Borderline Projects encourages artists from all countries and backgrounds to participate in LA LOTERIA, an international exhibition that will feature work inspired by the Loteria Mexicana (Mexican Bingo) deck of cards. The exhibition will take place in September 2011 at Observatory, an arts and cultural space in New York City. 


SUBMISSION FEE: There is no fee to participate

EXHIBITION DATES: September 10 – October 22, 2011

OPENING RECEPTION: September 10, 2011

PLACE: Observatory. 543 Union Street (at Nevins), Brooklyn, NY 11215



We are open to artists from all backgrounds and countries. Entries must be original pieces of art inspired by the iconography, symbolism, themes or style of the Loteria Mexicana deck of cards (go to for samples of the cards).



Open to traditional and non-traditional genres and media, including, but not limited to: photography, painting, drawing, printmaking, visual poetry, etc. Works must not exceed 3ft by 3ft in dimension. This applies also to the overall size of multi-panel pieces. For specific questions regarding other media, please contact Borderline Projects at



Artists may submit up to 3 pieces, by sending digital images of the proposed artwork to, in accordance with the following guidelines: Images must be sent in digital format (photographed or scanned). The quality of each file must range between 150 and 300 dpi, and the file must not exceed 4MB. Each file must be named using the following format: titleofwork_nameofartist (only PNG, TIFF or JPG extensions, please).

Submissions must also include a short bio or a CV, as well as an Image Script, both of them pasted into the body of the email (if the CV is too long, please attach it as a PDF file). The Image Script must have the following information for each of the submitted pieces: 1. Artist’s name; 2. Title of work; 3. Medium; 4. Dimensions of work, and 5. Date.



Entries for LA LOTERIA are accepted starting April 05, 2011, and will remain open until July 15, 2011. There is no fee to participate. Artists who are selected for the show will be entirely responsible to ship their pieces to Observatory, in New York City, by August 25, 2011.



The list of selected artists will be posted on by August 08, 2011. Email notifications will also be sent to the selected artists. The costs of shipping and handling will be covered by the artists. Selected artists will receive a contract agreement, as well as specific instructions to include a prepaid return shipping label with their shipment. Borderline Projects reserves the right to use any selected works for the promotion of the event, in any available publications or any other media.



All work accepted for the exhibition must arrive ready to be installed. Accepted pieces that differ significantly from the entry images, or suffer from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Work may be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped pieces must be sent in an easily reusable container/packaging, with prepaid return shipping. Works will be returned in the same manner as delivered. All work must arrive at Observatory (543 Union Street, Brooklyn, NY 11215) by August 25, 2011 (see calendar below). Accepted artwork will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. The artists are responsible for all shipping costs.


La Loteria is a game similar to Bingo. Instead of numbers, it uses a deck of cards illustrated with figures that represent everyday objects, plants, animals, mythical creatures and other characters. The origins of this game go back to 16th century Italy, where most of the lottery games (such as Bingo, the Lotto, etc.) were born, and where the first decks of playing card, including the Tarot, were introduced into Europe.

The specific origins of the Loteria Mexicana deck of cards are uncertain. The deck most commonly used today dates back to the 19th century, and was made popular by the French entrepreneur Clemente Jacques. Its images are part of the collective imaginary of Mexican communities in Mexico and abroad.

The potential of games of chance to produce an interpretative or symbolic relationship with reality has been discussed by many authors, such as Italo Calvino, who used the Tarot as an interpretative matrix in order to generate a series of intertwined stories in his book The Castle of Crossed Destinies. The Tarot, once a simple deck of playing cards, is now associated with magic and divination. On the other hand, Carl C. Jung explored the potential that the I Ching has to help establish contact with the most profound layers of the unconscious mind.

The idea behind this exhibition is to use the images of La Loteria as a matrix that helps us generate dialogues, intersections, and points of encounter. We want to invite artists from all origins and disciplines to be inspired by the symbolism, style, characters, themes or any other aspect of La Loteria that they find suggestive. We invite you to adapt, play homage, adopt or desecrate La Loteria. This exhibition seeks to open a liminal space around these cards, a border-zone where it’s possible to explore our differences together.

Feel free to print, share, or forward this information as you please

We are looking forward to receive your submissions

This event is organized with the kind support of:



July 15, 2011


August 08, 2011


August 25, 2011


September 10, 2011


October 22, 2011


October 30, 2011

Deadline for submissions


Notification to selected artists


Artwork must have arrived to Observatory by this date


Opening reception


Final day of Exhibition


Pick-up/shipping of artwork


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