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17th Annual No Dead Artists - Call to Artists

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is pleased to announce the 17th Annual No Dead Artists National Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Art. The exhibition will take place September 3rd–28th, 2013 with an open call for artists’ submissions from January 20th–June 15th.

The exhibition was created in 1995 to give a voice to emerging artists. Now in its 17th year, No Dead Artists has become an exhibition that has time and again discovered new and emerging talent and is one of the most celebrated art exhibitions in the South.

The exhibition's name is derived from the old adage that artists never achieve success until they are dead. No Dead Artists turns that notion on its head and gives emerging artists their first break in the art world. In the 90s, the exhibition was open only to New Orleans artists and subsequently grew to include artists of Louisiana. In 2010, the exhibition expanded to become a national juried exhibition open to artists from the entire United States.

Each year, hundreds of artists submit thousands of works with the hope of being in the select few to exhibit at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery each September. The exhibition is reviewed annually by D. Eric Bookhardt (Artpapers and Gambit Weekly). The opening reception marks the beginning of the arts season in New Orleans and is attended by thousands of art enthusiasts.

This year, one jury-winning artist will be awarded a solo exhibition at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in 2013 as the grand prize.

No Dead Artists is open to living artists working in the United States. All mediums are accepted including, but not limited to painting, sculpture, design, glass, metalwork, photography, video, mixed media and installation art.

Now in its 17th edition, the exhibition has been a springboard for numerous artists leading to national press coverage, recognition, gallery representation and acquisitions by museums and other prominent collections. Each year gallery owner Jonathan Ferrara invites a panel of renowned arts professionals and collectors to select the newest creative talents. Past jurors have included Prospect.1 founder and curator Dan Cameron, museum director Billie Milam Weisman, collector and philanthropist Beth Rudin DeWoody, MacArthur Fellow John Scott, Whitney Trustee and Ballroom Marfa co-founder Fairfax Dorn, NOMA director Susan Taylor, artist Tony Fitzpatrick, director of the Andy Warhol Museum Eric Shiner, director of the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas and founder and artistic director of the VOLTA Fair Amanda Coulson.

For the 17th edition, three renowned arts professionals have been tapped for the No Dead Artists jury:
Lawrence Benenson is an art collector who serves on the board of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In the Benenson family tradition of civic involvement, he is an active participant in several charitable and educational institutions. Benenson is also a board member of the American Folk Art Museum, Museum for African Art, Cooper Union, ART/OMI International Arts Center, the Center for Arts in Education. He curated Vote for Me and I'll Set you Free last fall at Art/Omi and helped save the American Folk Art Museum. He was a sponsor of Century of the Child at MoMA and is a sponsor of Huma Bhabha at PS1 MoMA. He is a partner at Benenson Capital Partners, member of the Real Estate Board of New York, and vice president of the Realty Foundation of New York.

Megan Koza Young is the director of the Dishman Art Museum at Lamar University while also holding the position of assistant professor of art. Young also has served as curatorial assistant in European and American Painting, Sculpture, and Decorative Arts at the Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS. She worked on several major exhibitions including: Mary Sibande and Sophie Ntombikayise Take Central Court (2012), Matthew Neil Gehring: Brilliant Corners (2013) and Modern and Surreal Impulses: National Contemporary Printmakers (2012/2013). She has both a master’s degree in art history and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography and graphic design from the University of Alabama and she will receive her PhD from the University of Kansas this spring. Her dissertation: “After the Deluge: Contemporary Artists Engage Katrina,” examines instances of contemporary art that investigates the ramifications of this catastrophic event in various ways. Megan is particularly interested in the way visual interpretations of trauma can create or recreate collective or cultural identity in the wake of catastrophe.

Jordana Zeldin is director and curator at ArtBridge, the Chelsea-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing unprecedented exposure opportunities for the work of local emerging artists. In June of 2011, she spearheaded the transformation of the broom closet next to her office into the ArtBridge Drawing Room, a jewel-box gallery that has played host to six exhibitions including MsBehavior, a three-woman painting exhibition named a Top NYC Show by Saatchi Online Magazine and reviewed by Hyperallergic and Hi/Lo, a multi-level interactive light installation that transformed the gallery into what ArtInfo called a "topsy turvy—yet strangely tranquil—immersive environment. In Summer of 2012, her two-person exhibition, All The Boys and Girls, was selected by Amani Olu for inclusion in Young Curators, New Ideas IV at Meuelensteen in Chelsea. Her exhibitions have been featured online in the New York Observer, the Huffington Post, Whitewall Magazine and NY Arts Magazine, among other publications.

New Orleans has become a destination for contemporary visual arts and is considered one of the hotbeds of creative talent in the US. With exhibitions like Prospect Biennial, the national and international focus on New Orleans and its arts scene has increased dramatically from both a critical and collector perspective. With its rich cultural heritage and its unique indigenous creativity, the city and its arts scene are poised for continued success.

Jonathan Ferrara Gallery is a collective environment of creative visions and a commercial gallery with a public conscience. Artist, activist, and entrepreneur Jonathan Ferrara opened the gallery in 1998 to give emerging artists a voice. Since its inception, the gallery has focused on cutting edge works by local, national and international artists with a sense of purpose, mission, and message. In recent years, it has gained a national reputation and increasingly presents artists and exhibitions in cities across the US and in Europe including the Pulse Fair in Miami, the VOLTA Fair in New York City and Basel, Switzerland as well as working with museums and institutions.

Important Dates

  • Open National Call For Artists - February 1st–June 15th
  • Deadline for Submission - June 15th
  • Jury Submits Results, Winners Notified - July 15th
  • Exhibition on display at Jonathan Ferrara Gallery - September 3rd–28th
  • Annual No Dead Artists Opening - September 7th–17th
  • Solo Exhibition Winner Announced - September 28th

To apply, log on to and select the NDA 2013 banner at the bottom of the page. If you do not already have one, create an entrythingy® account and begin uploading your resume, artist’s statement and five images of your work which you would like to submit for the show. Good luck!