Open Call: Documented Humans

Documented Humans

Alexandria, VA


Undocumented immigrants. These are the people who are blamed for the American Dream fading away, for the shrinking middle class and job loss, for the rise of violence, crime and disease, shrinking resources and for endless war.

Since Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall, we have gone beyond what many Americans would have previously imagined to divide people, to separate families, and chose to see people as merely fact patterns instead of humans. In the process, we forgot to be humans, and forgot to treat others as human beings. We have all become dangerously close to being nothing more than data, numbers, scapegoats for fascist plans and a means for private prisons to profit.

What does it mean to be a human? What evidence can you supply to convey that you are a human? How can you prove that you qualify to be a “documented human?”

For this curated exhibition, you may submit a painting, a drawing, a sculpture, a photograph, a video, a sound bite, a story, artifacts, your philosophy on anything at all, … you may propose a performance, or show us what it means to be human through a documented or recorded action. Anything and everything goes just so you can prove to us that you are worthy of being a documented human and therefore entitled to all inalienable rights and dignities due a human being. Make us laugh, make us think, break our hearts, make us feel… human.

Please submit your entry via email, [email protected], by Sunday, July 29, midnight. Unlike most other open calls, there is no file restriction, and there is no fee to apply. In the email, please indicate if your entry is digital, or you intend to mail the entry if selected.

If accepted, your work will be on display in a pop up gallery space inside an immigration lawyer’s office in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia.  The show will run one day only as an “art happening”. You will receive a “Documented Human” identification card from the curators in the mail, as well as proper credit in the exhibition and an email with links to images from the show.


Entry deadline, due by email, Sunday, July 29, midnight.
Notice of acceptance via email, Tuesday, July 31
* Entry postmarked by, Tuesday, August 7 (if the entry is not digital)
Pop up exhibition, Saturday, August 18, time TBA
Mail back entry and/or Documented Humans certificate, Saturday, August 25


Jenny Wu

Jenny the Wu, like Winnie the Pooh, an artist and educator. She is the 2018 - 2020 Touchstone Foundation for the Arts Emerging Artist Fellow, and adjunct professor at American University and Marymount University.
Jenny Wu was born in Nanjing, China. She holds a B.A. from William Smith College in Studio Art as well as in Architectural Studies, and an M.F.A. in Studio Art from American University.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums including Denise Bibro Fine Art, Katzen Museum, and Huntington Museum of Art. Wu has participated in numerous Artist-In-Residence programs across the country, and has been awarded fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center and the Pollock Krasner Foundation.

Michael Patrick Holt

Michael Patrick Holt was born 1974 in Sandusky, Ohio. In 2013 he received a Bachelor of Arts from Bowling Green State University focusing in Fine Art, Theatre, and English. He then received an M.F.A. in Studio Art from American University in 2015, and was awarded the JoAnne Crisp-Ellert Prize. His works can be found in private collections as well as the Watkins Collection at the Katzen Museum in D.C. Holt currently lives and cuts things in and around Washington, D.C..


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