The Universal

Filter Photo is pleased to present The Universal, juried by Gregory Harris. Join us for a public reception concurrent with our other exhibition, Seeing the familiar for the first time, on September 20th, 6 – 9 pm during the 2019 Filter Photo Festival and Expo Chicago’s Art After Hours.

A juror’s choice award of $500 will be announced as well as an honorable mention.


The Universal refers to what is ubiquitous in photography, the themes, and subjects that keep coming back to us.  How do we use the camera to address, embrace, question, and celebrate the recurring themes and interests in our lives on both a local and global scale?  In the midst of our differences, there remain timeless and compelling similarities among all of us- subjects that bind us and connect us to one another, both in our communities and across the globe.  What are the universal experiences that photography seeks to capture?

About the Juror

Gregory Harris is the Associate Curator of Photography at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. He is a specialist in contemporary photography with a particular interest in documentary practice. Since joining the High in 2016, Greg has curated the exhibitions Way Out There: The Art of Southern Backroads and Look Again: 40 Years of Collecting Photographs as well as solo shows with Thomas Struth, Paul Graham, and Amy Elkins. He recently led the expansion and installation of the High’s new photography galleries. Before joining the High, Greg was the Assistant Curator at the DePaul Art Museum in Chicago. He previously held curatorial positions in the Photography Department at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has contributed essays to monographs by Matthew Brandt, Paul D’Amato, Amy Elkins, Jill Frank, and the Metabolic Studio. In addition to his curatorial work, Greg is a member of the Advisory Council of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. He earned a BFA in photography from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in art history from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.


Important Dates

July 8 at 11:59 p.m. CT – Submissions Close

End of July – Entrants are notified of juror’s decision

September 13 – Accepted work must arrive at Filter Space in Chicago

September 20 – Exhibition Opens

September 20 – Public Reception during Filter Photo Festival

October 19 – Exhibition Closes



All types of photographic and lens-based work will be considered, including short videos (maximum 5 minutes). The entry fee is $35 for 3 submissions, additional $5 for each additional submission up to 5 total. Save your images in JPEG format, sized at 1000 pixels on the longest side. Image files must be titled with the artist’s last and first names and the image number. Example: Smith_Mary_1.jpg

Accepted artists are responsible for shipping expenses to and from the gallery. Artist must include in their packaging a prepaid label for return shipping. To submit your work please use the link below.

To Submit Your Work Click Here