Calls for Entry

The Art Center Highland Park is home to museum-quality galleries, and throughout the year, TAC exhibits new contemporary artworks by local, regional and national artists. The Art Center exhibits artists ranging from emerging to established artists, featuring both 2D and 3D works in a variety of media. The Art Center’s galleries are the premier location on the North Shore for free, cultural, visual arts experience.

Exhibition Procedures:

  • The Art Center Highland Park offers open calls for entry throughout the year. Artists may link on our website and on
  • There are limited invitational opportunities to be a guest juror for the open calls.

Open Calls for Entry:

The Thin Line

November 19-January 2. 2022
Opening Reception: December 3, 5:30-7:30pm
Kelly Mathews



It was first noted by Aristotle in his infamous quote, There is no great genius without a mixture of madness. In 1959, Oscar Levant, American pianist, composer, author, comedian, and actor stated, “There is a thin line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

The Art Center Highland Park is addressing the link between ‘madness’ and ‘genius’ in the context of art. From Van Gogh, to Viginia Woolf, and in recent years Kusama and Robin Williams, the line between what we call lucidity and insanity is so often visible, but yet, it can be both celebrated and feared, discussed and stigmatized. The discourse around the terms, “madness or insanity” have been deconstructed in a post modern world, where the ultimate goal of creative expression is to loose oneself completely, leading to a normalization for artists to reveal their struggles. That is positive.

How do we talk about the serious issues around mental illness in the context of art and expression? When we talk about mental illness in a way that is sensitive and that does not gloss over or minimize personal struggles, it is our belief that we lead the conversation forward. Tom Dart, Cook County Sheriff, once asked at a fund raising event for Illinois Alliance for Mental Illness, “What is the difference between a child with mental illness and a child with cancer?” His response was astounding. He stated, “casseroles.” He went on to add that a community rallies around families with physical illness but hide from those struggling with mental illness. 

Art enables all of us to communicate on a deeper level. Images represent the emotions that are often unspeakable or unknowable. Artists who struggle with mental illness have the unique ability to use creativity as an outlet and integrate their ‘described racing thoughts’ into a visual language. The result is work that is both unique to the individual and expansive into a symbolic universal truth. The work can tether us to reality and it can take us on a journey that travels beyond time and space. More importantly, artists with mental illness can find that the creative process is healing, enabling them to reclaim rather than recoil. 

TAC is searching for artists whose work explores their relationship to mental illness, and whose work represents the struggle between strength and surrender, in order to illustrate the moment when darkness turns to light.

Guest Juror and featured artist, Kelly Mathews, a Chicago artist has been awarded an Individual Artists Program Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events, as well as a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency through federal funds provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, for her project; Being Bipolar in a Polarized World.” 

Kelly states, “Mental Illness can be tragic and heartbreaking. It can also be beautiful. Consider Van Gogh. When he looked at the night sky, he saw “The Starry Night”. If he had not existed and painted, we could never share his vision. This exhibit is to celebrate those of us who see things a little different and offer you a peek into our world.”

TAC is proud to be the first to exhibit this profound work in conjunction with The Thin Line Exhibition, to help all of see into the world of artist expression, breaking stigmas, and celebrating difference. 

Important Dates:
November 19-January 3, 2022: Exhibition Dates
December 3, 5:30-7:30pm: Opening Reception
October 22, 2021: Submission Deadline (extended through October 24)
October 25: Notifications Sent
November 15: Drop off (google sign up to follow)
November 19: Opens to public
November 19, 5:30-7:30pm: Opening Reception
December 30, 2021: Last Day of Exhibition
January 3, 2022: Pick up Date (google sign up to follow)

Submit Here

In View 2022

January 7-January 29, 2022
Artist Reception: TBD

This annual member and faculty exhibit is open to all members and faculty of The Art Center Highland Park. The subject matter and mediums are open to applicants. Each participant is invited to submit 1 piece and all submissions will be accepted.

It is required that you are a member and/or faculty member. If interested in joining, link to membership.

There is no entry fee.
All participants may enter 1 piece.
All entries must be received by December 17, 2021


Submit Here



Nature VS Nurture

June 17 – July 30, 2022
Opening Reception: June 17, 2022 5:30-8:00pm
Sheila Elias
Joyce Elias
Joshua Elias







Nature vs. Nurture theme is inspired by the concurrent “Famil-E” exhibition with featured artists/guest jurors Sheila Elias, Joshua Elias, and Joyce Elias. As a mother/ child trio the question of whether we are born with artistic abilities or whether it is a matter of influence and exposure will be explored through this call for entry. TACHP is looking for work that is influenced or inspired by familial connections or explores topics of nature vs nurture in general. A wide interpretation of the theme will be accepted.

Guest jurors and featured artists: Sheila Elias, Joshua Elias, Joyce Elias

  • Important dates/deadlines for this exhibit:
    May 20, 2022: Deadline to Submit
    May 27, 2022: Notifications Sent
Submit Here