Category: Visual Arts

Call for Entries: Mask & Carry

Call for Entries: Mask & Carry

Coming soon: “Mask & Carry”​
Work due Saturday, November 21st, 2020
Show runs November 23rd, 2020, through January 8th, 2021
Reception TBA

​For this year’s holiday fundraiser show, The Exchange masks up!

​Since 2014, The Exchange has hosted a year-end art exhibition called “Cash & Carry”: We gave away wooden panels for artists to make art on, and we sold every piece for the same price.

This year, we will give away plain white 100%-cotton face masks for a “Mask & Carry” exhibition. As always, artists can make any sort of artwork on them – painting, drawing, sewing, collaging, sculpting, tie-dyeing, any medium at all. All of the finished pieces will go on display at the Exchange Gallery starting Saturday, November 21st, and the “Mask & Carry” exhibition will run through the 8th of January, 2021.

All of the masks in the show will go on view at an e-commerce site so buyers can browse and purchase on the Web; we will have that link out to you when the show opens and sales begin. All pieces will also go up on the Instagram page.

In this year that the COVID crisis has affected everything that The Exchange does, as it has affected every person reading this, we make a special request of our artists: We ask all of you to do your work on your masks as donations to The Exchange; that way, all of the proceeds will go directly to keeping our lights on and into the programming that brings the arts to all communities throughout our region – the Gallery, the Art Cart, the Listening Room, and more. Your donations in this show will help ensure that we can continue to keep such a low commission, 20%, in all of our other shows. We thank you in advance for your generosity.

Artists may also start from scratch and enter masks of their own design, of any size at all (as long as they fit through the front door) and constructed of any material, substance, or matter. These artists also agree to donate all of the proceeds to The Exchange – which we will appreciate immensely!
​Because all of the masks in the show will have become artwork, The Exchange does NOT recommend wearing any of them as protective gear – but one certainly may at a proper physical distance in any situation where one would not need a mask.

You may pick up your mask to work on at The Exchange during our regular open hours (

​The Exchange turned ten years old in 2020, and we had intended to celebrate all year long, with concerts at venues throughout Columbia and Montour Counties as well as our Gallery shows, some of which hearkened back to themes that we had solicited work on in the past – thus our third “Nest” and “Cover of a Cover” exhibitions. The first six annual “Cash & Carry” shows have attracted as many as 521 pieces in each, with the artists representing a broad and deep cross-section of the people in our community, from university art professors to preschool children and everyone in between. We look forward to just as diverse a group of artists in “Mask & Carry”.

For more information about The Exchange and our ongoing “Listening Room” concert series, sponsored in part by Downtown Bloomsburg, Inc., visit For information about arts events and opportunities throughout our region, visit

ArtFest in Bloomsburg cancelled for 2020

ArtFest in Bloomsburg cancelled for 2020

With the good health of the people in our community as by far the most important factor, The Exchange, Downtown Bloomsburg Inc. (DBI), and the Town of Bloomsburg have decided that ArtFest should not take place in 2020. The boards of the two non-profits and Town Council agree that the COVID-19 pandemic makes an event of ArtFest’s size unwise, even outdoors. In addition, making ArtFest a success would mean trying to draw enough attendees that it would bump up against if not exceed the number, 250, that the Governor of Pennsylvania has determined as the limit on gatherings.

ArtFest would have taken place on Saturday, August 22nd, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. surrounding the fountain on the Square and up Market Street in downtown Bloomsburg, with more than thirty art and craft vendors, five food vendors, and live music by local performers all day. We now look forward to the 2021 event, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, August 21st.

DBI, the non-profit organization devoted to the betterment of Bloomsburg’s downtown commercial district, founded ArtFest in 2008; The Exchange, a non-profit dedicated to bringing the arts to all communities throughout our region, has produced the event since 2016; and the Town of Bloomsburg has provided the venues and support services each year. Both DBI and The Exchange look forward to other events — both in-person and on-line — that our fellow citizens can enjoy safely; for more information, please visit and For more information about the Town, please visit

For more information about The Exchange, visit or or call 570-317-2596.

“Doppelganger” open call show

“Doppelganger” open call show

​Work due by Saturday, September 5th, 2020
Show runs Tuesday, September 8th through Friday, October 9th, 2020
Reception TBA

The dictionary defines it thus:

dop·pel·gäng·er — /ˈdäpəlˌɡaNGər/, noun — an apparition or double of a living person

​What does “doppelganger” mean to YOU?  We want to see your artwork: As always, all interpretations in all media accepted — 2-D, 3-D, video, installation, etc.

Artwork on the banner above by Central Columbia High School students Rylee Granville and Stefen Antonopoulos for the 2018 Halloween Window Painting in Bloomsburg, an annual tradition going back half a century in which middle- and high-school students decorate storefront windows on Main Street — including, the past six years, at The Exchange.


Moose Exchange throwback open-call show — “Nest 3”

​Work due Saturday, August 1st, 2020 (Gallery open 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.; you may also bring in work the week before)
Show runs Monday, August 3rd through Friday, September 4th, 2020
Reception TBA​

Celebrating The Exchange’s tenth anniversary, we bring back this popular open-call show theme from the past — the theme of the first open-call show we ever did, in the erstwhile Stairwell Gallery at the Moose Exchange in 2013.  Back then 24 artists answered the call, from college art professors to a middle-school student, and we knew that we had a good thing going, both with the theme and with the idea of open-call shows: We have done more than fifty shows since then open to all artists of every age and level of experience from all over.

You may interpret “nest” however you wish, in any medium; as long as your piece fits through the front door, we’ll display it.

CALLS FOR ENTRIES: “Cover of a Cover”, “Nest 3”, & “Doppelganger”

CALLS FOR ENTRIES: “Cover of a Cover”, “Nest 3”, & “Doppelganger”

The Exchange Gallery calls all regional artists to enter three upcoming exhibitions. All will hang in the Exchange Gallery and each will have an enhanced on-line presence as well.

All interpretations and all media including installation proposals accepted. In common with all of our exhibitions, we welcome all artists regardless of level of experience and abilities.


Work due Saturday, June 27th
Show runs Monday, June 29th, through Friday, July 31st

Celebrating The Exchange’s tenth anniversary, we have brought back one of the most popular open-call shows from the past: Show us how YOU reimagine a record album cover! Whether “Dark Side of the Moon” or Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” or the Berlin Philharmonic’s Verdi “Requiem” or any other album at all in any style and from any era, you can use any medium. LP sleeves measure 12″ x 12″, but do not let that limit you; work just needs to fit through the front door, and you can work in 2-D and 3-D media.


“NEST 3”
Work due Saturday, August 1st
Show runs Monday, August 3rd, through Friday, September 4th

Celebrating The Exchange’s tenth anniversary, we bring back this popular open-call show theme from the past. Interpret “nest” however you wish; as long as your piece fits through the front door, we’ll display it! For a fascinating look at the science of birds’ nests, see this story from the New York Times.


Work due Saturday, September 5th
Show runs Tuesday, September 8th, through Friday, October 9th

The dictionary defines it thus: dop·pel·gäng·er — /ˈdäpəlˌɡaNGər/, noun — an apparition or double of a living person. What does “doppelganger” mean to YOU? We want to see your artwork!


To download a loan agreement form, which must accompany all entered artwork, click here.

Questions? Give us a call at 570-317-2596 or drop us a line at [email protected]

ATTENTION ARTISTS!  Request for proposals: Outdoor Art in Bloomsburg

ATTENTION ARTISTS! Request for proposals: Outdoor Art in Bloomsburg

The Exchange invites artists from throughout our community to beautify eight picnic tables that will come to downtown Bloomsburg as part of an effort to revitalize the area during the COVID-19 crisis. We will provide paying work for artists, whose outlets have decreased drastically (galleries closed, outdoor festivals canceled), and the project will support local businesses and enhance our downtown.

We seek interesting and inspiring work, and of course 100% family-friendly. The Exchange’s Gallery committee and the Town Park Improvement Association will choose the successful proposals for this round of artwork; we look forward to having too many and figuring out how we can fund future artwork elsewhere in Bloomsburg and beyond. We will not make financial need the prime factor when choosing participating artists, but we do ask artists to give us some sense of how the current crisis has affected their lives so it can enter into our consideration; we will treat your responses with strict confidentiality.

We ask for fairly detailed plans for the artwork on the tops and (if the artist wishes) seats of the picnic tables – each one approximately eight feet long and four feet wide across the top (sizes vary). You may submit drawings, altered photos, or in any other medium. Please submit a letter of interest and your jpgs to [email protected] We have no fixed deadline, but we will start making choices as soon as we have the first five entries in hand.

We have budgeted $340 (three hundred and forty dollars) per table – $100 for materials (including primer and polyurethane topcoat, which we will supply) and $240 to pay each artist, or twelve hours at the local median wage of $20 per hour.

We do not need to get all of the tables finished right away; by documenting each table’s transformation through photographs and video, and sharing those stories on the Web, we can build excitement about the artwork and downtown Bloomsburg as a destination, with something new to see on each visit over a period of weeks.

Town Council approved four locations for these tables, including on the Square surrounding the Fountain; in front of the Diner; and in the Pine Avenue parking lot near Brennan’s Big Chill and Rose Marie’s. The Town Park Improvement Association has offered the use of eight of its tables, which the Town’s Public Works crew will move from the Park to the downtown.

This project takes inspiration from the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression, when the federal government hired artists of all kinds; Bloomsburg benefited directly from this program, with the bas-relief carved-wood sculpture in the post office as the WPA’s enduring legacy here. Across the U.S., COVID-19 has had a dramatic and terrible effect on artists; we have seen it here with the Exchange Gallery, Artspace, and the Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble all closed, sales at zero, and employees laid off. Giving even a few visual artists the opportunity to earn money from their artwork during this crisis tells the community that we remain committed to the arts and that the arts remain central to our lives in a healthy society.