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Call for Submissions: The Qualities of LIGHT

Enter for an opportunity to have your work displayed at the Center for Creative Photography!

The Center for Creative Photography invites photographers to submit up to five (5) photographic artworks to be presented in conjunction with The Qualities of LIGHT: A View from the Archive at the Center for Creative Photography. Finalists will be identified by a panel of jurors comprised of Center for Creative Photography curatorial staff, former LIGHT directors, and other photographic community members.

A celebration of the legacies of LIGHT, a significant early photography gallery, The Qualities of LIGHT: A View from the Archive at the Center for Creative Photography will focus on characteristics identified by those who visited, worked, showed, and were impacted by the gallery. Each section of the exhibition will be headed by one of five essential qualities articulated by this community. LIGHT was Transparent, one of the five sections, will reflect on the importance of a spirit of transparency to the gallery – the physical layout of which fostered an open environment that facilitated interaction and education. A bank of flat file drawers played a critical role in extending this spirt of transparency. Accessible to the public, the flat file drawers allowed visitors to go beyond the exhibitions and view the gallery’s entire inventory, creating opportunities for discovery and the informal exchange of knowledge.

Rather than faithfully recreate these drawers, restaging their content as it would have been at the time, the Center intends to invoke their intention in the exhibition. We hope to provide visitors to The Qualities of LIGHT an equivalent experience by facilitating an opportunity to discover new work by photographic artists working today. Accepted submissions will be displayed in flat file drawers at the Center for Creative Photography as part of the exhibition from December 14, 2019 to May 9, 2020.


The Qualities of LIGHT: A View from the Archive at the Center for Creative Photography is based on research that is responsive to the original community of New York City LIGHT Gallery (1971-1986). The exhibition will draw heavily on the LIGHT Archive at the Center for Creative Photography and will be illustrated by photographic artworks, archival documentation, film or audio footage, installation views, period snapshots, or contemporary photographs, all chosen for their potential to illuminate. Each section of the exhibition will be headed by one of the five essential qualities articulated by those who knew LIGHT best including transparency, community, possibility, commitment, and fearlessness. Educational programming will be an integral component of the exhibition, offering visitors opportunities to appreciate how critical the 1970s and 1980s are within the history of photography as a fine art and the seminal influence of LIGHT. The exhibition is not simply about LIGHT Gallery but is designed to encourage creative inquiry into broader ideas about the photographic market, artist legacies, and the nature of a research center and archive like the Center for Creative Photography. 

Complementing the exhibition are a 30-minute film directed by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and a three-day symposium, Legacies of LIGHT, in mid-January 2020. 


Open to all artists and photographers working with photography. In recognition of the important role that LIGHT played in fostering new artistic careers, emerging photographers are particularly encouraged to submit.


• Up to five (5) photographic artworks may be submitted per artist.

• Submissions must be made through the online form. Hard copy submissions will not be considered.

• Finalists must be able to deliver their original artwork(s) to the Center for Creative Photography at their own expense. Artwork(s) must be delivered to the Center for Creative Photography housed in a mat no larger than 30 x 24 inches. Accepted materials that do not meet these conditions may not be exhibited.

• Accepted artworks will not be returned. All accepted artworks will be considered a gift to the Center for Creative Photography. Accepted artworks will be deposited in the Center for Creative Photography’s exhibition archive after the close of the exhibition.

• Accepted artworks will be handled by the general public over the course of the exhibition and may experience wear or damage; submission to this call serves as acknowledgment of the risk associated with this and agreement to having your artwork(s) presented in this manner.

• Current employees, interns, and volunteers of the Center for Creative Photography are ineligible to enter. 


All entries must be submitted through the online form by 11:59 PM MST, September 30, 2019. Finalists will be notified by October 20, 2019. Finalists must be able to deliver their original artwork(s) to the Center for Creative Photography no later than November 15, 2019. 

Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered. Submissions received by means other than the online form will not be considered.


By submitting this form, you agree that any material or artwork selected for inclusion in the LIGHT Exhibition shall be donated to the Center for Creative Photography (CENTER) upon receipt, and added to the Center’s Archive. The material shall be presented in the LIGHT exhibition in a flat file drawer to be opened and closed by the Center’s visitors. The Center will provide attribution and credit in accordance with best practice. The Center shall not provide insurance nor cover any loss or damage to the material or artwork in transit. Your submission to this exhibition constitutes agreement with these terms.

By submitting this form, you certify that you are the sole owner of the copyright in the artwork(s). You grant to the Arizona Board of Regents, on behalf of the University of Arizona, Center for Creative Photography (the “University”) a non-exclusive license to reproduce, distribute, create derivative works, perform, and display the work(s), as well as the submitted digital image(s) of the work(s), for non-commercial purposes, including, but not limited to: University publications, brochures, promotional, marketing, advertising and informational materials, including websites, social media posts or other electronic publications, databases, and other channels, whether such channels are currently in existence or devised in the future.


All submissions must be made through the online portal, here.


Terry Etherton
President and owner, Etherton Gallery

Harold Jones
Photographer; former Director, LIGHT Gallery; former Director, Center for Creative Photography

Jeehey Kim, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Arizona

Peter MacGill
President, Pace/MacGill Gallery; former Director, LIGHT Gallery

Robert Mann
Director, Robert Mann Gallery; former Director, LIGHT Gallery

Laurence Miller
Director, Laurence Miller Gallery; former Associate Director; LIGHT Gallery

Adam Monohon
Curatorial Assistant, Center for Creative Photography

Audrey Sands, Ph.D.
Norton Family Assistant Curator of Photography, Joint Appointment Center for Creative Photography and Phoenix Art Museum

Victor Schrager
Photographer; former Director, LIGHT Gallery

Rebecca A. Senf, Ph.D.
Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography

Lisa Sette
Director, Lisa Sette Gallery

Ann Simmons-Myers
Retired Head, Photography Program, Pima Community College

Andrew Smith
Director, Andrew Smith Gallery

Mary Virginia Swanson
Author, educator, advisor

Charles Traub
Chair, MFA Photography and Related Media Department, School of Visual Arts; former Director, LIGHT Gallery


Enter through the online portal, here.