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The Snow Witch Open Art Exhibition



The Snow Witch - Second Call for Artists

The Art of Magic, The Magic of Art.

Celebrating Portsmouth’s extraordinary makers and creators.

Artists are invited to enter the Snow Witch Open Art Exhibition, which will be occurring over a four-week period during October and November in Cascades Shopping Centre, Portsmouth.

The exhibition is open to any artists working across any medium and in any discipline. All we ask is that the work(s) presented be a direct response to The Snow Witch novel in some form or other. Interpretation is down to you.

The idea Open Art Exhibition is inspired by author Matt Wingett's Portsmouth-based novel, The Snow Witch, and the wish to celebrate the diverse talents of Portsmouth’s creative community.

A presentation on the exhibition will be held at Hunter Gatherer, Portsmouth, on 22nd July at 7pm. All artists interested are very welcome to attend and find out more about what is planned for the exhibition.

Deadline for entry is 20th September 2019 and the entry fee is £5.

The exhibition is intended to run between 19th October and 10th November as part of this year’s Darkfest arts festival. The launch of the exhibition will on the afternoon of 19th October 2019 and will coincide with the launch of this year’s Darkfest.

We have adopted the principles of: radical inclusion, self-reliance, self-expression, community cooperation, gifting, de-commodification, and leaving no trace as an underpinning philosophy for the exhibition.

What do we mean by this?

We will facilitate a space for you to exhibit your work but the responsibility for making the work, delivering the work, installing the work, and removing the work at the conclusion of the exhibition will be yours.

We expect to be able to provide lots of support for you to do what you need to do to show your work. We expect to have people to help, tools, some materials and we hope to have exhibition stands, perhaps even more. All of this is there to support you exhibiting your work.

Ultimately though, we aim to facilitate an opportunity, the responsibility for your contribution to the exhibition will be yours.





Entry Fee:

Fee Detail: 
Contact & Links: 

BIG INK at 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH



BIG INK, a nationally recognized print arts organization, is traveling to 3S Artspace in 2019.  3S has invited BIG INK to host a two-day event where prints will be pulled from large-scale woodblock plates carved ahead of time by sixteen artists.  We are seeking image proposals from emerging, mid-career, and established visual artists who would like to carve a woodblock, at least 24" x 36" in dimension, to print at the event.  No prior printmaking experience is required. Any artist that has an interest in print media and wants to achieve a deeper understanding of woodblock carving is welcome to apply.

Upon completing the application and being accepted, artists will have a minimum of two months prior to the event to carve their design into a piece of plywood.  We've assembled invaluable technical observations, made by both BIG INK's directors and the artists we've worked with in the past, into how-to videos that guide participants through the carving process.  The artists' sole responsibility will be to bring a fully carved and ready to print woodblock on their assigned printing day.  All consumable materials including paper, ink, cleaning supplies and equipment usage are included with participation. 

The event itself will be an excellent way to network with other participants, plug into our growing creative community, and produce high-quality work that can be used later for sale and exhibition purposes.

About BIG INK:

BIG INK's mission is to inspire a greater public appreciation for large-scale woodblock printmaking and extend its practice.  Founded in 2012, BIG INK was originally the brainchild of Lyell Castonguay and Carand Burnet.  Castonguay, whose personal woodblock work is often monumental in scale, was seeking to organize a community of large-scale woodblock artists.  Castonguay and Burnet began to host a series of informal get togethers at print studios around their local area.  These happenings eventually evolved into the collaborative working model BIG INK utilizes today.  BIG INK works by establishing a temporary print shop on site at affiliate organizations, most often at museums, universities, art centers, studios, and galleries. Artists are selected, either by personal invitation or through a call-for-entry process, to attend these events and print original woodblocks at least 24” x 36” in dimension. Since the program’s inception, hundreds of artists have participated in BIG INK events across the country.

About 3S Artspace:

3S Artspace is a 501C3 nonprofit alternative arts organization that combines the only midsize, flexible performance space of its kind in the area, a large contemporary art gallery, and restaurant serving as a local hub, ideal as a gathering place for patrons and locals alike.  3S is dedicated to presenting and supporting bold, emerging art and entertainment and cultivating an informal space for the exchange of ideas and creativity. 

Participant Benefits:

Events are a constructive way to collaborate with the BIG INK team in a creatively inspiring space while gaining an in-depth knowledge of how to create a large-scale woodblock print. The program is designed for printmakers who understand basic woodblock principles but want to expand their expertise and working scale. The program is also designed for those not yet trained in woodblock but whose visual aesthetic would lend itself to the medium. This includes illustrators, sculptors, designers, and painters who use bold contrast, strong outlines, and patterning. Participating in an event often inspires artists to incorporate more print work in their studio practice.

BIG INK's role is to make the production of a large-scale woodblock accessible and easy to understand. We hope to make the experience rewarding and informative by imparting our knowledge of preferred materials and techniques. We do so through a PDF materials guide and series of step-by-step videos that walk participants through the carving process. BIG INK remains in contact with each participant providing guidance and technical support when needed. At the conclusion of the event BIG INK photographs each participant's finished woodblock print. We add this digital image to the bigink.org online archive. These images are later used to help curate BIG INK themed exhibits at national and international art venues.

How Many Prints Are Produced?

BIG INK assists in the creation of three impressions from each participant's woodblock.  Although BIG INK events typically happen in a community setting we pride ourselves on producing high-quality impressions.  Work is printed using oil-based inks on archival paper and the quality is comparable to what you would receive working with a master printer at a private studio.

What happens to the prints produced at the event?

In order for us to photograph your work and use it for curatorial projects, we request ownership of one print for our archive.  At some point, we hope to donate these works to a museum.  Currently, the archive consists of over 150 prints and growing.  The artist keeps the other two prints produced at the event.

What do I submit with my image proposal?

We ask for basic contact info, a short artist statement/bio, anticipated dimensions of your woodblock and most importantly a JPEG or JPG that represents what you intend to carve.  You are welcome to submit an existing image from your portfolio or an entirely new image.  For best results, upload your image in black & white as a JPG via the application on our apply page.  Please note your proposal image doesn't have to be completed on a large scale.  It's primarily to give a sense of what you'd like to carve as a woodblock.  This can be drafted in your preferred medium.  We've found that sharpie, pen & ink, and dark pencil gives us the clearest impression of your concept when jurying.  When creating your concept image try to keep everything black & white and avoid the use of gray tones if possible.  Please refer to this Flickr album of past accepted proposals for inspiration and reference when drafting your design.  Images must be solely created by the applicant.

What material should I use to carve my woodblock?

Artists are responsible for securing their own 1/2” thick birch ply, 1/2" cherry ply, 1/2" MDF or 3/8" Shina.  The plywood or MDF must be 1/2” thick, the Shina must be 3/8".

How big can I work?

Images must be at least 24” x 36” in dimension but not larger than 40” x 96” in dimension.


It is free to submit a proposal; accepted artists pay $300 dollars to participate.  This covers all consumable materials for the event including printing ink, paper, cleaning supplies, equipment usage and photography of the finished work.  All that is required of the artist is to bring a fully carved block.  Unfortunately, we are unable to offer scholarships at this time.

Other Commonly Asked Questions:

Q: Can two artists collaborate on a proposal?   A: Yes, list both names on the application.

Q: Can I submit an existing image with my proposal?  A: Yes

Q: If accepted can I change my proposal image after the fact?  A: Yes, as long as it falls within the same aesthetic.

Q: Does my proposal image have to be a certain size?  A: Your proposal image can be small.  It doesn't have to be the same size as your woodblock.

Q: Are we expected to attend both printing days?  A: No, but you’re welcome to attend.

Q: How many prints does each artist produce?  A: Three, one of which is archived in the BIG INK portfolio

Q: Can I bring my own paper and print more?  A: Because we work with many artists at one time we standardize for time's sake.  Therefore there isn't enough time to print more than three impressions of your woodblock at the event.

Q: What type of paper do we use?  A: Masa

Q: What type of ink do we use?  A: Oil-based relief ink, bring an apron and wear work clothes.

Q: Do I have to bring any other materials besides my carved block?  A: No

Q: Can we print in color?  A: Because we work with many artists at one time we standardize for time's sake.  Therefore there isn't enough time and space for color printing.

Q: How do we transport the finished prints?  A: BIG INK provides newsprint to wrap the work.

Q: Do you have recommendations on where to stay?  A: We use Airbnb most frequently and quality hotels are usually located a short drive away or within walking distance.

Q: What is the best way to transport the finished block if I'm flying?  A: You may be able to ship your block directly to the venue.  Contact us directly to confirm. When shipping your block please include a return label in the package. This makes shipping your block back home simple.

Q: Can I create an edition of prints in my own time from the same woodblock after the event?  A: Yes

Q: Can BIG INK create an edition of prints for me after the event?  A: Yes, for a fee.

Q: Can I cut the block in half to facilitate transport to and from the venue?  A: Yes, we recommend it for images over 6' in length. We will simply abut the pieces together on the press during printing.

Artist Testimonials:

"Being a professional sculptor, carving a woodcut was something that appealed to my sensibilities but was also something I'd never done.  BIG INK's step by step videos was helpful in guiding me through the process. BIG INK answered my technical questions quickly and gave me feedback on my image when I emailed photos.  I'm now taking what I learned as a BIG INK participant and integrating it back into my 3-D work." Kerry O. Furlani

"BIG INK encouraged all the participants to work together to execute their prints. The event inspired me to continue exploring scale and surface in my practice and opened up a new channel of communication with a great group of artists."  Enrique Figueredo

Deadline to submit a proposal: Midnight, Mar 25, 2019

Event Location: 3S Artspace, 319 Vaughan St, Portsmouth, NH 03801

Event Date(s): June 1-2, 2019

Event Time: 10 am - 5 pm

Public Time: 11 am - 4 pm

Link to Submit: https://www.bigink.org/apply/#application

Fee Detail: 
Free to apply; $300 if accepted

Call out: Artists & Workshop leaders engaging with Asylum, Migration and Refuge


Journeys Festival International celebrates the creative talents of exceptional refugee and asylum seeker artists, sharing the refugee experience through great art and culture. We are looking for artists from a refugee or asylum seeker background or working around themes of migration and displacement to lead a series of artist talks and family workshops between June-December 2018. The project will take place across the city of Portsmouth, with events taking place in libraries, community centres, cafes and schools. These activities will foster better dialogue around the issues that affect the RAS community and promote better social cohesion; and will culminate in a celebratory procession through the streets of Portsmouth as part of Journeys Festival in October 2018.

There are 2 strands to the project:

Coffee shop Conversations: To apply to deliver an artist talk over a hot drink in a community setting (with the University of Portsmouth) please email us a CV and Artist Statement (1 side of A4 max) with up to 5 images of your work.

Processional Fabrications: In addition to a CV and Artist Statement, to apply to also deliver one or several family workshops around themes of culture and refuge please include a proposal for your workshop(s) and some information about similar work you may have done previously (1 side of A4 max). As these workshops will aim to culminate in a processional event in October 2018, please include details of the anticipated outcome for the session- this could be banners, costumes, kites, flags or any other transportable creation.

There is a fee of £150 for each Family Workshop and a fee of £100 for each Coffee shop Conversation session exploring the artists' work (inclusive of travel expenses). There will be some additional money available to cover cost of materials.



Create a large woodcut with BIG INK at 3S Artspace, Portsmouth, NH



BIG INK is partnering with 3S Artspace in Portsmouth, NH for an event that fosters appreciation for the art of woodcut printmaking. On June 3rd & 4th, 2017 BIG INK will bring a 48” x 96” mobile printmaking press to 3S. BIG INK volunteers will help pre selected artists print woodcuts en plein air. The finished prints will be hung in a highly visible area, creating a viewing gallery for all to enjoy.

The participating artists, selected by Lyell Castonguay, director of BIG INK, will bring giant carved wood blocks measuring at least 24" x 36" in size. Visitors will witness woodcuts being printed in an open forum. Handouts will explain the process, its history, and context in contemporary art. In addition, the artists who created the work will be in attendance to network and answer questions. The prints created at BIG INK events are exhibited in university galleries, art centers, and museums, such as a recent show in Seoul, Korea.

If you're interested in creating a large woodcut for this event please visit http://www.bigink.org/apply. The deadline to apply is Mar 27th, 2017.

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