Deadline: Spring 2020 - date will be announced in early 2020.

Application fee: $10/free for members

View a recording of the 2019 Information session webinar

With the aim of encouraging curatorial research in tandem with exhibition planning, the Curatorial Project Open Call provides one deserving curator or curatorial team the necessary resources to realize an innovative project in CUE’s space in 2021. CUE provides institutional guidance and resources to the curator, who produces a group exhibition with related public programming and an accompanying exhibition catalogue. 

The selected curator will receive valuable mentor support from an established artist or curator on the selection panel, including installation guidance in preparation for the exhibition. In addition, the curator will be awarded a $2,500 honorarium; a budget of $2,500 to divide amongst participating artists and program speakers; and a production budget of $2,000.

Proposals are evaluated on merit of project, singularity of concept, and adherence to the application guidelines. All applications submitted will be considered final and treated as such. Applicants will not be permitted to add or edit an application once it has been submitted. All incomplete or duplicate applications will be disqualified.


  • Proposals must be conceptually rigorous and focus on artists, projects, and themes that are innovative, challenging, and engaging.

  • Extra consideration will be given to proposals that demonstrate a creative approach to curatorial research methods and the exhibition plan, as well as those that present ideas or topics that are not well-represented in the commercial sector.

  • The proposal must include four or more artists, half of whom must qualify as under-recognized (no gallery representation and no solo exhibitions in a major venue within the past five years).

  • Curators may not include their own work in the exhibition.

  • The curator and all proposed artists must live and work in the United States.

  • Extra consideration will be given to those in the beginning stages of their curatorial careers.

  • CUE strongly encourages applications that contribute to our ongoing commitment to diversity.


  • Five-week exhibition at CUE Art Foundation in 2021

  • Curatorial support/mentoring from an established artist or curator on the selection panel

  • Opportunities to develop related public programming

  • Full color catalogue with essay produced through the Art Critic Mentoring Program

  • $2,500 unrestricted honorarium

  • $2,500 to divide amongst the participating artists and program speakers

  • $2,000 production budget

  • An art shipping and art handling budget

  • Opening reception

  • Press materials and PR support


The Open Call is judged in two stages. After applications are screened for eligibility, an initial jury reviews applications online to select a shortlist of applicants to proceed to the next stage. The initial jury remains anonymous and includes representatives from CUE’s network of alumni and advisors.

One finalist will be selected by a separate jury comprised of four established curators and artists that will convene in New York City in May 2020. One of the panelists will go on to work with the Curatorial Project finalist as a mentor throughout the planning stages of the exhibition.

The final jury panelists change each year and remain confidential until finalists are announced. Recent panelists include artist, Kate Shepherd; Senior Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Larry Ossei-Mensah; Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, Shannon Stratton; artist, Ali Banisadr; art historian, Andrianna Campbell; and artist, Steffani Jemison, amongst others.

All applicants will be notified of results by June 2020.


  • Short synopsis of proposed project – up to 60 words

  • Detailed exhibition proposal that outlines both the concept and plan for the exhibition – up to 800 words

  • List of at least four participating artists and short bios for each

  • A completed Budget Worksheet form (see resource list)

  • Curator’s CV

  • Work samples - IMAGES:

    • Upload at least one image per artist (up to 15 images total). Images must be submitted as JPEG, PNG, or PDFs, with filenames formatted as: ARTISTLASTNAME_1.jpeg. Images should be optimized for web/screen preview and no larger than 2MB each. We recommend images that are 72dpi and around 2000px on the longest side.

    • A detailed work sample list formatted as follows:
      - Filename (eg. ARTISTLASTNAME_1.jpg)
      - Artist name, artwork title, year, medium, dimensions
      - Any additional description

  • Work samples - VIDEO/AUDIO:

    • If applicable, please provide URL links for video and time-based work. Vimeo is preferred for video. Soundcloud is preferred for audio. Please note: Video/audio samples exceeding 3 minutes may not be viewed in their entirety. For longer pieces we recommend creating an excerpt or providing a cue point in the notes.
      Include the following information:
      - URL
      - Password (if applicable)
      - Artist name, artwork title, year, duration
      - Any additional description

  • All applications submitted will be considered final and treated as such. Applicants will not be permitted to add to or edit an application once it has been submitted. All incomplete or duplicate applications will be disqualified.




2018 Selection:
Formula 1: A Loud, Low Hum, curated by Mira Dayal and Simon Wu

April 4 - May 8, 201

Formula 1 is an expanded exhibition project exploring alternative potentials for data-collection. What does it mean to make a formula? Is a formula a guarantee, a container, an act of “capturing” the means of producing something? Probing the networked nature of formula- and exhibition-making processes, the curatorial premise began with a public invitation to submit formulas for “successful” works of contemporary art. For Formula 1, each artist produced new work partially in response to selected formulas from the call and partially as continuations of their past investigations.

Under the rubric of those formulas, goop, detritus, “live” elements, fragrances, and bodies collide with architecture, data, algorithms, and renderings to create ecosystems, collections of parts that imply an operative whole.

Participating Artists: Nikita Gale, Laurie Kang, and Amanda Turner Pohan

Panelists for the 2018 Open Call were Ali Banisadr, artist; Andrianna Campbell, art historian; and Steffani Jemison, artist.


2017 Selection:
Original Language, curated by Natasha Marie Llorens
September 6 - October 11, 2018

Original Language presents the work of six artists who are invested in the relationship between language and violence. Through their work, they are searching for ways to make language testify to some socio-political injury that is otherwise structurally invisible most of the time: heteronormativity, media-bias, structural racism and sexism, psycho-normativity, the foundational nature of slavery to the US economy, and US-backed authoritarianism abroad.

The artists presented use language that pictures discourse issuing from a wound, from a disaster, from a war, from an aporiae or an empty center. This is the problem the exhibition addresses: how can we keep showing up to speak about the injury, over and over? How do we talk about this?  

Participating Artists: Wilder Alison, Alexandra Bell, Al Freeman, Ariel Jackson, Shellyne  Rodriguez, Leah Moskowitz.  

Panelists for the 2017 Open Call were artist, Kate Shepherd; independent curator, Larry Ossei-Mensah; and Chief Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, Shannon Stratton.

2016 Selection:
The Visible Hand, curated by David Borgonjon
January 7 - February 15, 2017

Drawing on a business history term for management—the visible hand—as a corrective to the invisible forces of the market, this show posits art as a form of managerial practice. After all, artists already live, breathe and work as single-person institutions.

The artists presented in The Visible Hand set aside the too-convenient narrative of art as an oppositional critique of corporate management, and propose art as existing within and alongside institutions rather than outside of them. The works here reflect on the entire process of artistic production, from early socialization to the arts education system to market pressures to systems of distribution, consumption and storage.

Participating artists: Chloë Bass, BFAMFAPhD, Maureen Connor, Devin Kenny, Jen Liu. 

Panelists for the 2016 Open Call were Herb Tam, Curator and Director of Exhibitions at the Museum of Chinese in America; Michelle Grabner, artist and writer; and Leslie Hewitt, artist.