Ends on July 31, 2018$7.00

The Jewish Art Salon is accepting submissions for an exhibition at two venues in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and is inviting member artists to submit their work for consideration. The exhibit will take place at the Amstelkerk and at Plein van Siena.

SPINOZA, Marrano of Reason

The exhibition deals with the way we are all experiencing the philosophy, world and ideas of Baruch Spinoza in our daily life. This 17th century Dutch philosopher called upon human beings to live by the guidance of reason,  ideas which shook the Jewish and non-Jewish world. It was a defining moment in history which still has its enormous impact on humanity.

The exhibition's title refers to Spinoza and Other Heretics: The Marrano of Reason, one of the most influential publications about Spinoza, written by Yirmiyahu Yovel, the founder of the Jerusalem Spinoza Institute. The book is about Spinoza, about Marrano culture, and about Reason, and how these three topics relate to each other. It discusses how the Marrano culture and its elements are used, and transformed Spinoza’s thoughts. The last few years many young Spanish/Portuguese Jews in Europe, descendants of Marranos, have been searching/trying to restore their ties with their heritage. “I am a Marrano” is their motto. For them the word Marrano is a metaphor for "Jewish".

We are looking for artworks that reflect themes related to Spinoza's ideas:

  • Breaking boundaries erected in the last hundred years (and in the case of Israël reaching its tipping point of political and territorial boundaries).
  • Defining Jewishness in the modern world.       
  • Diversity, tolerance, immigration.
  • Religious fanaticism.
  • “The Purpose of the State is Freedom” said Baruch Spinoza. Is this a reality, or still a dream?
  • Freedom of Speech….do your ideas about freedom of speech endanger my existence? Do mine yours?
  • The entangled relationship between old and the new, the traditional and modern (within all traditions).

Venues: Amstelkerk and Plein van Siena, both in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Exhibit dates Amstelkerk: March 2019.

Opening reception both venues: March 7, 2019.

Exhibit dates Plein van Siena: TBA

Eligibility: Open to paid-up members of the Jewish Art Salon. Info on membership and how to join here.

Media: Oils, acrylics, prints, drawings, photography and mixed media.

No sculpture, video, installation. Work may not exceed 60” x 60”.

All 2-D mediums welcome; artists at all stages in their art career are invited to submit, as long as the submitted works relate to the theme.

Works must be ready to hang, with a wire or hook or pole. 

If you have large work, in order to keep shipping costs down you should consider un-stretched canvas with grommets, or a hem at the top and bottom, with poles inserted that have small hooks at the end. 

The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2018.

Notification of acceptance: August 2018.

Submission fee is $7 for 1-2 works. $7 for each additional  2 works. Entry fees are paid through the entry form’s PayPal link, which accepts credit cards. Fees are nonrefundable.

Transportation fee: Artists are responsible for round trip transportation of their artwork by mailing by FedEx, UPS, not the postal service. Mailed works need an enclosed pre-paid return address label. Accepted artists will receive notice where and when to mail their work. 

Curators: Curators: Janet Heit (NYC) and Billha Zussman (Amsterdam). Co-curator Goldie Gross (Brooklyn).

Organizers: Billha Zussman (Amsterdam) and Yona Verwer (NYC). More team members TBA later.

Commission: Works that sell while on exhibit are subject to a 30% commission, artists retain 70%. 

Application Guidelines:

  • All 2-D mediums are welcome (painting, photography, etc.). If selected the works need to be ready to hang.
  • Submit up to 2 images that accurately represent the theme. If you want to submit more than 2, a second submission is required.
  • Images should be 300 dpi, 1200 pixels on the shortest side, and should not exceed 10 MB per file.
  • Save images as lastname.title_of_work. If the submission file of artwork isn't saved as requested, the work will not be considered.
  • Be specific in your description on why your submitted work relates to the theme.


  • All submissions must be sent through Submittable.com. You will need to create an account with Submittable in order to submit.
  • No email submissions will be accepted. 
  • The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2018.

About the Amstelkerk:

This former church in the center of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is managed by Stadsherstel, which restores and preserves monuments ensuring that the original character of the building is left intact, but that it is also suitable as a cultural venue. The building features monthly art exhibitions, concerts and lectures.

About Plein van Siena:

"Square of Siena"  is a center for reflection, encounter and spirituality in Amsterdam-Zuid. They regularly present exhibitions of contemporary visual artists. The center organizes monthly concerts, as well as workshops and other meetings about culture and expression, philosophy, theology and humanity.

About the Jewish Art Salon:

              The Jewish Art Salon is the largest Jewish visual art organization in the world. It is a global network of contemporary Jewish artists. The Salon provides important programs and resources; since 2008 it has organized 30 exhibits and 40 art events in the USA and Israel.    


Joel Silverstein on Spinoza:

The philosopher Baruch (Benedito, Benedict) de Spinoza, 1632-77 paved the way for the modern Jewish experience, as well as being a pre-curser of the Enlightenment and the secular modern world. By introducing logic and scientific enquiry into 17th Century discourse, the philosopher challenged both Jewish and Christian authorities at their core. Spinoza believed the Bible should be removed from traditional rabbinic teachings and subjected to lucid reasoning. Furthermore, the experience must be enacted by a free individual who could make his or her own decisions. In a radical jump, Spinoza creates the modern world, the need for personal religious freedom and an independent scientifically- based Biblical criticism. The branches from Spinoza’s philosophical tree include: Atheism, Pantheism, Skepticism, and the modern movements of Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodoxy. For although traditional Judaism insists on communal agreement within the Covenant, it is Spinoza that uniquely suggests that, with no personal examination and affirmation, there can be no religion and indeed no Judaism at all. 

Jewish Art Salon