Call To Artists

Hudson Valley Artists: Who Really Cares?

Curated by Helen Toomer

July 7 – Nov 14, 2021

Who Really Cares?
the 14th annual Hudson Valley Artists exhibition, will be curated by Helen Toomer.
We invite artists to submit artwork that deals with the challenges of the past year and the re-imaginings of years to come, responding to the question “Who really cares?”  asked by Marvin Gaye fifty years ago on the monumental album, “What’s Going On”:

I just want to ask a question
Who really cares?
To save a world in despair
There'll come a time, when the world won't be singin'
Flowers won't grow, bells won't be ringin'
Who really cares?
Who's willing to try to save a world
That's destined to die

—Marvin Gaye, Save the Children     

Are you willing to try? What message do you want to share? How does art help? We are looking for a myriad of answers, solutions, thoughts and feelings created during this historic moment in time.

Artists are encouraged to submit works forged by or reflecting upon the turmoil of 2020—COVID-19, lockdown isolation, racial injustice, increased unemployment, the national election, climate crisis and the various personal or public struggles this year has revealed and intensified. We welcome expressions of both grief and optimism—what has got you through, where you found joy, what hope you hold onto, or your vision for the future of our community.

Who Really Cares? will be connective, restorative and diverse—just like the Hudson Valley. It will open in summer 2021, a time we look forward to in hopes of being able to connect with one another in person again.

Submission guidelines

The Hudson Valley Artists exhibition is open to all artists and artisans with a permanent mailing address and active art practice in the counties of Albany, Columbia, Dutchess, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Rennsselaer, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester who have not had a one-person major museum exhibition and who are not currently represented by a large commercial art gallery. The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art staff, board members, and their immediate families are not eligible. Students are not eligible. There is no application fee.

Artists are invited to submit a maximum of six images or files of work created in 2018 or later. In addition to traditional fine art and craft mediums, audio, video, film and performance works are eligible for this exhibition. Brief proposals for new works to be created for this exhibition, including installation, social practice, or performance works, may also be submitted.

The Hudson Valley Artists Annual Purchase Award of $3,000 will be used to acquire one or more artworks from the exhibition for the Museum’s permanent collection. This Purchase Award is made possible thanks to the Alice and Horace Chandler Art Acquisition Fund. Artists whose work has been purchased in the past include Laura Cannamela, Richard Edelman, Charles Geiger, Holly Hughes, Patrick Kelley, Deb Lucke, Nestor Madalengoita, Stephen Niccolls, Libby Paloma, Elisa Pritzker, Adie Russell and Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, among others.

Submission deadline: Sunday, March 21, 2021, midnight.

Artist submissions may only be made online using this link, or by copying the following URL into your browser:


About Curator Helen Toomer

Toomer is co-founder of Stoneleaf Retreat, an artists’ residency and connective space in the Catskill Mountains, which is focused on supporting women and families. She is also the founder of Upstate Art Weekend and the co-founder of Art Mamas Alliance.

Formerly, Toomer was executive director of Artists in Residence in Everglades (AIRIE) and director of the IFPDA Fine Art Print Fair, Collective Design Fair, and PULSE Contemporary Art Fairs. She also co-founded and managed a contemporary art gallery, toomer labzda, in New York.

Toomer lectures on art fairs and professional development at universities and arts organizations in the United States and the United Kingdom, and was an adjunct professor at Sotheby’s Institute of Art and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She serves on the Board of AIRIE and Advisory Committees for ProjectArt, Foundwork, and the Baxter St Camera Club of New York. She graduated with a Bachelors in Fine Arts from the Arts Institute of Bournemouth, England.

Find us on: