Call for Artists: Cape Verdean Voices

painting by Maurice Costa

Painting by Maurice Costa

An Exhibition of Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean American Art in Honor of Judge George N. Leighton

June 28 – July 29, 2019
New Bedford Whaling Museum

“Our tie to each other and to the past is the water.”
— Jarita Davis, poet, author of Return Flight

Artists were invited to submit proposals that interpret and speak to the Cape Verdean experience in Cabo Verde or the United States for this Whaling Museum exhibition. Artists working in any medium could participate.

The Cape Verdean experience is simultaneously a longing for “home,” recognition of the difficulties Cape Verdeans have faced throughout history, and the creative and unique ways that Cape Verdeans have adapted and persevered in Cabo Verde, New Bedford and beyond. From whaling, agriculture, and entrepreneurship to cuisine, music, and language, Cape Verdeans are part of the fabric of New Bedford. During Cape Verdean Recognition Week 2019, the New Bedford Whaling Museum is proud to pay tribute to Cape Verdean culture and creativity in the exhibition Cape Verdean Voices: Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean American Art in Honor of Judge George N. Leighton. Judge Leighton (1912 – 2018), the son of Cape Verdean immigrants to the area, was a prominent Civil Rights activist and the first Cape Verdean American Federal Judge.
Call for Artists: Cape Verdean Voices Flyer (pdf)


Share your voice!

The exhibition will reflect local Cape Verdean voices and will cover themes such as immigration, island culture(s), family, Cape Verdean and Cape Verdean American identity, Cape Verdean folklore, and Cape Verdean history.



The date for submitting a proposal was May 24, 2019

Artists were asked to submit one proposal in a Word or PDF document. Proposals must include:

  • Artist Statement (2-3 paragraphs describing artist, general approach, and medium)
  • Examples (descriptions or images) of past work if you plan to create a new piece of art (1-3 examples) OR proposed piece for the show (please be clear if you are submitting a new or already completed piece)
  • Description of artist’s interpretation of the Cape Verdean experience, including written description of project and title
  • Estimated schedule of completion (if not yet completed)


Jury Process

Judges, including curators, the New Bedford Whaling Museum Cape Verdean Advisory Committee, and Museum staff members will evaluate proposals for uniqueness, feasibility, creativity, relevance to theme, and appropriateness. The Whaling Museum will notify all finalists by June 3, 2019 if they have been selected to participate.

We will select 14 total pieces for the show, including:

  • 4 paintings
  • 3 songs, poems, or written word (to be displayed and performed during the exhibition opening). These can be in Kriolu or English. If your submission is in Kriolu, please provide translation or let us know if you need your work translated.
  • 2 sculptures
  • 3 photographs
  • 2 miscellaneous (such as jewelry design, fabrics, etc.)


Important Dates

Proposal submission(s) due: May 24, 2019
Notification of finalists: June 3, 2019
Work complete and delivered: June 24, 2019
Exhibition opens: June 28, 2019
Opening reception: July 3, 2019


Frequently Asked Questions CLICK HERE