Call for Artwork Submissions

Open to: Queen’s University Students
Submission Deadline: August 26, 2022
Exhibition Dates: October 4 – December 10, 2022
Co-presented by PSAC Local 901 x Union Gallery
Jurors: Prerna Subramanian, Qazi Mustabeen Noor, Sabrina Masud, Maddi Andrews
Curated by Social Justice Committee, PSAC 901

Union Gallery and PSAC Local 901 invite Queen’s University student artists of all kinds—from all disciplines—to submit artwork for a group exhibition, The Migrant Dispatch. This call for artwork is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who relate to the migrant experience.

Submit Artwork

Image: PSAC event at Queen's University, 2022 | Courtesy of PSAC Local 901

To dispatch is to be sent off from a point of origin for a particular goal, for a purpose, to be in transit to another place and to report, to document, to tell a story. Migrant students come to foreign lands with dreams, desires, hopes, but also encounter anxiety at the border, crisis in transit, fear on the streets.

Migrant students are indeed also workers, with their study permits doubling as restrictive work permits. Moreover, on campus, their funding relies on them to work as TAs, RAS, TFs without financial support from the Canadian government that isn't highly restrictive. International students are thus always last for financial assistance but as the pandemic has made explicit: they are considered essential to a crisis-ridden economy.

And yet, the odds remain stacked against migrant students: for the Canadian Federal Government, a student's job doesn't count as work for permanent status; for the university, students hardly ever count as workers. What is it then, really, to be dispatched temporarily, precariously?

We are seeking artwork submissions by migrant students at Queen’s University for a group exhibition. Artwork submissions can be open-ended, individual, and collective explorations of the theme. Artists are invited to respond, but are not limited to, the following prompts:

  • Financial, emotional and/or cultural bargains experienced as a Migrant-Settler on campus;
  • Permission to Work: the 20 hr restriction and fear of deportation due to overwork, overworking due to financial crisis, exploitation while working on cash, being essential in a pandemic and not otherwise;
  • Funding is Work: how you work for your funding, how funding works for you, your student status and its influence on your working conditions;
  • Remittances: sending money home, accessing home for money;
  • Storytelling: how your experiences are shaped by your category of migration (refugee, student, worker);
  • Speak to the precariousness migration brings and how it translates onto the campus;
  • Dreams, hopes, desires that migrants negotiate with, compromise on and arrive with on campus;
  • The idea of home for people who have migrated recently from their birthplace;
  • Fear of the police as a migrant worker, knowing your rights;
  • Documentation blues: scrambling to prove eligibility to live on these lands, being scored and judged by age, gender and race; how do you feel at the border with questions about your purpose?


Artists are invited to submit up to two works in any variety of media and techniques, including but not limited to: painting, drawing, print, sculpture, photography, mixed media, epistolary work, video, sound, performance, and installation. Artwork submissions should aim to speak to the theme of precariousness as a migrant student worker on campus and can also be multilingual.

Student artists of all levels of experience are invited to submit. Works must be ready for display. Artists can submit a maximum of two works each. Artists must be able to deliver and pick-up artworks to Union Gallery: 101 Union St, First Floor Stauffer Library, Queen's University, Kingston ON K7L 5C4.


Submission Deadline: August 26
Notification to selected artists: September 6
Artwork drop-off dates: September 27 — 30, 11am-4:30pm
Exhibition: October 4 — December 10, 2022
Artwork pick-up dates: December 13 — 16, 2022
Submit your artwork

If you have any questions, or require accommodations during the submission process, please reach out: Prerna Subramanian, / Union Gallery


Union Gallery and PSAC Local 901 are committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of our programming and operations. We welcome applications from qualified individuals of all sexualities, races, gender identities, socioeconomic statuses, and (dis)abilities. We strongly encourage applications from equity-seeking communities. UG recognizes that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour), QPOC (Queer People of Colour) and 2SLGBTQIA+ (Two-Spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, +) are disproportionately underrepresented within institutional art spaces. Due to ongoing systemic barriers, UG prioritizes applicants who self-identify as BIPOC, QPOC, 2SLGBTQIA+. If you would like to, please indicate if you self-identify as a member of any equity-seeking groups in your submission.