William Blake – John Bunyan – The Man Sweeping the Interpreter’s Parlor, engraving Date: 1794 (refurbished c. 1822, 1824)

The romantic trope of the melancholic, or even crazy, artist distorts the very real tensions the artist experiences when engaging in content at the intersection of the cultural and personal, that zone where the artist lives and thrives. While making art, an artist may be dealing with anxiety, disappointments, insecurity, fear and/or desire, and sometimes a touch of joy and ecstasy. Artists possess the tools to explore what is below the shallow surface of normalcy and this may appear disturbing to those who shy away from having their sensitive nerves pressed.

Art is too often seen as a retreat from the complexities of the world, but it not just a relief from our troubles, or from the global problems, but more a way of taking them on. Art can engage with the darker side of our psyches and the darkness in our culture. We use the word “play” in the context of art but play in this context is very serious, like Hamlet, where everybody is dead at the end. 

Hieronymus Bosch, Death and the Miser (detail) 1485-1490

We choose subject matter we are drawn to for reasons we don’t always understand, and such choices are critical to our exploration of who we are. For the winter issue, we invite artists to participate in an exploration of art as psychic content made visible; an expression of both individual psyche but also the psyche, or soul, of the culture. Does art exorcise our demons or does it just exercise them and take them out for a walk in the sunlight?

We invite UMVA members to submit up to 4 images. Also Include an image list and statement or essay in Word doc. format. Image credit list format:  Artist’s Name,  “Title of Work”, medium, size, date (optional), photo credit (if not included we assume it is courtesy of the artist).*

Images should be approximately 1000 pixels on short side with total resolution between 500KB to 1.2MB. Image file names must include the artist’s name and the number corresponding to the image list. Put “InnerVisions” in the subject line and submit to <> by December 1st deadline. MAJ will limit the “Members Submit” section to UMVA members who have not been published in the past year.

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

Maine artists and arts community members can become members of the Union of Maine Visual Artists by clicking here <> . Membership helps support the UMVA’s advocacy and helps make this Maine Arts Journal: UMVA Quarterly possible. For a free subscription to the MAJ click here <> .This means that a link to this Journal will be mailed to your inbox.

*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, we leave the question of photo credit to the discretion of the submitter when there is no required photo credit (photo by self, image ownership freely given, copyright with contract, copyright expired, work for hire, etc). This is particular to our article genre we have dubbed “visual essays”  In light of our policy and requests, 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

Jeffrey Ackerman, Daniel Kany, Natasha Mayers, Jessica McCarthy, Nora Tryon, Kathy Weinberg