A Hero Collage

Be Part of Something Bigger, a hero collage

Call for Artist Submissions: student and professional

MacPhail Center for Music is thrilled to invite artists from the MacPhail community, both students and professionals, to submit work to our virtual exhibition ‘Be Part of Something Bigger, a Hero Collage’.

Submissions are now closed. Thank you to all artists who submitted work this year! Voting is now closed but you can still view the virtual exhibit!

Artists winning prizes will be announced on June 27th.

*see below for the header hero collage art/artist descriptions

About the Hero Collage

MacPhail is looking for submissions of original works that speak to current circumstances facing our communities and the world we inhabit. Share your experience, feelings, and knowledge through the creative mode of expression of your own choice.

This year’s theme is Heroes. You may demonstrate your creative visions and understanding of a hero you have in any fashion you desire. From heroes at home or in your past to heroes in the community and the world beyond, there are countless stories to be told in a myriad of ways.

MacPhail collages were created in response to the current social justice and pandemic environments. Many people are connecting with strong emotions as they actively confront pervasive problems in our culture. Some are sitting with sadness, some are giving voice to long-unspoken anger, and others are feeling hopeful. This is a space for our community to share and grow.

If this is familiar and you would like to be a part of something bigger, we invite your artistic response.

Speak to the light you feel, or the darkness you endure. Tell us the story of your hero that helps you persevere, inspires you, and makes this world a better place.

About the Virtual Exhibition

This exhibition will be made available to viewers virtually on our website. We will highlight individual selected works from the show on our social media and on our public relations profiles. We are excited to share this opportunity with our students, faculty, families, supporters, and MacPhail online community. #expressiveart #macphailcollage

About Participation and Submission

Artist and Student Eligibility: MacPhail students, faculty, staff, family of students and faculty/staff, community partners (and school partnership faculty) or other members of the MacPhail community (volunteers, donors, etc) are invited to submit. You are welcome to apply with works in any medium that may be uploaded or photographed and uploaded: drawing, painting, collage, poem, print, photography, dance (video), music (audio or video), pottery, textiles, mixed-media, and more.

The broad theme is open to the artist’s interpretation.

Upload just one piece, your artist/student biography (optional), and a short statement of your piece (also optional, but encouraged).

There is no fee to submit. Nine prizes (3 for each category) will be awarded based on community response (one vote per person). To keep the voting equitable, all work will be exhibited in the order received. Voters are asked to vote ONLY once. Multiple votes by the same address will not be accepted.

See the application for more information. Questions, contact Christopher Rochester, Global Music Initiative Director.

Categories of Participation

*Amateur is someone who has never received compensation for this art form. A professional is an artist who has sold work.

Example: If you are MacPhail faculty but have never had a poem published and you wish to submit a poem, you are an adult amateur. If you are a band director at a MacPhail School Partnership and submit a song, you are professional/faculty. If you are a music student at MacPhail and are 16 years old and have a record deal (congratulations!), if you submit a song, you’re a professional.


First Prize (all categories, three awards in each category): MacBook Air 13 inch
Second Prize (each category): Apple AirPods with charging case
Third Prize (each category): Your choice of 3 half-hour lessons at MacPhail or $100 Gift Certificate for Sweetwater

About Voting

The public is invited to vote for the artists that will receive awards. Voting opens on June 21st and closes on June 25th at midnight. You may vote once for your favorites in each category. Artists are invited to promote their entries on their favorite media platforms. Votes will be limited to one vote per person.

Important Dates

We are now accepting submissions. Pieces will be accepted until noon, Juneteenth (June 19th).

This year, submissions will be added to the exhibit as they are received from now to June 19th. Visit often.

Voting opens June 21st and closes June 25th.

Artists receiving awards will be announced on MacPhail’s media platforms on June 27th.

All artists will be notified of the public vote. If your work is selected, you will receive further information at that time. (You will have 4 weeks from the date of notification to arrange the collection/delivery of your prize. If we have not heard from you during that time, prizes will be forfeited.)

All selected work will be displayed on our website. The exhibition will be archived and available to view past these dates as well. Please visit our collections from 2021 and 2022.

Top row, left to right–

1. Martin Luther King Jr. Word Art | Dan Duffy | handwritten with “I Have a Dream”

2. Super Nurse | FAKE | mural

      On the evening of March 15, 2020, following the announcement of the first lockdown in the Netherlands, Dutch artist FAKE created, Super Nurse, in recognition of the heroic effort being made by healthcare workers around the globe in the burgeoning battle against COVID-19. free download from artist

3. George Floyd | Randall Whitfield, completed with assistance from Briana Dawkins | mural

Mural Arts Philadelphia partnered with the North 5th Street Revitalization project to make the project possible.

4. Blue Bra Girls, 2012 | Egyptian artist Ghada Amer | 73 x 60 x 54 inches; cast, polished stainless steel

      Tribute to women beaten by police at protests during the Arab Spring. The sculpture lives at 526 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee

5. Robben Island Prison | Nelson Mandela | watercolor

Depicts the prison where he was held for 18 of his 27 years behind bars in South Africa. Mandela lived in a 7-by-9-foot room where a bulb burned day and night over his head for the 18 years he was jailed here, beginning in 1964. As Mandela recalled in Long Walk to Freedom, “I could walk the length of my cell in three paces. When I lay down, I could feel the wall with my feet and my head grazed the concrete at the other side.”

6. Sister Rosetta Tharpe | Chris Kruse | painting

7. La Cage Et Le Commencement & La Cage Triomphante (Dyptic) | acrylic on plywood

This painting is part of her commentary on feminism, and how females are often the true superheroes hidden under a mask of male accomplishments. The portraits that she paints are usually female and are covered by comic book strips of male superheroes and powerful words.

Bottom row, left to right–

8. Self-portrait | student dressed as Super Cat flying over the city. In honor of Stan Lee | Leah Newton Art

9. Hero Selfies | Cassie Stephen’s Second Grade Art Class

From the teacher’s Pinterest board

10. Not Forgotten | Maxine Noel

Our mothers and daughters, our sisters and aunties and grandmothers. Our women are our heart and our spirit, always honoured, never forgotten. I am Dakota Sioux, a woman and mother, and an artist.

11. My Heroes | Grayson Perry | ceramic vase

This image is one side of the vase and portrays one of Grayson’s heroes- trans model and activist April Ashley. Grayson happened across an article about her at age 15 – a glimpse of possibilities outside of the gender binary and one of the first steps towards his persona, Claire.

12. Toussaint Louverture and the Elderly Slave | Ousmane Sow | mixed media (iron, earth, jute, straw, other organic materials)

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art director Johnetta Cole describes the towering sculpture of Toussaint Louverture as “our Mona Lisa.”

13. Prince mural | Hiero Veiga | side of Ramp A, First Avenue

14. Satoshi Nakamoto | Kristel Bechara | digital artwork

Minnesota State Arts Board logo

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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