Call for Artists: NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley Exhibition

The novel “Into the Beautiful North” by Luis Alberto Urrea is the 2018 book selection for NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley. As part of our programming, ArtReach will present two concurrent exhibitions in our Galleries. Two galleries will be filled with “An Ache for Home,” portraits of local immigrant communities by Twin Cities photographer Selma Fernández Richter.

ArtReach St. Croix is seeking artists for the second exhibition, “Bridges and Borders.”

“There are borders everywhere. The border is a metaphor for what separates us from each other,” says Urrea. He has also been quoted as saying, “I am more interested in bridges, not borders.”

What separates us? What brings us together? Is it natural, cultural, political?

All forms of creative work are encouraged. All media, subjects and styles are welcome including—but not limited to—painting, fibers, printmaking, sculpture, glass pottery, jewelry, mixed media and photography. All applications will be reviewed by the Visual Arts Committee of ArtReach St. Croix to ensure the appropriate mix of work for the exhibition.

Artists living and/or working in the St. Croix Valley and artists from immigrant communities are especially encouraged to submit applications. Artists can submit up to three pieces of work for consideration. 

Artists are encouraged to provide a brief statement on how their piece(s) reflect the theme “Bridges and Borders,” but it is not required. The exhibition will be on view March 31-May 12, 2018.

How to participate

If you would like to participate in “Bridges and Borders,” the 2018 NEA Big Read in the St. Croix Valley visual arts exhibition, please complete this submission form and return it by February 28.

All submissions must include the completed submission form, image of artwork (JPEG preferred) and $20 entry fee (fee waived for member artists of ArtReach St. Croix) If the entry fee represents a financial burden, please contact us at 651-439-1465.

Please email completed submissions to or mail to ArtReach St. Croix, Attn: Syndie Sorensen, 224 N. 4th Street, Stillwater, MN 55082

Artwork should be dropped off on Monday, March 26 at 10am-3pm at ArtReach St. Croix unless other arrangements are made in advance. The NEA Big Read Kick-off and Artist Reception will be Thursday, April 5 at 6-8pm. 

To learn more about Into the Beautiful North and Luis Alberto Urrea, please visit

Questions? Please call 651-439-1465