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Seeing the Self: Storytelling Through Self-Portraiture

Apr 18, 2024 – May 16, 2024

Photo by Cinthya Silverstein

Open Call

In-Person & Virtual Exhibition

Juror & Curator

Kawai Matthews – Director, Photographer and LACP Instructor.

Deadline for Submission

Friday, March 1, 2024, at Midnight

Notice of Acceptance

Monday, March 19, 2024

Opening Reception (In-Person)

Thursday, April 18, 2024, Sovern LA, 5757 West Adams Blvd, LA, CA 90016

Exhibition Run Dates (In-Person & Virtual)

April 18, 2024 – May 16, 2024


Exploring the art of self-portraiture as a practice of self-knowing and conscious self-expression for women and non-gender conforming People of Color, Seeing The Self considers how reclaiming a visual narrative through the photographic medium can be a possible healing modality for those so often rendered invisible.

The art of self-portraiture provides a way of confronting our visual presence gently and with intention, seeing the subject not as object but as the embodiment of representation, in a process of becoming and reclaiming agency of one’s identity.

With the self portrait as the artist’s own presentation of self, this open call invites submissions for works that examine the subject through introspective discovery, which unmask what the artists learned about themselves in the process.


Seeing the Self will feature:

  • Open call for entry (see guidelines below)
  • A self-portrait workshop for BIPOC women & non-gender conforming bodies; In-person on February 17, 11:30 am – 2 pm PST (at Sovern LA); Virtual on March 16, 11:30 am – 2 pm PST (online via zoom)
  • Opening reception on April 18, 7-9 pm PST at Sovern LA
  • Closing reception on May 16, 7-9 pm PST at Sovern LA

The Juror

Kawai Matthews is a director who specializes in storytelling with emotional appeal and an elevated visual style. Whether she’s working on a Netflix special, the BET Awards, ABC’s Global Citizen Festival or the hit Facebook Watch series, Cardi Tries, her combination of skill, vision and work ethic proves to be a winning combination for a versatile range of projects.

A native of southern California, Kawai picked up her first photography camera in high school and later built a career that married her love for the arts, culture, entertainment and portraiture.

Now, as a DGA director working with some of the world’s biggest stars, Kawai has completed projects for BET, ABC, NBC, Netflix, Disney, Meta, Apple Music, Bumble, Nike and other high-profile networks and brands.

For Matthews, the most important aspect of her job is creating space for the talent, crew and collaborators to do their best work. In addition, she approaches each project as fertile ground for visions to come to life, unearthing the magic beneath the surface of each story.

Kawai’s directing skills are complemented by her professional experience as a videographer, editor, photographer, producer and graphic designer. These skill sets inform her directorial work across unscripted series, documentary specials, award shows, multicam live and commercials.

Kawai is a UC Berkeley alum and founder of the creator empowerment brand, Thriving Artist.

Eligibility and Guidelines

The exhibition is open internationally to Black, Brown, Indigenous, People of Color who are women, women-presenting, and/or non-gender conforming artists working in photography. The juror will select works based on the artist’s use of self portraiture to examine identity and representation, as well as creativity and quality of works.

Sovern LA and LACP invite artists working in the photographic medium to take part in the exhibition.

When you submit, please remember this call is meant for both virtual and in-person exhibitions. The in-person exhibition at Sovern LA will include works curated by the juror. We highly encourage you to consider the size of the work you choose to submit and its logistical needs, including shipping and handling.

The deadline to send digital files for consideration is March 1, 2024, 12:00 midnight, 2024.

Acceptance Notice

Once the juror has made selections, all entrants will receive an email from Sovern LA with a list of images and artists selected for the show. The selected images and artists’ names will be posted on Sovern LA and LACP’s websites.

Sovern LA and LACP are not responsible for connecting the selected artists with the juror.

Entry Fee

$25 for 1 image ($12.50 for LACP Members)
$50 for 2-5 images ($25.00 for LACP Members)

To apply for a scholarship to cover the entry free, please apply to the Sugarshack Scholarship HERE.

How to Enter

Click HERE to enter and pay. You will be taken to Submittable to create your submission.

NOTE: Please DO NOT watermark your images when submitting. Thank you.

Not an LACP Member? To become a Member, click HERE

Exhibit Works

All works accepted for exhibition must be presentation ready, if a print: printed. Artists will be required to submit an artist statement along with a description of what the artist learned in the process of creating their self portrait(s), materials/techniques used, and size/dimensions of each artwork when entering. Exhibiting artists will be expected to either drop off their work or pay for round-trip shipping of their work. You will be required to send us a prepaid express mail label for the return of your artwork. We take no responsibility for damage during shipping, so we suggest that you insure the work during mailing.

Works for exhibition must arrive by April 8, 2024. There are no exceptions. Please mail prints to Sovern, 5757 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016. (Please deliver them with protective wrapping.) For LA based artists hand delivering work, schedule a drop off time to Sovern LA with Sovern staff.

Liability & Agreement

Each photographer retains all copyrights to their images & works. Photographers whose submissions are chosen for the exhibition grant the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) and Sovern LA the right to use their images for display on LACP’s website and for the purpose of promoting exhibitions, promoting LACP and Sovern LA’s programs, and promoting the artist. Promotions and images may also be placed on social networks for LACP and Sovern LA with artist credit. Artists grant the use of their image(s) as stated without further contact from LACP or Sovern LA. The artist understands that LACP and Sovern LA will not be held responsible for loss, theft or other damage, whether caused by the negligence of its officers, members, or others. Photographers are welcome to sell their photos during the online exhibit, with 20% commission to LACP and 20% commission to Sovern LA. Submission of application will constitute an agreement to all these terms and conditions.


Will this be an in-person exhibition or online exhibition?

Does LACP offer scholarships for the entry costs?

Do I have to be a member to submit to this open call?

Do I have to be a professional photographer to participate in the open call?

If chosen for an in-person show, how does shipping work?

What if my piece gets damaged during shipping or the show?

Can I get installation shots of my work in a show? I live out of town.


For questions please email