Classroom Involvement

This program invites faculty and their classes to participate in determining our exhibition schedule for the following season. With live feedback and input from the teacher, students vote on a preset number of proposals and then get to discuss what constitutes a good submission and how and why they voted the way they did. (it takes less than 2 hours to read and rate 50 proposals). Syllabus suggestions are provided.

How to Participate

Jurying is done online for up to 4 weeks, at the students' schedule. Each student is given an individual login, through which they review a randomized set of proposals and rate each proposal on a scale of 1-5 or the same login to a group of students if they prefer to vote together as a team.

The two voting periods are the months of March and November.

All we need from you, the teacher, is a list of names and email addresses of participating students, a schedule for your class to finish voting, and the date you would like to receive your class’s tally page. You can send this list to lisa.vagnoni[at]

At the end of classroom voting, please fill out our classroom voting participation survey to help us make this process better.

Classroom benefits

Students get the opportunity to read proposals from curators and artists from around the world and consider what makes a compelling short essay. They encounter important concerns about social issues and ideas from all over the world and all corners of the creative community, learning which themes and ideas are pressing in real time.

“I think most if not all of my students loved doing this. They felt like they were really getting involved in the contemporary art world and were doing something with real impact. It also exposed them to some very bad and very good art writing in a shorter form than in the typical readings I give them.”
- William Kaizen, professor of Art History and Media Studies at Northeastern University

We are happy to give a free copy of one of apexart’s e-book publications, to each student that votes.

What we provide

Access to live voting panel for teachers and personal login information and deadline reminders to each student. At the end of voting, we deactivate their login and provide you with a unique tally page that shows all the votes for your class. This is a grid (see example below) that displays the ratings given by each student, and every proposal submitted in the order of its current ranking by all jurors (not just your class) allowing for depthful discussion of the ideas, the form and the issues. This tally page provides the ability to view any proposal to allow the class to reread any together for discussion.

We send all login information and deadline reminders to students. When the professor is ready to end the voting, we deactivate your login and provide you with a unique tally page that shows all the votes for your class. This is a grid (see example below) that displays the ratings given by each student, and every proposal submitted in the order of its current ranking by all jurors (not just your class).

We ask you to only share this unique page with your class after all students have finished voting and their logins have been deactivated. This tally page provides the ability to view any proposal so that the class may read them together for discussion (see below for suggested topics) and expires one month after it is provided to the professor.

Contact Us to Participate

Classroom Guide


Background Info
How to Vote
Class Discussions

apexart | student jurying

apexart’s intention is to include students in the evaluation and selection process for our next exhibition season as an opportunity to effect real world situations. Good ideas and criticism come from anywhere and anyone and our fellowships, exhibitions, events, and publications provide opportunity, cultural and intellectual diversity and stimulate public dialogue about contemporary art and ideas.

apexart | open call exhibition program

In 1998 apexart developed an annual open call that accepts proposals for group exhibitions from anyone in the world of any background. Still in place today, apexart receives hundreds of proposals each year, which are read by a jury of up to 400 people around the world who vote online and determine the three winning proposals, which then become part of the next apexart exhibition season.

Student Objectives

— engage in contemporary, critical curatorial practices.
— review exhibition proposals submitted from 70 countries.
— participate in a process that is typically closed to the public.
— gain broad exposure to global curatorial ideas and practices.
— develop a deeper understanding of their own curatorial values.
— learn about topical issues and how topical issues are being approached through art.

These are the Open Call Proposal Submission Guidelines

☑  An original exhibition, presented for the first time.
☑  A group exhibition, with works by at least 3 people.
☑  Cannot include biographical statements, CVs, or links.
☑  Cannot include specific dates for the exhibition.
☑  Is not an "artist project." (one project done by several people)
☑  Cannot include an open call for artists.
☑  Cannot include any sale-related activities.
☑  Submitters are only allowed to submit 1 proposal.
☑  For International Open Calls, submitters must have been to the city in which they are proposing this exhibition.
Below is a preview of the proposal submission form:

How to vote

For the International Open Call, Voting opens March 4, 2021 and closes April 4, 2021
For the NYC Open Call, voting will run through the month of November, 2021

All voting is done online, and does not have to be completed in one session.

To register please submit all names and email addresses of participating students to

Below is a preview of the way proposals are viewed by the jury:

Ratings are on a scale from 1-5.
5 is the highest. and 1 is the lowest score. 5 if you want to see the show and 1 if you don’t.

Suggested Topics for Classroom Discussion

These are the International proposals selected last season: Your class can review them and discuss why they were good proposals.

Nancy Pelosi's Living Room, San Francisco, 1986 in San Francisco, CA, USA
Goodbye, World on an Ice Floe in the North Arctic Sea
Ownness in Tokyo, Japan
Voicing the Silence in Moscow, Russian Federation

• Do you think the topics of these are relevant?
• Are similar ideas discussed among your friends?
• Do you personally relate to the exhibition content?
• Why do you think the jury was drawn to these projects?
• Note three things that make a successful exhibition proposal?
• How to begin thinking about shipping, insurance and crating?
• What are the issues involved in organizing an exhibition?
• When you go into an exhibition what are the first things you look at?
• What do you see as the function of art?

During the Jury Process

• Proposals contain only written ideas and no images. How important was it to have descriptions of the artists and works vs. description of the idea? How did this change your perception and understanding of the exhibition? Can visual exhibitions be judged by ideas? In what ways do you see this idea-first method as effective?
• Are the proposals well written?
• Will this process make you more interested in organizing an exhibition?
• Is the idea clear and well-communicated?
• Do you have a strong sense of what this project is about, and how it will materialize?
• Does the submitter make a strong case for the relevancy of the topic?
• How important is an accompanying text or essay?
• Most exhibitions are juried from images. How do you feel jurying a visual art exhibition from a written idea?
• As you read more proposals, consider whether the information is appropriate for a panel that may not know local artists or local issues.
• Is there a similar theme that runs through many of the proposals such as political or social issue versus beauty?
• How important is it to have descriptions of work and are some more effective than others?
• What makes one stand out from the other? Writing ability, idea, descriptions of the work?

After the Jury Process

• Consider your own art, exhibition or selection preferences. Are there certain concepts and themes that you are drawn to? In contrast, are there certain ideas that you routinely gave low scores?
• Many International Open Call proposals address regionally- or locally-specific issues. Did you feel you understood, related to, or distilled local issues from the proposals you read? Can you give an example about an issue you learned about?
• Did you notice particular issues of concern addressed in specific countries or regions?
• What were some aesthetic strategies used to respond to a particular/specific idea? How did aesthetics and intent combine?
• Was there a proposal you read that was particularly effective at introducing a new idea or concept to you? How was this idea introduced? What are good strategies for communicating new ideas?
• How did style or content affect how you scored proposals? Were you swayed by the form/format/style of a proposal (even if you didn’t care as much for the content)? Or vice-versa?
• Did you find that exhibitions with racial, gender, or religious themes were well-articulated and explained? Were there any issues which seemed pressing in more than one region of the world?
• Was an unknown issue speculated on with the exhibition as a sort of proof?
• Based on the proposals you’ve read, what are five tips you’d recommend an applicant to consider when submitting a proposal, and what are five things you’d tell them to avoid?

Juror Self-Evaluations
• Have you participated in a jury before?
• How did it feel to join a jury of 400 in selecting future apexart exhibitions?
• What do you think might be the strengths and weaknesses of this process? How does it differ from other opportunities that you are familiar with in the arts?
• Would you consider submitting an exhibition proposal to apexart in the future?

International Open Call-specific considerations

• For International Open Call exhibitions, apexart encourages submitters to choose a site for their exhibition that is not an arts organization or an art gallery. Art galleries and institutions can be very exclusive places and if exhibitions are about social issues how do we get people to see the exhibitions that are about their issues? Past international exhibitions have taken place in a former Ford factory, a Nigerian Railway Corporation engine test house and a decommissioned building of the Institute of Space Structures. Why does apexart emphasize non-art spaces as exhibition sites?