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UPDATE: Due to interruptions caused by the Covid -19 pandemic, and postponement of the Free State Festival the DIVINE juried exhibition will take place May 28 – July 3, 2021. Much thought and care has been made in planning this year’s Free State Festival and we are thrilled to share with you that the essence of our programming (including headliners John Waters, Boots Riley and the Divine Juried Exhibition) will remain intact for our new dates in 2021.The NEW submission period is extended to May 3, 2021. All current submissions are valid.


WHAT: A national call for visual art entries

WHO: Mark Mothersbaugh, Juror

WHERE: Lawrence Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas

WHEN: May 28 – July 3, 2021

SUBMISSION PERIOD: Through May 3, 2021 (11:59pm CST)

CALL DESCRIPTION: A juried group exhibition, Divine, presented by the Lawrence Arts Center in Lawrence, Kansas. The Exhibition will be held at the Lawrence Arts Center gallery, in conjunction with the 2020 Free State Festival. Mark Mothersbaugh will serve as juror. Artists are invited to submit works to a juried exhibition inspired by the legendary drag queen, Divine. This call for entry seeks original art, in any visual art medium that is inspired by all things Divine.


Spitting in the face of conventional beauty, Divine was the ultimate outcast-turned-cult-royalty. People magazine described him as “the Goddess of Gross, the Punk Elephant, the Big Bad Mama of the Midnight Movies… and a Miss Piggy for the blissfully depraved.”

Harris Glenn Milstead, also known as the performer “Divine,” was “one of the few truly radical and essential artists” of the 20th century. Divine became famous for his starring roles in many of John Waters’ films, most notably Hairspray and Pink Flamingos. The nickname “Divine” was also a John Waters creation.

A punk and a rebel, Divine’s legacy continues to this day in the inspiration he provides artists. Artists such as David Hockney and Andy Warhol have painted portraits of Divine, and Ursula the Sea Witch brought another version of Divine to Disney’s The Little Mermaid.

Artists are invited to submit works to a juried exhibition inspired by the legendary drag queen, Divine. This call for entry seeks original art in any visual art medium inspired by all things Divine.


To submit your application please scroll to the end of this page and apply through Slideroom.

JUROR: Mark Mothersbaugh
Mark Mothersbaugh is a Conceptualist. As an undergraduate art student at Kent State University, Mothersbaugh began creating work in the late 60s and between then and now has created tens of thousands of works in various mediums including rubber stamp designs, mail art, decals, prints, ink illustrations, oil paintings, ceramic sculptures, manipulated photographs, video, film compositions, sonic sculptures, rugs, screen savers and the list continues. While touring with his band DEVO, it was not uncommon for Mothersbaugh to lightly “correct” or add onto the bland paintings and prints that adorned the many hundreds of otherwise unmemorable hotel rooms that he occupied for one night at a time. Using a van, bus, hotel room, airplane, or any space as his workspace, he has created over 40,000 drawings which serve as the beginning of an idea that will emerge in his larger projects. Mothersbaugh views much of his work as experiments in “beatnik-stream of consciousness” poetry, which to him, is related to speaking in tongues; the surrendering of the intellect to the primordial, or science vs. faith An observer among us, Mothersbaugh writes down things that he overhears throughout the day: people at another table, a voice on the radio, pieces of verbal fabric that drift and weave and create the poetry of life, the flotsam and jetsam that swirl around us and fill our subconscious with scraps of what it is to be, according to Mothersbaugh,  a “thinking ape.”


Best of Show: $1,000

2nd place: $500

3rd place: $250

Directors’ Choice: The Exhibitions Director and Juror will select one artist for a future solo exhibition at the Lawrence Arts Center.

May 3, 2021: Deadline for submission
May 28 – July 3, 2021: Exhibition Dates


ELIGIBILITY AND RESTRICTIONS: The competition is open to all artists working in any visual art media. Artists must be at least 18 years of age and reside in the United States.


EXHIBITION: Selected works will be displayed in the Lawrence Arts Center Galleries May 28 – July 3, 2021.

EXHIBITING TERMS: All works must be exhibition-ready. Exhibited works must remain on display throughout stated dates. All sales go through the Lawrence Arts Center. Exhibiting artists will receive a written agreement upon acceptance.

ENTRY FEES: There is a $25 fee. Fees are non-refundable. Payments are due at time of entry via Slideroom. One entry per person.

IMAGE USE/COPYRIGHTS: Artists retain all copyrights to submitted images and represented artwork. Digital images submitted with artist entry are for exhibition selection only and will be deleted after completion of the selection process. By entering the competition, artists selected to exhibit grant the Lawrence Arts Center rights to use the selected image(s) on printed materials and the gallery website for promotional purposes only. Exhibition agreement will be given to artists selected to participate.


April 21, 2020 @ 9:00 am
May 3 @ 11:59 am
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Lawrence Arts Center Gallery
940 New Hampshire St
Lawrence, KS 66044 United States
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