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open call submission information

This is not a gallery.


In 1929, Rene Magritte’s painting The Treachery of Images depicted a pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” [“This is not a pipe”] scripted underneath. The painting, as Magritte described, represented a pipe but was, in fact, not a pipe.

What becomes of an art gallery when it is physically empty? Initially conceived as an exhibition slated for July 2020, This is not a gallery. is perhaps now more pertinent than ever, given these times of physical quarantine and the closure of public spaces.

ace/121 Gallery opened in May 2017 as an extension of the ACE/121 housing development, initially proposed by the city of Glendale to expand affordable housing to artists. As an ongoing project of Meta Housing and EngAGE, the gallery has expanded beyond exclusively showcasing resident artwork to host guest curators and include public programs, producing events and activities that have developed the scope and reach of what a public art space can be in Glendale.

This is not a gallery. seeks to question, challenge and expand notions of public space, art and otherwise. Beyond physical ownership, to whom does a public space belong?

With the rollout of This is not a gallery., we are interested in addressing questions such as:

  • Who gains access to public space – and access to what?

  • In these times of physical distancing, how can we experience art collectively through our singular experiences of it?

  • How can a physical space become virtual – and how can that virtuality expand its accessibility?

  • How can the release from the confines of a physical space make way for an expanded notion of curation, display, “public,” education and sharing?

  • Which platforms – and which sensations – are highlighted, and which fall away?


…and others we will continue to discover.


This is not a gallery. follows three tracks of curation: 1) Verbal Description Tours; 2) Education and Public Programming; 3) Online Exhibitions. There is a current open call for each track (see below).


A note about submission deadlines: Submissions are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis; due to the recent extension in Los Angeles County regarding COVID, we will be assessing the duration of This is not a gallery. as we are updated on the re-opening of public spaces. The submission deadline for Post Pride remains the same, June 1.


1) Verbal Description Tours

              This manner of using non-visual language to describe artworks that exist in the visual realm was developed for the blind and visually-impaired. For This is not a gallery., ace/121 Gallery is bringing this method to our Instagram platform in order to activate accessibility to the experience of art through others’ eyes.


Open call: Describe a work of art (your own or one you have in your home), using as a guide. [Look at slides 4 and 11-31 specifically]

Descriptions will be played against a black background, followed by the image of the artwork.

This track of the exhibition is ongoing and will be made available on an ongoing basis.


2) Education and Public Programming: open call for lectures, panels, readings, performances, book clubs, workshops, screenings, and the like.

  • Non-object art-based proposals for alternative uses for a gallery

    • Temporary

    • Virtual, especially those thinking outside of the “Zoom” box

    • Responding to question/s posed by title: This is not a gallery.

    • Proposals that call into question spaces like galleries and museums and their function as our culture’s leading places to view art

    • Proposals that suggest alternate uses of an “art gallery”

    • Proposals by organizations that are community and/or artist-led

    • Community Organizing:

      • artist collectives / co-ops / community gatherings that rethink how and where to experience art

Note about submissions: While the deadline is rolling and the call open to a wide range of proposals, please keep the theme and lines of questioning in mind when submitting proposals. 


3) Online Exhibitions

The first exhibition in the This is not a gallery. series was held online (, titled Post Pride. Glendale’s first Gay Pride event, to be held May 30th, 2020, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic*, as with Gay Pride events all around the world. Post Pride was originally conceived to follow Glendale’s celebration with an online exhibition and public programming. Despite the live event cancellation, Post Pride was on view (online) on June 19th through July 31st.

*update 5/12/20: Glendale Pride kept its May 30th/31st debut date with a cyber celebration and online campaign. The organizers of the namesake pride festival kicked off the 2020 pride season with a comprehensive cyber celebration and online campaign, featuring the social media hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause

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