Open call for art! Applications open from April 25 – May 17

THEME: Pride is a time of celebration. However, it is also an important time to reflect on the fight for equal rights and queer liberation. This fight is not over. After a year of historically hateful rhetoric, censorship, and a record number of divisive, harmful bills authored about the LGBTQ+ community — markedly throughout Appalachia and the Southern U.S. — it is imperative to bring the spirit of the LGBTQ+ community’s historic advocacy and fight for justice back to the forefront of Pride. This year, 55 years after the Stonewall Riots, the Friendlier City Project and YNST Magazine aim to honor the power of pride and protest with art.

Throughout history, art has served as one of the most powerful and efficacious vehicles to create social and political change. In the wake of violence, division or hopelessness, art has been used to subvert, connect, counteract, and protest. Inspired by iconic queer protest signage and art from collectives like ACT UP NY and Gran Fury or individual artists like Keith Haring, we aim to create a collaborative, traveling art exhibit that features contemporary protest art from creatives in Appalachia and the Southern United States.

We encourage LGBTQ+ artists and allies to submit protest art that best reflects the social change they wish to see in the world and their community, particularly in the ongoing fight for LGBTQ+ equality. We welcome intersectionality and subjects that also relate to social topics such as climate, race, poverty, gender, reproductive justice, war, etc.

DETAILS: Selected work will be printed on identical high quality posters. The featured artwork from approximately 30 different artists will be displayed collectively in an homage to the legacy of the AIDS Memorial Quilt. Artwork can be created with any medium but require a digital version for final submission.

All digital submissions must fall into 24” x 36” (w x h) dimensions with high definition imagery.

At least 300 DPI and CMYK color space are strongly recommended. Need help resizing? Use this Canva template! Please simply select “Use template for a new design.”

This project is a collaboration between Appalachian arts & culture media outlet YNST Magazine and Ohio Valley LGBTQ+ advocacy nonprofit The Friendlier City Project. 

The exhibit will debut at the Friendlier City Project’s Pride On the Plaza festival on June 8, 2024. Then, the exhibit will be on display in the Wheeling Artisan Center Gallery for the rest of Pride Month. Being that this is the 55th year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, our goal is to display the exhibit and/or a representative poster in all 55 counties of West Virginia throughout 2024 and into 2025. 

Applications open from April 25 – May 17. Apply below:


An exclusive print which features all of the protest artworks will be sold to support the Friendlier City Project and this traveling exhibition. Individual artwork posters will be labeled NFS but artists are welcome to use their design for sale in any other capacity and the organizers will connect interested buyers to the artists for purchase. 


  • April 25 — Submissions open
  • May 17 — Deadline to submit artwork
  • May 21 — Final notification of accepted artists
  • June 8 — Exhibit opening at Pride on the Plaza
  • Week of June 10 — Exhibit displayed at Wheeling Heritage Artisan Gallery


For questions or comments, please contact Adam Payne at