500-word proposals should describe a focused, idea-driven, and original group exhibition. Submissions also require a list of three potential artists, to show us you can think along these lines, though this list will not be shown to the jury, can change and is not included in the 500-word limit. To read examples of past winning proposals, click here.
Creative people who have interesting exhibition ideas. Curators, artists, writers, and creative individuals, regardless of experience level, background, or location can apply.
The opportunity to organize an apexart exhibition. No topics off limits, no ideas too controversial as long as they are not illegal and are selected by our international jury.
» Proposals for exhibitions outside NYC are accepted February 1 - March 1, 2020 for apexart’s 2020-21 program season.
» Proposals for exhibitions in NYC are accepted October 1 - 31, 2020 for apexart’s 2021-22 program season.
For exhibitions proposed outside NYC, you must select a location where you have spent some time so you have a sense of the location logistics and potential challenges of organizing an exhibition there. The exhibition venue need not be known/declared at the time of submission.
Submissions are accepted only through an online form which will be posted to this website during the above mentioned submission periods. To see a sample form, click here.
BUT WHAT IF I HAVE OTHER QUESTIONS?
Read our Frequently Asked Questions.
A diverse and changing international jury of more than 300 people in 70 countries participate in a crowdsourced voting process.
Every juror receives a dedicated login to cast votes online for at least 50 proposals. apexart's voting system ensures that jurors do not see the names of the submitters, and that every proposal receives an equal number of views by the jurors. Each year several university classes also participate in the jury. For more information about our classroom jury program, click here.
Projects are judged by the strength of the exhibition idea and the organizer's ability to communicate it, not by social connections, past accomplishments, or personality.
apexart Open Calls invite expanded participation in the proposal and evaluation of exhibition ideas, resulting in a decentralized democratic selection process and exhibitions that people want to see. For more information on our juror process, click here.
After the last vote is cast, the highest-ranked proposals receive funding and production support to become apexart exhibitions, are included in the upcoming apexart exhibition season in NYC and around the world.
Jurors have one month to vote after the submission deadline. We announce the winners shortly thereafter--in early December for the NYC Open Call, and in early April for the International Open Call. Results for our most recent Open Call are here.
apexart has increased the budget substantially to $10,000 for each Open Call exhibition and related programming. Each curator/organizer must work within apexart’s budget to cover expenses including curator travel, artwork shipping, artist and public program participant honorariums, equipment, installation, and venue fees with $8,000 of the budget. Of the $10,000, the curator/organizer receives up to a $2,000 honorarium for coordinating the project and writing the exhibition brochure essay. For exhibitions outside NYC, apexart will match up to $1,000 for a location rental if necessary.
apexart covers costs for approved insurance, advertising, publicity, documentation (NYC exhibitions only), the design, printing, and mailing of the exhibition brochure, and the local opening reception. apexart oversees and handles most of the exhibition logistics, including loan agreements and shipping. The apexart team works closely with guest curators/organizers to turn their ideas into apexart exhibitions.
Anyone can apply, no prior curatorial experience is necessary. Curatorial teams/collectives are welcome to apply. Organizers individually or a collective name should be listed on the submission form, not both.
It should be an idea-based exhibition presented for the first time with at least three artists, working independently of one another. Proposals must be submitted in English and cannot exceed the 500-word limit. We do not accept any additional materials and no links in the proposal are allowed. In addition to the proposal, we ask you to submit the names of three artists you might include, which confirms it is a group exhibition and that you have given some thought to how you might populate your show if selected. This list of three potential artists will not be shown to the jury, are not included in the 500-word limit and can change if the project is selected.
You should include whatever information you think is essential to communicate your idea. Consider whether naming artists is the most effective use of your word limit in order to convey your exhibition concept to the jurors, especially when the artists are regional and might not be known to the jurors. If you do include artists' names in your proposal you do not have to confirm their participation in advance. The artists can be living or deceased, and may change at a later date.
For this reason we ask the jurors not to rate proposals based on grammar or spelling. The jurors respect your effort and the difficulty of writing in a foreign language. Past submitters have found that using Google translate works well if you feel uncomfortable writing in English.
The location you select must be one with which you have lived or visited enough to be familiar with local logistics, cultures, and basic resources. apexart does not have satellite locations and will work with you to help identify a suitable venue in your specified location. The venue cannot be a commercial space and ideally should be a “non-exclusionary” location that is accessible to everyone. apexart will match up to $1,000 for venue rental costs if necessary. You might consider choosing a venue that is related to the theme—apexart exhibitions have been presented in a laundromat, an abandoned prison, and a beauty salon, to name a few.
apexart is not a funding organization and cannot provide funds for an exhibition as part of a larger project. Your exhibition is part of apexart’s programming and all materials and signage must be clear regarding this. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee specific exhibition time slots to coordinate with external projects or presentations. We do not allow a co-sponsorship credit for in-kind donations or other forms of support.
Proposals must be for in-person exhibitions at the time of submission. Due to the evolving state of the current COVID-19 pandemic, winning proposals may later have to be adapted to an online format.
No. Your open call must be done prior to applying.
No. Budget and logistics generally do not allow for this and the exhibition is intended for the public.
No. apexart is a not-for-profit institution and does not engage in any sales-related activities.
No. You must have at least 3 artists, and can include you. However, all artists must receive equal representation and it cannot be an artist project (see below).
No. "Artist projects" are exhibitions that use multiple artists or individuals working on one person’s idea to create a single work or an installation of many interconnected components predetermined by the curator/organizer. All artists must make their own work independently of other artists and curators involved in the exhibition. If you are not sure whether your project is an "artist project," email the project details to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 14 days before the deadline for clarification.
apexart provides a $10,000 budget for each exhibition and related programming. The intention is to produce a small focused exhibition with community relevance while working within the budget. Using up to $8,000 of the budget, each organizer must cover expenses including curator travel, artwork shipping, artist and public program participant honorariums, assistant fees, equipment, installation materials and labor, photo/media documentation for exhibitions outside NYC (smartphone images ok), wire transfer fees, etc. After the exhibition closes and all expenses have been paid, the organizer(s) receives a $2,000 honorarium for coordinating the project and writing the exhibition brochure essay. For international exhibitions apexart will match up to $1,000 for a venue rental.
No. apexart exhibitions are about an alternative to bloated budgets and funding problems. Our exhibitions are intended to be modest, focused, small exhibitions that spotlight an idea. Seeking outside funding from other entities compromises your energy and focus, and defeats the purpose of working within an alternative arts model putting together a small exhibition as an alternative.
No, we ask that you only submit one proposal per Open Call.
NYC - October 1 - October 31, 2020 23:59 PST
International (outside of NYC) - February 1 - March 1, 2021 23:59 PST.
Sorry. No changes may be made after submitting your proposal.
Your name and contact information are removed. Projects are judged by the strength of their ideas and the organizers ability to communicate them. After the voting has concluded, the four highest-ranked proposals are posted on the apexart website as originally submitted. apexart respects the jurying process and does not interfere in the results.
An international group of more than 400 individuals jury the proposals in a "blind" process online. Jurors do not know each other and there is no discussion between them or with apexart staff. The jury changes for each open call and is solicited and composed from our audience, the international arts community, and from diverse fields outside of the visual arts. We feel that people who go to look at art can help determine what others will enjoy and learn from. No topics are off limits, no ideas too controversial, our jury makes great decisions. The best exhibitions are about topics you personally care about and are interested in.
Yes, and that is great news and you’re better prepared! Please note however, you cannot jury and submit for the same open call.
Absolutely. Send us an email at email@example.com. Jurying takes place in November and March each year.
No. apexart works with the organizers to ensure that the resulting exhibitions are consistent with the original proposal selected by the jury.
The exhibitions in NYC generally run about 6 weeks. International exhibitions outside of NYC should be on view for at least a 4 week period.
After voting is completed, you will be sent a link that lists all proposals by rank and exhibition title.
Many of our winning proposals come from people who have submitted multiple times.
No calls please. However, please send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within 24 hours Monday-Saturday.
Good luck and thank you for your interest in our programming.