigid heddle weaving, and compound weave structures. She enjoys branching out to other media including print making and painting as a way to “cross train” and enlarge her skill set.


Four awards will be given: $500 Best of Show; and two, $150 Merit Awards, made possible by Amy L. Clark-Carels Family Fund, and Barbara and Victor Klein Fund; and the $150 Marjory Hughes Memorial Award for an Emerging Artist.


You may submit up to 2 works for the juror’s consideration

  • You are required to submit an image of the overall work. You also have the option of providing 1 additional, detail image per work submitted.
  • Please provide well-composed, focused images of your work. This is the work people will view online. Present your work as well as you possibly can.
  • Do not photograph 2D work behind glass. If framed, please do not include the 2D artwork’s frame in your exhibition image unless it is part of the composition vs. a finishing detail.

The In Translation exhibition will be installed in the GAAC gallery, and viewable as an on-line gallery on the GAAC website.


  • Work submitted must be one-of-a-kind, innovative, and original in design. Work derivative of other artists or work created in a workshop with the collaboration of an instructor is not accepted.
  • An entry may be comprised of multiple units [e.g. a diptych]; but may not exceed the maximum dimensions or weighs described below. If offered for sale, a single entry comprised of multiple units must be sold for one price. The individual units may not be sold separately.
  • Work submitted must have been completed in the last two years [made from 2021 – present].
  • Work must be gallery ready, when submitted. Paintings and other wall works should be finished or framed. Please use gallery wire. No saw tooth hanging hardware is allowed. NOTE: Unacceptable work includes wet paintings, work submitted on warped canvases, work that has evidence of pet hair, food stains or other marks/detritus that are not an intended part of the composition will not be allowed. Exhibitors will be asked to bring their accepted work up to gallery-ready standards before they are allowed to be part of the exhibit.
  • No work will be accepted after the dates and times for delivery listed on the prospectus.
    The artist’s contact email provided on the application must remain active during the submissions and exhibition process. The artist is responsible for checking their email for exhibition acceptance and/or decline, and other information regarding the exhibition.

Artist’s Statement | REQUIRED

In Translation applicants must submit a short [100 words max] statement that provides context for looking at the artwork. How does your work respond to, and answer the creative problem at the heart of this exhibit?


• The sale price written on the application is the FINAL price if the work is accepted in the exhibition. Exhibitors may not change sale price after the work is accepted for exhibition.
• The GAAC will retain a 40% commission on work sold during the exhibition. Artists receive 60% of the final selling price. Artists will receive payment following the close of the exhibition.


The GAAC staff and Exhibitions Committee reserve the right to the final selection of work to be shown in the exhibition. Accepted work may not be removed before the close of the exhibition.

For More Information

Contact Sarah Bearup-Neal, GAAC Gallery Manager: (231) 334-6112

Apply Here

The application period has ended.

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