2018 Call for Artists and Makers

Overview / Statement of Purpose

Assemble is now accepting proposals for its 2018 Unblurred Artist Showcase. Assemble will select 10 local artists and makers for participation in a month-long show at Assemble’s space on Penn Avenue from the months of February 2018 to November 2018. Chosen artists and makers will also have the opportunity to share skills, incubate creative ideas, and facilitate community-engaged projects.

Background Information / Context

Assemble is a community space for arts and technology located in Garfield, in the East End of Pittsburgh. Assemble unites artists, technologists, and makers with our neighbors of all demographics and provides a platform for experiential learning, open creative processes, and building confidence through making. Through dedicated daily after-school and weekend programs, Assemble provides a space for children and adults to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics (STEAM)-based activities in a fun, relaxed environment. We provide a space for learning, community, and public art to improve the quality of life for Garfield residents and beyond.

Scope of Work And Expectations

  • Create a body of work or installation for the gallery show to be installed during the week prior to the opening event
  • Install and deinstall the work for the show (Assemble does not ship artwork)
  • Must be present for the opening event on the First Friday of the month
  • Must be present for the removal of the work at last Saturday of the month, the last day of the show
  • Must be at Assemble for one community event (artist talk and/or workshop) throughout the month your work is featured.
  • Clearly communicate needs, materials, and marketing information required for the success of the show



This call is open to artists, technologists, makers, individuals, groups, departments, kids, and/or adults. There is no limit on age, number of people, or medium as long as it is maker-oriented and can connect with the community in some way.

Assemble is a dynamic space. Things are changing all the time. Your work will be at risk to people interacting with it throughout the month; it will be around children, and it will not be insured. Therefore, we suggest proposing work that is meant to be interacted with, or is at least durable.

While we would love for you to have an educational/community component in mind for your work, our Unblurred Program Coordinator can work with you to develop your program. We do require that you are open and available to fulfill this component of your time at Assemble.

We ask for $200 to have a month long show in Assemble. If this is a limitation, please let us know. Should you be selected, you are welcome to sell your work at Assemble. We ask for 30% of the sale, and that sold items are not collected until after the show's run is over.

Due to Assemble’s focus on community engagement and technology, we are especially interested in working with artists and makers who live in neighborhoods adjacent to Assemble, have a social justice or community-oriented practice, work with new media, and/or have an MFA. African American, LGBTQ, and other minority Artists/Makers/Technologists are strongly encouraged to apply. Applicants must also have or have the ability provide their clearances to work with children in Pennsylvania. Assistance can be provided for obtaining Criminal Record and Child Abuse Clearances.

Assemble, Inc. provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Assemble expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, genetic information, disability, or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Assemble’s employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated. This is extended to our presenting artists, makers, technologist, and other experts.

How To Apply

All proposals are due by 11:59 pm on March 31st, 2017.

Proposals may be submitted at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjz04T6WaGgOLmj3x3djduL1d1CMHc0RLGysNzmFsDGJlFIw/viewform

You may also submit proposals by email to proposals@assemblepgh.org.  Photographs, drawings, or other visualizations of work are highly encouraged. If you have any questions, please email Karen Chen, Unblurred Program Coordinator, at karen@assemblepgh.org. There is no application fee.

If submitting by email:

Submit a PDF proposal that includes:

  1. Contact information:






2. Your Resume

3. Work Samples: Work samples can be images, video, or text. You are also welcome to include links to video documentation.

4. Your project proposal

5. List the preference of our available months for having the showcase if you have a preference. Months available are February 2018 to November 2018.

Assemble Contract for Artists 2017-2018

I. Fees

A. The fee to showcase your work in Assemble, 4824 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15224, for one month (first Friday of the month to last Friday of the month, including the week before the opening for installation and the day after closing for tear down) is $200. If you are a Garfield resident and/ an Assemble teacher, the fee can be waived. You are also welcome to find a sponsor or grant to help pay expenses. Assemble might be able to assist with that process. You will have a key to the space for the entire time of the show.

B. You will be required to pay a $50 non-refundable deposit at the point of booking the show or by 1 month in advance at the latest. The balance of $150 will be paid while collecting the key to Assemble. This is payable by check or Paypal.

C. 30% of all artwork sales or events are go to Assemble. This is payable by cash, check, or credit card. If Assemble is collecting the sales during the month, we will be able to pay the 70% to the lead responsible artist to divide up.

II. Responsibilities

A. When turning the key the end of the rental period, no remnants of the previous show should be evident in the space. On a day-to-day basis, the should be kept neat, clear of garbage and with no extraneous furniture or objects in the space. This includes but is not limited to:

1. Walls: walls must be returned to their prior condition using Assemble’s standard paints. Assemble will provide paint. If the walls are not painted by the Saturday after closing, you will be billed for materials and labor.

2. Damaged Surfaces: You will be responsible for repairing any damage to the walls and floors caused by your installation. This includes nail holes in the walls which must be patched and painted. Assemble will be able to supply some paint and putty, located in the janitor closet. If the damage is extensive, you will be responsible for purchasing more materials.

3. Garbage: You must take your non-recyclable and recyclable garbage out to the dumpster during your installation period and after any events that you organize. All recycling must be collected in clear or blue bags. You are also welcome to take any of the recycling with you.

4. Sinks and Bathroom: Please be conscientious of the other users of Assemble’s facilities and keep the sinks and bathroom clear of paint and debris. Please clean up after your are done using it. Use the kitchen sink for paint cleaning. Do not leave brushes, rollers, or other items in the sink area.

5. De-installation: Everything that you brought into the space over the course of the month must be removed during tear down weekend. This includes all art, artist-owned furniture, tools, materials, technology equipment, bags or packaging materials in Assemble’s space. If work or furniture is not removed by the opening of the next Unblurred show, it will then belong to Assemble due to negligence. Disposal or use of the work and materials will be at the discretion of Assemble.

B. Assemble is not responsible for damaged artwork. Assemble is an interactive space with a large number of events over the course of the month and you must be aware that there might be wear to or touching of artwork in the space. We encourage you to plan for some pieces to be touched.

C. The opening must have some interactive aspect. This can include video, sound, or hands-on activities. It can also be a performance that patrons of all ages are able to interact or participate in. The interactive could also be an additive piece that grows over the month. The show can also change and progress over the month as well.

D. You must be present at the Unblurred Opening on the first Friday of your Month as well as the required workshop or artist talk. and Closing Parties as well as at any other artist-coordinated events.

E. You are required to have a workshop or artist talk. We expect our artists to engage in this way because Assemble’s mission and vision as non-profit community arts and technology organization is best fulfilled through interaction with our neighbors and community. All proposed dates must be communicated a month before the show’s opening to the Outreach Coordinator, Hannah Sauder. This will facilitate marketing and scheduling. Communicate needs for the workshops, what ages are appropriate to participate, and interest in participating as a guest expert in Assemble’s regularly scheduled programs such as Afterschool, Crafternoons, Youth Maker Nights, and Learning Parties.

F. You are responsible for providing all food and beverages beyond the basic snacks provided by Assemble, such as beer and goldfish crackers. Assemble is a peanut-free space due to allergies.

III. Prohibitions

A. No smoking inside Assemble. No open containers of beer or alcohol outside the building. This includes vaping. If incense or a smoke machine is a part of the installation, make sure to have it cleared with the director.

B. No oil-based paints or permanent markers may be applied to the walls.

C. No bicycles in the space.

D. No events or loud noises after 10pm. Please be mindful of our neighbors.

IV. Timeline

A. You will collect a key from Assemble on the Sunday before the opening of the exhibition, and at this time conduct a brief orientation walk through of Assemble.

B. The installation period will be from that Sunday to 3pm on the day of the opening. Afterschool programing will occur from 4-6pm or summer camps will occur 8am - 6pm if during the summer.

C. You will provide a plan drawing to Assemble if the exhibition will include any of the following: an extensive build out; large items or sculptures placed in the middle of the space; furniture or art pieces that extend from the wall more than three feet. This information must be provided to Assemble at least one week before the installation begins for review of flexibility.

D. The exhibition will be on display from the first Friday of the month to the last Friday of the month. The opening event for the exhibition will take place on the evening of the first Friday from 6-10pm.

E. A closing party or event is encouraged along with at least two open houses. You are required to have at least one artist talk and/or workshop during your month. This could be a weeknight or a weekend. This must be free and open to the public. This can be geared to a specific age group if appropriate.

F. Tear down will take place on the Saturday following the closing date. The key must be returned to Assemble on this date.

G. Three months prior to your opening, you must email a blurb, bio, and image to our Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, Hannah. You are also encouraged to promote this in your own networks such as social media and press outlets. If you need media information from Assemble, please contact Hannah (hannah (at) assemblepgh.org.