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lacuna (linguistics), a lexical gap in a language | lacunae [plural]

Is the meaning of your artwork dependent upon specific references to a language or culture?

Do you feel that your artwork is best understood when interpreted by those who also share or know about a culture? Or when viewed by those who also speak a specific language?

Do you feel that there is a gap of understanding when English-speakers interpret your artwork?

The Stamp Gallery at the University of Maryland invites you to submit images of your work to its second summer exhibition, Beautiful Lacunae.

Sanskrit, the sacred language of Hinduism that is still spoken in parts of modern-day India, has 96 words for different forms of “love.” Some languages in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Asia do not have words for “color,” but all have words to describe the seen world (1). Artists who speak languages that read right-to-left often create visual narratives that also read right to left.

Beautiful Lacunae asks us all: how does language affect an artist’s production of art? How does it affect a viewer’s interpretation?

What are the gaps between these experiences?

Beautiful Lacunae will provide a platform for artists to present work related to a  language or culture in its most natural, intended form. Labels will be written in the language that the artist chooses, and a pop-up librarycreated collaboratively with exhibiting artistswill be available for visitors to investigate cultural references further.

Artists are encouraged to submit 2-D or 3-D work in any medium, including digital, installation, performance, text, and sound. Size of entries are restricted to the size of the Gallery space: please email for Gallery dimensions. There is no entry fee.

TO SUBMIT: Please email the following to with title “Beautiful Lacunae Application – [Name].”
  • Up to 10 images of your work. If video or audio recordings or documentation are essential to your proposed body of work, clips should be shared as a link to a streaming site (with passwords provided as necessary).
  • Image list with title, date, materials, dimensions in inches, and any relevant specifications for installation or equipment necessary for the presentation of the work.
  • Phone number.
  • Link to artist website (if applicable).
All submissions must be received by May 21. Deadline extended to June 4. Accepted artists will be notified mid-June.
QUESTIONS: Grace DeWitt at





1 Anna Wierzbecka, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute



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