OPEN CALL SUBMISSION FAQs
Do I have to be a "curator" or an arts professional to submit a proposal?
Can there be more than one organizer listed on the proposal?
While most of the people that apply are curators or artists, many are not. Anyone can apply, and prior curatorial experience or training is not necessary. You need a really good idea, a basic understanding of the role as an exhibition organizer, and at least three artists you are considering including. Curatorial teams/collectives are welcome to apply.
What basic elements should be included in my proposal?
You should describe an idea-based exhibition presented for the first time, with artists who work independently of one another. Proposals must be submitted in English, however the jury comes from more than 70 countries and judges on the idea, not the grammar. You cannot exceed the 500-word limit. We do not accept any additional materials, or links in the proposal to create a level playing field with the idea being judged. In addition to the proposal, we ask you to submit the names of three possible artists you might (or might not) include, to confirm 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, is not included in the 500-word limit and can change if the project is selected.
Should the proposal itself include artist names and descriptions of their work?
You should write what would be a convincing proposal to you. Read some past winners here.
Do I need to be based in New York/USA/Any specific city to apply?
"Anyone from anywhere" can submit to both of apexart's Open Calls.
Do I need to confirm artists in order to submit?
No. They will not know if you listed them or not.
Do they have to be living artists or can they be deceased?
They can be either or in combination. They don’t even have to be artists or art materials.
I am not a native English speaker, does the jury judge my grammar and spelling?
We specifically address this and ask the jurors to rate the idea. The jurors from more than 70 countries respect your effort and the difficulty of writing in a foreign language and in many cases share the sensibility. Past submitters have found that using Google translate works reasonably well if their sentence structure is good.
For the International Open Call, does apexart have venues outside of NYC? How do I decide on a venue?
The city/town you select must be one you have lived in 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 and secure 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 of your budget for venue rental costs if necessary. You might consider choosing an unexpected but related cultural location—apexart exhibitions have been presented in a laundromat, an abandoned prison, and a beauty salon, to name a few.
Can my international exhibition be in an art museum, part of a Biennale, or held in conjunction with a commercial venture?
apexart is not a funding organization and you do not receive a "grant," it is the invitation to create an apexart exhibition. We 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. We cannot guarantee specific exhibition time slots to coordinate with biennials, external projects or presentations. We do not allow a co-sponsorship credit for exhibitions for in-kind donations or other forms of support.
Do you have a floor plan for your NYC space?
Yes. Please refer to our gallery floor plan here. And see a 3D scan of our empty space here.
Can my show be intended for online-only?
Proposals must be for physical exhibitions with an awareness of uncertainty. Due to the evolving state of the current COVID-19 pandemic, winning proposals may have to be adapted to also include a larger online format.
Can I solicit artists through an open call if my proposal is selected?
No. You cannot make an open call out of our open call.
Can my proposal include a residency component?
No. Your exhibition is intended for public attendance to reach as many people as possible.
Can my proposal include sales of works or editions?
No. apexart is a not-for-profit institution and does not engage in or associate with any sales-related activities. We try not to commodify art works in exhibitions, however we will forward requests for info to people (but not galleries) who inquire, even if they are galleries.
Can I submit a proposal for a solo show?
No. You must have at least 3 artists, and may include your own work. However, all artists must receive equal representation, it CANNOT be an artist project (see below) and you may not pay yourself an artist fee in addition to the curatorial honorarium.
Can I propose an "artist project"? What is an "artist project"?
No. "Artist projects" are essentially one-person shows made by multiple artists or individuals working on one person’s idea to create a single unified work or an installation of many interconnected components predetermined by the curator/organizer. All artists must have the freedom to do 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.
What is the budget and what does it cover?
There is a $10,000 budget allowance 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/curator 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 after the exhibition closes and all expenses have been paid.
Can I do a crowdfunding/Kickstarter campaign to raise additional funds? Can I apply for any outside funding?
No. apexart exhibitions provide an alternative to bloated budgets and subsequent 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.
Can I apply more than once? Can I win more than once?
You may submit one application per Open Call location and season. If you win an Open Call, you will no longer be eligible for that same location-based Open Call (ie: you win a NYC Open Call, you will no longer be eligible for future NYC Open Calls but are still eligible for our International Open Calls). It does not matter whether you are curating alone or as part of a group.
Is there a cost for me to submit my proposal or to exhibit an artwork at apexart?
Can I submit more than one proposal as an organizer or curator?
No. Please submit your best one. The jurors already work very hard.
Who is the jury and what kind of exhibition are they looking for?
For each open call a channging 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 think about 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.
l've juried in the past and now I want to submit, is this allowed?
Yes, that is great news and you’re better prepared! You cannot jury and submit for the same open call however.
I'm not ready to submit yet, can I just be on the jury this time?
Absolutely. Send us an email at email@example.com. Jurying takes place in November and March each year.
How long should the selected exhibitions be on view?
The exhibitions in NYC generally run about 6 weeks. International exhibitions outside of NYC should be on view for a similar time—at least a 4 week period.
After voting is completed, submitters and jurors will be sent a link that lists all proposals by rank and exhibition title. Many winning proposals come from people who have submitted multiple times.
No calls please, however we will quickly answer questions sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within 24 hours Monday-Saturday.
Good luck and thank you for your interest in our programming.