Advice on Crafting a Strong, Compelling Solo Exhibition Proposal
After a few years of accepting open call applications for exhibitions, we've decided to put together a list of tips for artists to keep in mind when crafting a proposal. While some of these are specific to our program, many of them are universal. Good luck!
Use simple language, avoiding art jargon and buzzwords.
Open with a strong, clear sentence that succinctly communicates your idea.
Write directly, and avoid using the conditional or future tenses. “The exhibition addresses ______,” is a stronger phrase than, “The exhibition would address/ will address/ seeks to address______.”
Be specific when writing about your work. Rather than describing your practice generally, write about a specific project or artwork that you want to use, and make a clear, compelling case for its inclusion.
Clearly describe the exhibition plan: how will viewers experience the work? Consider the scale and layout of the gallery space. We strongly recommend visiting the space or reviewing documentation on our Vimeo channel before submitting your application.
Ask questions! If your proposal hinges on something related to the space: hanging from the ceiling or building a false floor, send us a short email asking if it’s possible, and we’re happy to let you know. Proposals are often rejected because they aren’t realistic for our space.
Be sure to submit high-quality images of your work. Images should be bright, clear, and photographed on a neutral background. The stronger your images, the stronger the proposal
Ask for feedback from a friend or family member.
Read and follow all application instructions carefully
“Don't Quote Deleuze”: How to Write a Good Artist Statement by Loney Abrams, published by Artspace Magazine
Best Professional Practices for Artists: The Artist Statement Made Simple by Cara Ober, published by BmoreArt