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Open Call for Artists: 2019–2020 Exhibitions

Deadline Extended: Sunday, March 31, 11:59pm


Step 1: Review the application guidelines below.
Step 2: Develop and write your application and gather your work sample.
Step 3: Apply through the Online Application Form.

Be sure to read through all of the guidelines, including how to prepare your work sample, before submitting your application.

Artists will be notified the status of their application by July 2019. Please do not call. If you have any questions, contact NURTUREart at submissions@nurtureart.org.


NURTUREart builds a vibrant, engaged, and inclusive community of artists, curators, and youth by ensuring equitable access to professional and learning opportunities in contemporary art and beyond. Emerging artists wishing to present new ideas and projects in the context of NURTUREart’s gallery space are invited to submit an exhibition proposal of their own solo or collaborative work for the 2019–2020 exhibition season. Please note that there is a small stipend and materials budget available, depending on the current year’s funding.


About NURTUREart’s Exhibition Program
We present a full season of exhibitions annually through a juried and free open call. We support individual artists and collaboratives for unique solo shows as well as emerging curators in preparation of a group exhibition. Our gallery space is a platform to connect audiences, including local public school students, to artists’ exhibitions and their creative ideas. Selected artists receive support to prepare for their exhibition, including promotion of their show. A modest artist fee and materials fee, depending on funding, is provided to exhibiting artists.

NURTUREart is a nonprofit in Bushwick, Brooklyn, NY open Thursdays–Sundays, 12–6pm. We recommend that you visit the gallery in preparation of your proposal or look at some of our exhibitions online through our flickr page. Images and floor plans of the gallery can be found in this flickr album.



• Emerging and under-represented artists are eligible to apply. We define emerging contextually: artists are emerging, or under-represented, who have great potential but have yet to be significantly recognized. Recognition includes exhibitions, critical reviews, fellowships, awards, publications, etc.

• Artists who have a current practice making work in an ongoing dialogue in the contemporary arts are eligible to apply.

• Artists who have shown at NURTUREart in a group show must wait two (2) years to apply as a solo artist or collaborative group.

• Artists who have exhibited a solo show through NURTUREart in any location are not eligible to apply.


NURTUREart’s Exhibitions
While we accept submissions that include an array of ideas and practices, we try best to align with proposals that fit our mission. Though your proposal does not need to satisfy all of the following, we are committed to:

• Presenting the work of emerging and under-represented artists.

• Proposals that push artistic practice in new and interesting directions.

• Subjects, styles, and approaches that are not well represented in commercial spaces or otherwise difficult to exhibit elsewhere.

• Proposals that consider the nuances and limited space of NURTUREart’s gallery. Thoughtful, uncluttered, and adaptable installations—especially that offer “breathing space” to each artwork—tend to work better in our gallery. Exceptions are made when the artistic vision requires otherwise.


2018–2019 Exhibition Schedule
NURTUREart will mount open call exhibitions from Fall 2019 through Spring 2020. Artists recommended through the application process by the jury will be contacted to identify possible exhibition dates. Exhibitions are generally five weeks.


Online Application Form
In the Online Application Form, we will ask for:

• Contact Information

• Artist Bio (limit 200 words): Provide a brief bio highlighting career accomplishments including relevant education, awards, residencies, exhibitions, publications, etc. If you are applying as a collaborative, the bio should demonstrate a history of collaboration where it can.

• Artist Resume(s) (PDF or Word): If you are applying as a collaborative, include one single document containing resumes of all of the artists and a history of collaboration where possible.

• Proposed Title of Exhibition

• Exhibition Proposal: Concept (limit 200 words): Provide a general description of the exhibition and its concept. You can include relevant parts of your artist statement here.

• Exhibition Proposal: Relevance (limit 200 words): State why this exhibition is important to your body of work, the creative field, and/or other themes, topics, or issues. You can include why you might be excited by the opportunity here.

• Exhibition Proposal: Artwork (limit 200 words): Include a brief description of the work samples and how they relate to the exhibition and its concept.

• Work SampleFollow guidelines below.

• Work Sample Description (optional, limit 100 words): Provide any contextual or technical information related to your work sample.

• Notes to the Jury (optional, limit 50 words): Provide any brief notes you’d like to present to the jury that was not captured in the application.


Work Sample Guidelines
The Work Sample is a critical element of your application, and it should show the best of your work. Ideally, your work sample should represent the work of your proposed exhibition. Otherwise, your work sample should represent works that are comparable to the work that will be featured in the exhibition.

All submitted work samples should be documentation of your work. You should not submit PowerPoints, trailers, or any other promotional materials of your work. The work sample should be representative of the work itself.

You can submit up to ten (10) images and up to three (3) video/audio files. Video/audio work samples should be for work that is time-based and/or in video format.


Digital Images
Before uploading files to the Online Application Form, you must save them on your computer in the following format: LastName-FirstName-#.jpg. For collaboratives, use the primary contact Last Name and First Name. For example:


• Submit up to ten (10) images.

• Files must be saved as jpegs, 800 pixels in the longest dimension, at 72 dpi.

• Each image filename must be saved as LastName-FirstName-#.jpg.

• During the selection process, images will be projected and viewed one at a time.

• Captions should include: Title, Year, Medium, Dimensions.

• Prints, slides, catalogs, original artwork, and other materials will not be accepted.


Provide weblink addresses to video or audio clips hosted by a third party (i.e. Vimeo, YouTube, etc.). Be sure that weblinks are active for at least four months after the deadline. Provide passwords for password-protected videos. Each clip will be reviewed up to three (3) minutes by the jury.

• Submit up to three (3) video/audio clips.

• Indicate the cue time if your video is over three (3) minutes long (i.e. start at 0:00 or 1:30).

• Start times for each clip should begin a segment that best represents your work.

• During the selection process, videos will be projected.

• Provide passwords to password-protected videos if applicable.

• Captions should include: Title, Year, Original Format, Original Running Time.


Additional Information
While there are many elements that contribute to a successful exhibition, the components that are critical in the proposal evaluation process include:

• The Artwork: Artwork should be strong and compelling. The work should be cohesive and demonstrate a feasibility to realize the proposal.

• The Proposal: Proposals should be clear and specific. Avoid using jargon. Write about your work and concepts using specific language.

• Follow the guidelines and demonstrate that your proposal is feasible to mount. Proposals that are incomplete, late, or do not follow the guidelines will not be considered.

• Finally, please note that a strong work sample is as important as a strong proposal statement. The strongest applications demonstrate a consistency in the concept and artistic vision both written in the proposal and shown through the work sample.

Once you have reviewed the guidelines and you are ready to submit, access the Online Application Form here.