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Open Call for Curators: 2019–2020 Exhibitions

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


Step 1: Review the application guidelines.
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.

Curators 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 curators committed to developing their professional practice are invited to submit an exhibition proposal 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 both 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 curators receive support to prepare for their exhibition, including promotion of their show. Modest fees and a materials fee, depending on funding, is provided to participants.

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.


Eligibility & Requirements

• Curatorial proposals must contain a minimum of four artists. (We recommend no more than six.)

• Proposed artists must be contacted by curators prior to application submission to confirm that artists are interested and available for an exhibition.

• Artists and curators that have exhibited at NURTUREart must wait two (2) full years before submitting a proposal.

• Curators may only submit one curatorial proposal, whether individually or on a team.

• Curators should not include themselves as an exhibiting artist in the proposal.


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 curators and artists particularly in the Greater New York City area.

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

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

• Inclusion of artists who have a current practice making work in an ongoing dialogue in contemporary arts.

• 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.


2019–2020 Exhibition Schedule

NURTUREart will mount open call exhibitions from Fall 2019 through Spring 2020. Curators 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

• Curatorial Resume(s) (PDF or Word): You may upload up to three (3) resumes for curators. For more than three curators, upload a single file with all resumes.

• Artist Resume(s) (PDF or Word): Upload a single document containing the resumes of all of the artists included in the exhibition proposal.

• Proposed Title of the Exhibition

• Names of Artists in Proposed Exhibition

• Exhibition Proposal: Concept (limit 200 words): Provide a general description of the exhibition and its concept. You can include the most important themes and ideas here.

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

• Exhibition Proposal: Artists (limit 200 words): Provide very brief descriptions of each artist describing how their work is relevant to the proposed exhibition.

• 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 work of proposed artists. Ideally, the work sample should represent the actual work of your proposed exhibition. Otherwise, the 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 the artists’ work. You should not submit PowerPoints, trailers, or any other promotional materials of artists’ work. The work sample should be representative of the work itself.

Submit up to two to four (2–4) images of each artist’s work (no more than 16 total) 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. The “Last Name” and “First Name” should be for the primary contact (the curator) of the application (not for the artist). For example:


Submit up to 16 images, 2–4 images per artist.

• 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 using the name of the primary curator.

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

• Captions should include: Artist Name, 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 the 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 the work.

• During the selection process, videos will be projected.

• Provide passwords to password-protected videos if applicable.

• Captions should include: Artist Name, 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 they should convey a conceptual and/or aesthetic connection.

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

• The Curatorship: Curators often have good ideas and write well about their concept. Matching the right artists to your proposed exhibition is critical. Be sure that the artists you propose to exhibit are relevant to your concept and that your statement is relevant to the artists you select.

• 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 curatorial 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.