We Say Gay

Student Art Contest

From flags, to quilts, to queer symbology utilized throughout centuries, the LGBTQ community has used art as a means of owning and sharing our stories.

The Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center, in partnership with the School of Art and Design and the Dean’s Office in the College of Fine Arts and Communication, announces WE SAY GAY, a student art contest exploring queer identities.

Works selected will be on exhibit October 1-31 in the Dasha Efird Little  Student Art Gallery in the Main Campus Student Center. WE SAY GAY affirms visibility and acceptance while acknowledging the complex journey for many in the LGBTQ community. The exhibit celebrates the queer community at ECU in honor of LGBTQ history month.


Current ECU students are invited to submit up to four pieces for consideration. All visual arts mediums will be accepted.

Entry Fee

This exhibition opportunity is free to enter.


  • Entry deadline is Wednesday, September 7, 2022 (11:59pm)
  • Notification of accepted entries via email by Monday, September 12, 2022 (11:59pm)
  • Accepted work delivery to the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center on Thursday, September 29 (9am-5pm) and Friday, September 30 (9am-11am)
  • Opening Reception and awards announcement on Tuesday, October 4 (5:30pm)
  • Pick-up work on Friday, November 4 (12pm-5pm) from the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center

Artwork Requirements

  1. Original 2D and 3D artwork must have been created in the last three years.
  2. Maximum size for hung artwork is: 60×60, including frame.
  3. 2D works must be ready to hang. Framed pieces must be equipped with d-rings attached to the back and stretched with wire.
  4. Wires when stretched to hang the artwork, should not come closer than two inches from the top of the frame, to prevent the hanger from showing when the picture is hung.
  5. Hanging canvas pieces should have clean, gallery-wrapped edges or be framed. Depth of canvas determines finish. 1.5in or greater depth – a clean finished edge (no staples), or gallery wrapped. Less than 1.5″ in depth – frame required.
  6. Diptychs, triptychs, or other multiple piece works constitute one piece, and must be no wider than 60″ when hung together.
  7. Pieces that are hung may not be over 50 lbs in weight.
  8. 3D artwork must be able to securely sit on a pedestal with a vitrine covering, or rest on the floor free standing, or safely hang using a wire.
  9. Any pieces – including sculpture – which are very heavy, the artist will be expected to assist with installation.


All sales inquiries will be directed to the artist.

PLEASE NOTE:  All art (even if sold) must remain in the Gallery for the full duration of the exhibition. Please do not commit your selected pieces to another gallery or institution during or near our exhibition dates.

Submission Process

*Deadline for submissions has closed.

Selection Process

An initial broad selection of work will be made by the exhibit organizers from the submitted jpegs. Awards will be selected by a team of two jurors (Demetria Smith, Associate Director for Fraternity and Sorority Life and Gabriela Lemus, Interim Assistant Director for the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center) following the installation of work.


Exhibit artwork will be eligible for the following awards:

  • $1000 made possible by the LGBTQ Advancement Council through the LGBTQ Priority Fund:
    • First place: $500
    • Second place: $300
    • Third place: $200
  • Dean’s Choice $300
    • Selected by Dr. Linda Kean, Dean of the College of Fine Arts and Communication
  • Director’s Award $300
    • Made possible by Dr. Kate Bukoski, Director of the School of Art and Design
  • School of Art and Design (SoAD) Purchase Award
    • This piece will be added to the SoAD collection

    Questions? Contact Angela Wells, Associate Professor in the School of Art and Design at wellsa@ecu.edu. Individuals requesting accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY).