Call for Artists: 12 x 12

album cover for "Burn This Town" by Battle Axe featuring a drawing of a man holding a battle axe on a motorcycle

You’ve seen them. The Computer Internet is littered with collections of photos under titles like Worst Album Covers of All Time and Worst Album Covers Ever and…OK, they’re pretty much all something like that.

Weirdo shots from a time when it was commonplace for naked men with mustaches to advertise their accordion and French horn albums, when straight-laced gospel acts could name a collection Can I Touch Him? or call themselves The Dick Handler Quartet. A solo recorder record with a young woman and her instrument could be titled My Lips Are For Blowing and grinning-for-the-camera family groups could look painfully awkward together on a farm, at the kitchen table, in the choir, or dressed as pirates, in a boat with their children…and a dummy.

album cover for Captain Hook and His Crew's "Ship Ahoy!" with a couple and three childen plus one dummy in a prop row boat

Think you could do better? So do we! Pittsburgh Orbit is teaming up with Juke Records for its first ever art show and we’re here to spread the word that the clock is officially ticking for you to get your entry in.

12×12 is looking for the greatest albums by bands we’ve never heard of. Smooth jazz? Hip-hop? Polka? Hell–why not all three at once?!? You’re making it up, right? Let’s party!

album cover for "Rat On!" by Swamp Dogg featuring the artist riding a giant rat

Submission Guidelines

  • The artwork is meant to imitate record jackets. Your piece must be the cover for a fictional album by a non-existent artist. Submissions for, you know, “real bands” will be rejected.
  • Submission deadline: Friday, November 17.
  • Dimensions: Artwork must be 12″ x 12″ (one foot, square)–no more, no less. This is the size of a vinyl record jacket, hence the name of the show.
  • Artists may work in any media they like, as long as it meets the size specifications (above) and will be prepared for hanging in the record store/gallery.
  • To submit: email one JPG image of reasonable quality to pittsburghorbit [at] gmail [dot] com . Please put “12×12” in the subject line.
  • Artists are free to submit multiple different album covers if you’re really motivated, but know that we’ll only have the wall space for a relatively small number. However, if things go well, maybe ol’ Juke’ll let us throw another one of these in the new year.
  • If selected, you must be prepared to deliver the final ready-to-hang artwork by Sunday, November 26.

album cover for Quim Barreiros "Recebi um Convite" with a naked man holding an accordion over his private parts

Other Notes

  • The work will be hung in Juke Records Bloomfield store for the month of December. There will be an opening reception on the evening of Friday, December 1 and visitors who can’t make the opening will be able to see the art at any point during regular store hours.
  • We’ll be doing everything we can to make the show look good, but entrants should be aware that Juke Records is not a full-time art gallery and therefore the hanging area, lighting, etc. will not be gallery-perfect.
  • Each piece will be priced at the same affordable retail level ($100). Sales will generate a standard 60/40 split between the artist and Juke Records. (Pittsburgh Orbit is doing this purely for the love of art and will be taking no money.) If that’s not enough dough for you, this probably isn’t your show.
  • Unsold artwork will be returned to the artists to do with as they will.

album cover for Heino's "Liebe Mutter..." with the artist holding red roses