RANSOM: Exploring the Edges of Appropriation

October 20th - December 13th, 2018


Together, in collaboration with For Freedoms, we aimed to create an exhibition of work that explores the concept, implications, questions and ramifications of appropriation. Artists chose to explore the theme via cultural appropriation, land and image appropriation, through language, heritage, style and labor. Collectively, we wrestled with who benefits or profits from appropriation, if, how, and when appropriation is harmful, what its consequences are and how that may differ across the landscape of personal, societal, and political identities.


This show will strictly be a "not for sale show" meaning no artist or organization will profit from the work created for this exhibition. We feel strongly that this topic will be explored more honestly and more fully outside of the realm of capitalism. That being said, we wholly support artists making a living from their work - but the intent of this particular effort is to provoke thought, conversation, and dialogue only.


We believe that art is a means to challenge power, privilege, and oppression. Therefore, we explicitly sought artists that represent a diverse range of thought, experience, and background. As artists, and those who engage with the arts, it is our responsibility to question and respond to the world around us. It is our duty as members of our community to participate in meaningful discourse, to listen and learn from one another.  


Featured Artists:


Thank You to Our Collaborating Partners:

For Freedoms: For Freedoms is a platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direction action for artists in the United States. Since 2016, For Freedoms has produced exhibitions, town hall meetings, billboards and public art to spur greater participation in civic life.

This year, For Freedoms launched The 50 State Initiative, a new phase of programming from September through December 2018 during the lead-up to the midterm elections. Building off of the existing artistic infrastructure in the United States, For Freedoms has developed a network of artists and institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Centered around the vital work of artists, we hope that these exhibitions and related projects will model how arts institutions can become civic forums for action and discussion of values, place, and patriotism.



Chases Garage: Artists studios and gallery in York, Maine founded by Cait Giunta and Ned Roche. “The Seacoast has a flourishing artist community. Our goal is to support artists who are not only looking to create work, but to join in a dialogue about it. The community is a huge component of why we started this endeavor.” - Cait Giunta

RANSOM Curatorial Team:

Kristy Martino is a recovering artist, former lobyist, textile desiner, ad woman, and candystriper. Currently a storyteller and lover of pastry. Passionate about justice and generally the one in the room asking uncomfortable questions. 

Michael Dandley is an artist living in Portsmouth, NH

Claudia Maturell is Outreach Coordinator at Green Acre Bahá’í Center of Learning, and an individual with many passions, including justice, unity, good conversations, beautiful things, creative people, inspiring places, spiritual subjects and good tea.

Cait Giunta is Co-founder of Chases Garage Artist Studios & Gallery and reminds herself that one day we are all going to be eaten up by the sun.

Allison May Kiphuth is a NH Seacoast/Maine-based artist and lifelong nature enthusiast.

Ned Roche is Co-Owner of Chases Garage Artist Studios & Gallery in York Beach, Maine and sometimes folds Things out of clay.

Catherine Stewart is an Award-winning freelance writer, director and editor with a passion for empowering people through creative arts experiences. Native of Scotland, emigrated to New Hampshire in 2012.

Submission Guidelines:

Deadline for submissions: 





We are seeking artists who are willing to wrestle with this topic by either creating brand new work or reflecting on a piece or body of work created previously but through a new lens of appropriation. The final exhibition will be a catalyst for community conversation and is not likely to provide answers or solutions to the challenges and ramifications surrounding this topic - we only wish to begin a conversation amongst artists and those who engage with the art. 

Artist Prompts:

What is cultural appropriation?

Have you discovered in your own work an appropriation you weren’t aware of?

What is the difference between inspiration and appropriation, appropriation and appreciation?

Where do we as artists and those who engage with art draw the line between what is exploratory, educational, revealing or harmful?

Can art ever be truly free of appropriation?

Formats Accepted:

Paintings, drawings, mixed media, ceramics, audio, video, poetry, prose, performance art, etc.

What to submit: 

Photos of completed work (hi res jpegs), transcripts of any written work or performance pieces, links to any audio or video files

Relevant artist statement (maximum of 700 words) that pertains to the relationship of your submitted work to the topic of appropriation

Selection Process and Artist Agreements:

Artists will be selected by the RANSOM curatorial team (see below) via a juried process

Artists will be selected based upon an evaluation of their submitted materials, including digital images and written statements

Notifications of acceptance will be made via email by October 1, 2018

All work must be delivered to Chases Gallery by October 10, 2018*

*Artists are responsible for any shipping or delivery costs unless this is a reasonable barrier to participation, in which case, please contact us and we will advise on a case by case basis

Artists must include a brief written statement to accompany their artwork, presented alongside art during show’s run.