500-word proposals should describe a focused, idea-driven, and original group exhibition. Submissions also require a list of three potential artists, though this list will not be shown to the jury, and is not included in the 500-word limit.
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 in NYC are accepted October 1 - 31, 2019 for apexart’s 2020-21 program season.
» Proposals for exhibitions outside NYC are accepted February 1 - March 1, 2020 for apexart’s 2020-21 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.
1. Read all Frequently Asked Questions.
2. Read past successful proposals.
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.
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 from anywhere is encouraged to enter and no prior curatorial experience is necessary. Curatorial teams are eligible and encouraged to submit. All participating organizers must be listed by name on the application. Proposals from collectives are welcome, but note that the “organized by” credit line will be either a list of the individuals’ names or the collective name, not both.
Make sure it is clear in your proposal that your idea is for a group exhibition presented for the first time, and that it includes at least three artists. Proposals must be submitted in English and cannot exceed the 500-word limit. Please do not include any biographical statements, CVs, or links, as they will be removed. Separately from the proposal, you will be asked to submit the names of three artists you might include in the exhibition, which demonstrates to us that you have given consideration to whose works might effectively address the themes in your proposal. This list of three potential artists will not be shown to the jury, and is not included in the 500-word limit.
No. apexart will work with you to identify a suitable venue in the city you identify and necessary staffing for the dates, including installation and de-installation periods. The venue cannot be a commercial art space. apexart will match up to $1,000 for venue rental costs. Choose a venue that is related to your exhibition's theme – we have had exhibitions in a laundromat, an abandoned prison, and a beauty salon, to name a few.
No. A first-hand knowledge of your location is essential.
We remind the jurors throughout the voting process that many people submit their proposals in English as a second, third, or even fourth language. The jurors respect your effort and the difficulty of writing in a foreign language and do not vote on your grammar or spelling.
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.
Please refer to our gallery floor plan here.
No. All exhibitions must have a substantial amount of the exhibition--at least three distinct works by three separate artists--on display during open hours and for the duration of the exhibition, either in apexart’s venue for exhibitions in NYC, or in the temporary venue for exhibitions outside of NYC.
No. apexart is a not-for-profit institution and does not engage in any sales-related activities.
Yes. Including yourself as one of the three (or more) artists in an exhibition is allowed, but 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 installation. If you are not sure if your project is an “artist project”, email the project details to email@example.com at least one week before the deadline for clarification.
apexart has a $10,000 budget for each exhibition and its related programming. The intention is to produce a small focused exhibition with community relevance. Each organizer must work within apexart's budget to cover expenses including curator travel, artwork shipping, artist and public program participant honorariums, assistant fees, equipment, construction materials, photo/media documentation (smartphone images ok) for exhibitions outside NYC, wire transfer fees, and installation with $8,000 of the budget. After the exhibition closes and all expenses have been paid, the organizer receives a $2,000 honorarium for coordinating the project and writing the exhibition brochure essay. Please note, if more than one organizer is listed on the original proposal, the organizer honorarium is divided equally between everyone listed. For international exhibitions apexart will match up to $1,000 for a location rental if necessary.
No. An apexart exhibition is about quality not quantity. A small focused show is best suited to our program.
No, there are no application fees for the exhibition organizer(s) to apply for our open calls, or for any artists to participate in the exhibition.
No. No. No.
February 1 - March 1, 2019 23:59 PST (Pacific time) for exhibitions outside of NYC
Submissions accepted February 1-March 1, 2019
October 1 - 31, 2019 23:59 PST (Pacific time) for NYC exhibitions
Submissions accepted October 1-31, 2019
No changes may be made after submitting your proposal.
Before your proposal is submitted to the jury, your name and contact information is removed. apexart wants projects to be judged by the strength of their ideas and the organizer’s ability to communicate them, not by familiar names or someone's past accomplishments. After the voting has finished, the three highest-ranked proposals are posted on the apexart website as originally submitted, including any proposed artist names, and cannot be changed.
An international group of around 200 individuals evaluates 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. apexart respects the jurying process and does not interfere in the results. Jurors are invited randomly from our audience, from the international arts community, and from fields outside of the visual arts to help give feedback from diverse perspectives and insure that our programming responds to the interests of a wide audience. No topics are off limits, no ideas too controversial. The best exhibitions are about topics you personally care about and are interested in.
Yes, and that is great news! Please note, you cannot jury and submit for the same open call.
Absolutely. Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 and that the works included in the show are aligned with and related to the idea behind the exhibition.
Three exhibitions will be selected for the Open Call NYC and three exhibitions will be selected for the Open Call outside of NYC. The selected exhibitions are announced in early December and early April each year. The original proposals will be posted to the apexart website as they were submitted so subsequent submitters will be able to use them as examples - no alterations can be made. Exhibition dates are predetermined by apexart and the proposal with the highest score gets to choose from three available time slots; the second place proposal gets a choice of the remaining two time slots; and the third place proposal is assigned the final time slot.
The exhibitions in NYC run approximately 6 weeks. The exhibitions outside of NYC are on view for at least a 4 week period.
When you submit your proposal, you will be provided the ID# of your submission on our website. You should then receive an automated email confirmation containing your submission ID#. Please make note of the ID# or email so that you can refer to it later when checking your ranking. If you do not receive an email confirmation, please contact apexart via email@example.com. After voting is completed, you will be sent a link that lists all proposals by rank and exhibition title.
Yes. Many of our winning proposals come from people who have submitted multiple times.
Yes. Yes. You can be the organizer of an apexart NYC exhibition and the organizer of an apexart outside of NYC exhibition. Once you have done both, then you cannot apply again. We have not had any organizer do “the double” yet, so use that as motivation.
NO CALLS PLEASE. Send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond within 24 hours Monday-Saturday.