invite Narcissus by Caravaggio 1597–1599 Galleria Nazionale dArte Antica 21836123485 copy
Caravaggio, Narcissus, 1597–1599, Galleria Nazionale dArte Antica.

Invitation and Theme – Winter 2022: Interview/Innerview 2022

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theme and invitation anonymous prison industrial state image copy

Anonymous, Prison Industrial State.

The Maine Arts Journal‘s “Invitation to Submit” is usually limited to UMVA members and shown in the Members’ Showcase. Given the collective imagining that this project calls for, we are opening the submissions to all artists, with the belief that artistic vision is a powerful force for the common good. The MAJ looks forward to including your diverse approaches to the theme. The submission guidelines are at the end.

We’ve been having a lively discussion among the Journal editors and would like to share some of the questions we raised on the way and where we ended up.

      • Do we want to show work that might be about cultural/psychological/emotional captivity, about paralysis, or about being mired in cliches, captive of others’ expectations?
      • Is the theme about the freedom of making choices and decisions in one’s art—and also of artistic self-awareness and the freedom to decide who you want to be?
      • Is it about innovation and “breaking free” from habits or from what you were taught?
      • Is it about liberating oneself, or others? Is the primary focus self, or is it others?

The personal struggles that artists confront about choice and freedom might find their way into the work, but we think that at the core of the project is a call to re-imagine societal structures and attitudes. “Collectivity, mutuality:” these reach out to artistic collaboration and the opening of the heart and imagination to one another. Rather than strengthening the individual ego, they seem to call for going beyond, to remove the barriers between self and other. What makes this project different from other themes we have addressed in the Maine Arts Journal, is that sense of a society being re-envisioned and the call for artists to help make that process visual for themselves, naturally, but perhaps, mostly, as a community service. How artists envision freedom in their art, and visually express the concepts or feelings of release from oppression, might suggest a vision of an abolitionist future.

Share your work with us for the Fall issue of the Maine Arts Journal and let us know how you express the theme.

Journal Submission guidelines for UMVA Members’ Showcase

Deadline: 1 December 2021.

    • We invite MAJ member artists (to become a member: click here) to submit up to 4 JPEG or png images (NO TIFF files), approximately 2800 pixels on width, resolution 72dpi.
    • Include an image list and statement or brief essay (600 words or less) in Word doc. format, NOT a PDF.
    • Label each image file as follows: your last name_Number of Image_Title (with no spaces in the title). Please DO NOT put whole caption/credit in image file label, see image list/caption format below (if you are submitting for a group put your own last name in first).
    • Label your document file names: Last Name_Title
    • Image list/caption format: create a list that is numbered to match the number in your image file label that includes the following: Artist’s Name, Title of Work, medium, size (example: 9 x 12 in.), date (optional), photo credit (example: photo: Ansel Adams) if not included we assume it is courtesy of the artist. Example: Unknown Artist, Untitled, oil on canvas, 9 x 12 in., 2000 (photo: Ansel Adams).
    • Please wait until all of your material is compiled to submit.

Put “Interview/Innerviewin the subject line and submit by email to by the 1 December deadline. MAJ will limit the “Members’ Showcase” section to UMVA members who have not been published in the past year.

We are no longer able to accommodate artists’ pre-formatted visual essays. Our editors will lay-out text and images submitted using the new guidelines above.

It is the MAJ’s policy to request and then publish image credits. We will not publish images the submitter does not have the right to publish. However, it is to be assumed that any uncredited or unlabeled images are the author’s/submitter’s own images. By submitting to the MAJ, you are acknowledging respect for these policies.

Thank you,

MAJ Editorial Board

Natasha Mayers, Nora Tryon, Véronique Plesch, and Betsy Sholl (poetry editor)