Submitted by: Kaitlyn Frolek, Gallery Assistant
The Saskatchewan Craft Council is currently accepting exhibition proposals until November 16! For more information, click here.
As a practicing artist I know firsthand how stressful and intimidating the application process can be. The most difficult part I have found in my experience is the written proposal. This is in part because if one is applying to multiple galleries for an exhibition you have to tweak and change your proposal to fit each gallery’s guidelines. In this blog post I’m going to give a few helpful hints and methods I have used to make the process a little less daunting and stressful.
The first step I take is to decide which galleries I am applying to. I print off their requirements and create separate folders for each gallery submission. Typically most galleries will ask for four things to complete a submission: A disk of 10-20 images and a corresponding image list, a CV (Curriculum Vitae), an Artist Statement, and a Written Proposal.
In this blog post I want to focus on the Artist Statement and the Proposal. First, one should know the difference between the two. Your artist statement is an explanation of your work, process, and inspiration surrounding your art practice and the proposed exhibition. This statement enhances the juror’s critical understanding of your work and process. Start by considering who is reading the statement: is it a contemporary, fine craft, or fine art gallery? By knowing who you are addressing, you can mold your statement to fit their requirements. Explain your art making process – what materials do you use, what inspires your practice, what research have you done, is there critical art theory behind your work? These are all important questions to answer within your artist statement. If you’re still finding this process difficult, try looking up examples of other artist’s statements. This can sometimes inspire you or help you to answer questions about your artwork that you possibly had not thought of previously.
The written proposal is a detailed concept for an exhibition. In this portion of your submission you will need to include the ideas behind your exhibition, how many works you intend to showcase, the specific requirements of how the show will be displayed or presented, if the works are two dimensional or three dimensional, etc. It is also important to note again that each gallery will have different requirements for the proposal. It is crucial to make sure you include everything that they ask for, or there is a possibility that they will not look at your proposal. This is why I suggested creating a folder for each gallery exhibition proposal. Print all of their requirements and use them as a check list or guideline as you gather all of the necessary documents. As an example of what some galleries require, the Saskatchewan Craft Council checklist includes:
- Cover Letter
- An Exhibition Description or Proposal (1-2 pages)
- 12-20 Digital Images
- A corresponding Image List
Check out the SCC’s Exhibition Proposal Requirements.
Also, I have provided two links below that work well for those needing assistance with writing applications. Another helpful tip that is not mentioned in the links provided is once you have finished your writing for the applications, have someone proof read your proposal. Having another perspective looking through the application can help if you have missed something that might be helpful. I wish you good luck with your Proposal writing and hope this will provide some help.
Links to help with Exhibition Proposal: