NEON District Announces Open Call for Shine a Light


NEON District Announces Open Call for Shine a Light
Added on January 7, 2022 to Member News

NEON District Announces Open Call for Shine a Light


Contact: Rachel McCall, 757-623-1757,

NEON District Announces Open Call For Shine a Light
Exhibition to be on view at Commune NFK

NORFOLK, Va. – (January 2022) – The artist open call for Shine a Light, the latest exhibition to be exclusively juried by the NEON District Public Art Committee, is now live. Artists of all ages are invited to submit works of art in all media for the exhibition, which will be on view at Commune NFK March 4 to April 17, 2022.

While the inaugural NEON exhibition at Commune NFK, Homegrown, focused on the personal and private ways artists move through the world, this juried show aims to shed light on external issues that are impacting our communities currently or generationally. Artists are encouraged to delve into topics of social equity like houselessness, human rights, social justice, gender and racial inequalities, environmental sustainability and the global pandemic, with works of art that are thought-provoking and creative. Art can be the driving force for sociopolitical change, and the NEON District seeks to amplify those voices.

Co-chair of the NEON District’s Public Art Committee and Program Coordinator at the Chrysler Museum Glass Studio Katey Murphy brought forth the exhibition theme to address the conversations surrounding real world issues impacting the people who live, work and play in the NEON. As she said, “art can be a way to digest uncomfortable ideas and we hope to hear from artists who are passionate about sharing their unique perspectives.”

The call is open to artists working in all media. There is a submission fee of $25 for up to three works of
art, and cash prizes for first, second and third place will be awarded, as well as a judge’s award. In an effort to reduce any financial barriers to applying, artists can email for a free or reduced submission fee.

The exhibition will be on view at the CROP Foundation’s home inside Commune NFK, whose goals to build a sustainable local community through creating opportunities are in line with the exhibition theme. CROP and Commune NFK will host an exhibition opening on the evening of Friday, March 4 and a closing brunch on Sunday, April 17. Additional community-led programming with partners and artists opportunities are available during the six-week exhibition run.

Since 2013, the NEON District has had a Public Art Committee, led by a diverse team of artists, cultural partners and neighborhood residents who are committed to planning, curating and maintaining one of the largest collections of art in public spaces in Virginia. Members rotate to serve on the jury for art exhibitions. The awarding judge, Mark Matel, Senior Project Manager with the City of Norfolk for Housing and Community Development, will select works of art during the exhibition opening on March 4 for first, second, third place and a judge’s award. After leading national community engagement projects, Mark stepped up because “I want to be part of a community that aims to improve their surroundings both by who they are and the tangible. I’ve always seen this characteristic with art and artists, creating with and for others.”

Open Call Details:

* Artists may submit up to three completed artworks for individual consideration
* All submitted works should be new and created within the last 2 years. Works previously shown in NEON District exhibitions will not be considered.
* Significantly-conceived proposals for site-specific installations will also be considered
* Entries will be accepted in 2-D and 3-D visual art, including, but not limited to, paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, ceramic, glass, and metal art. Collaborative pieces are welcomed.

For all exhibition rules, including size restrictions and installation details, click here<>.

The open call went live on December 30, and submissions are due by January 23 at 11:59 pm. For more information and to apply, visit

Norfolk’s first official arts district, NEON (New Energy of Norfolk), is home to long-time cultural institutions like the Chrysler Museum of Art and Harrison Opera House as well as studio-based ventures like d’Art Center and the Rutter Family Art Foundation, all providing artists a place to make, create and show. Within a few short blocks you can see a muralist at work, take in an improv comedy performance at Push Comedy Theater, watch a live glass-working demonstration, shop for unique home goods, get a tattoo or dine out at an eclectic restaurant. Learn more at and follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @neonnfk.