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Ayrton ‘SAM’ Mendes won Highly Commended at our 2023 AWOL Studios X Comme Ca Art Open Call Exhibition.

Ayrton Mendes, also known as SAM, is a Portuguese artist based in Manchester. He ‘intricately explores the intersections of race, sexuality and gender. His practice weaves a unique perspective, rooted in personal experiences and a profound interest in African and urban cultures. Embracing diverse media, from video to sculpture, SAM employs an interdisciplinary approach, using unconventional materials to express his visionAesthetica magazine.

Mendes kindly answered a few questions about his experience with our Open Call exhibition and gave advice for potential entrants. Check out his answers below:

1 . What is the importance of events like the Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios Open Call Exhibition?

Participating in events like the Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios Open Call can be vital for artists seeking to advance their careers and gain recognition. While these exhibitions offer opportunities for artists to showcase their work and potentially receive awards, their primary significance often lies in the networking opportunities they provide. 

Building connections with other artists and industry professionals can lead to collaborations, future exhibitions, and career advancement. 

I remember that participating last year on Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios Open Call and winning the highly commended prize, as a postgraduate, the importance of these events to facilitate professional growth and exposure within the art community is undeniable.

2 . What inspired you to enter our Open Call in particular?

I was inspired to enter Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios Open Call by the encouragement I received from my university teachers/tutors that motivated me to take the leap and submit my work. Their belief in my artistic abilities gave me the confidence to participate, and I am grateful for their guidance throughout the process.2

Additionally, the opportunity to showcase my work in a reputable space as AWOL Studios was incredibly enticing.

3 . Do you have any advice to artists on entering an Open Call?

My advice is to approach Open calls like Comme Ca Art x AWOL Studios with confidence, preparation, and a willingness to engage with the artistic community. By overcoming any fears and seizing opportunities to share your work, you not only further your own artistic journey but also contribute to the rich tapestry of Contemporary Art.

The AWOL Studios x Comme Ca Art Open Call Exhibition 2024 is live! For more info and entry, head here ~ Deadline 10.03.24

Check out more of SAM’s work here

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