Selfies vs Self-Portraits: Expanding the Genre

Call for Entries Open September 28 - December 31, 2015

Our latest exhibition, The Artist Herself: Self-Portraits by Canadian Historical Women Artists inspired us to ask you to submit your own self-portraits to us. But, there is a catch!

We want you to think about more than just your face representing the self. Taking inspiration from the artists featured in the exhibition, we are looking for images that explore the definition of the self-portrait and representations of identity. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to redefine the genre by looking at the spaces you occupy, the things you create, the objects that surround and/or adorn you; all the things that create the likeness of you as an individual. Images received will be curated and displayed at the Gallery and online in conjunction with The Artist Herself exhibition.  

To submit:

  • Email 300dpi (jpeg or tiff) images to
  • Please include your name and image title (if applicable). If you would not like to have your name attached to the image, please indicate this when submitting.
  • By submitting, you agree the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria has permission to use the images for sharing online (website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) as well as displaying in the Gallery as part of the exhibition.
  • Images may be submitted until December 31st, 2015. We will notify you when your image is on display at the Gallery


Here are some words to inspire your creative process from the curatorial essay accompanying the exhibition The Artist Herself, by Alicia Boutilier (Curator of Canadian Historical Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre) & Tobi Bruce (Senior Curator of Historical Art, Art Gallery of Hamilton). Using the thoughts below, think about what your self-portrait may look like. If it’s in the form of a traditional selfie, or self-portrait; your favourite outfit, or location, it’s all up to you. The most important thing to remember is to have fun!

 “Self-representation offers effective parameters through which to explore larger issues associated with gender and culture.” 

“Must it depict the face of the maker?”

“If we expand on the notion of self-portraiture to mean the representation of one’s own identity, we recognize that the self is embedded in a complex and diverse range of creative expressions.”

“Expressions of identity can be personal, familial, and communal.”

 “…attempt to broaden the very concept of self-portraiture [through] presenting traditional self-portraits and proposing other possibilities”

 “our online profile pictures have moved well beyond the face and are as wide-ranging as they are creative.”

“we post an enormous number of images of ourselves that are not necessarily likeness, but that we feel represent us…[thus] leading to a broadened concept and expectation of what constitutes a self-portrait.”

Monday, September 28, 2015 - 10:00am