Call for Submissions: Gay Gardens


The John. B. Aird Gallery cordially invites you to

Gay Gardens
Online Art Exhibition

Deadline: May 25, 2020
Launch Date: June 25, 2020
Entry Details found here

About the Exhibition:

Can a garden be gay ?
Can a flower be lesbian ?
Can a tree be LGBTQ2IPA ?

Gay Gardens is inspired by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish scientist, who published Systema Naturae in 1735. The book describes his method of naming and classifying plants based on their sexual organs and sexual actions. Society was shocked and embarrassed by the botanical orgies happening in their back yards. A woman has sex with six different men, in the lily flower’s arrangement of pistils and stamens. The virtuous canna is monogamous with one husband and one wife. Ferns and mosses keep their sex organs hidden and their marriages too. 1

Aird Gallery wants your submissions for our upcoming online art exhibition. Send us up to 3 jpegs of your work, old or new. We encourage contents such as: botany, sexuality, wilderness, gender, flowers, orientation, landscapes, transitions, gardening, the birds and the bees, and other representations. We encourage mediums such as: drawing, quilting, painting, pyrography, needlepoint, photography, ceramic, weaving, printmaking, beading, sculpture, video, performance, and etc. Our jury of gay garden experts, Jowenne Herrera and curator Patrick DeCoste, will select their favorites to be included in our online exhibition which will go on view June 25, 2020.

1. Andrea Wulf, The Brother Gardeners, Botany, Empire, and the Birth of an Obsession. (London: Windmill Books, 2009).
2. Call for entry image: Ladies Morning Dress, Louis de Carmontelle, 1771, colour engraving


Jowenne Carpo Herrera is a visual artist and designer who works with various media integrating painting, drawing, illustration, photography and typography. Many of his works depict subjects drawn from nature and daily urban landscapes – experimenting with the dualities and tensions between identities, societies and idealisms. He thrives in the diversity of thought – inspired by the many things he sees, feels and experiences everyday. He is a Registered Graphic Designer of Ontario (RGD) and Certification Portfolio Evaluator for the association. He owns ABAKADA design + communication, and for over 20 years has been delivering creative design solutions across public,private and not for profit sectors – specializing in brand development, editorial design and graphic illustration. He served as John B. Aird Gallery Chair/President and Director in Toronto for over 10 years. In his spare time, he abandons the digital world and gardens, cooks and runs a lot.

Patrick DeCoste is an award-winning Toronto-based visual artist who studied fine arts at Mount Allison University. He has exhibited extensively in Toronto, as well as New York City and beyond. The Globe and Mail calls him ‘a young old master’ and Los Angeles writer Chris Kraus in C-Magazine describes his painting as ‘heroic and musty, strange and disturbing’. He was awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship in 2011.Through his art he explores Indigenous histories and his Nova Scotia Métis roots. In 2014, he received the President’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Graduate Studies from OCADU, where he completed an Interdisciplinary MFA. His recent exhibitions include solo exhibitions at Galerie Youn, Montreal 2014; Station Gallery, Whitby 2015. This past year DeCoste was awarded grants from The Canada Council for the Arts for the production of new works, from The Ontario Arts Council’s Aboriginal Artists in Schools program and from the Toronto Arts Council for his 13 Moons and A Canoe exhibit. When not in the city, Patrick spends time at his studio on Georgian Bay, near Lafontaine, canoeing with his dog Luca, and making art in the forest.

How to Enter:

UPLOAD ENTRY MATERIALS via the JOTFORM on our website submission page: 300 DPI jpegs no larger than 1.5 MB with proper naming: last name, first name, title, size (hxw), date, price. Example: Smith, John, “My Beautiful Tulips”, needlepoint, 30cm x 20cm, 2018, $350.

ENTRY FEE: The non-refundable entry fee of $50 is to be paid when you submit your jpegs. Pay via on-line banking using INTERAC E-Transfer to This fee covers entry of up to three works per artist and helps our not-for-profit gallery create an exhibition catalogue, and to continue delivering diverse and excellent exhibitions.

DEADLINE: Midnight Monday May 25, 2020. Selected artists will be notified by May 31, 2020. Aird will facilitate online sales and asks for a 30% donation to the gallery. The artist and buyer will coordinate shipping.

Aird Gallery will host a fabulous closing event on Friday July 17, 2020 in our virtual garden, or if possible in our actual garden at 906 Queen Street West, Toronto.

Entry Details found here | Facebook