Open Call for Exhibitions

GALLERY 2025

This public open call invites artists and curators to propose exhibitions for Waterloo Arts Gallery’s 2025 schedule. Proposals are accepted or denied based on the review of the Waterloo Arts Gallery Committee in consultation with the Gallery Coordinator. 

THE GALLERY COMMITTEE PRIORITIZES: 

-Artists/Curators are welcome to submit proposals for group or individual exhibitions. 

-Strength of portfolio, including clarity of exhibition proposal

-Exhibition proposals which feature artworks or creative projects that have not been formally exhibited before

-Ability to utilize the full gallery space

-The potential for cultural impact and community engagement

EXHIBITION DATES:

If accepted, proposals will be awarded for one of the following slots:

Friday, Jan 3 – Saturday, Feb 15

Friday, April 4 – Saturday, May 24

Friday,  June 6 – Saturday, July 19

Friday, Aug 1 – Saturday, Sept 20

Friday, Oct 3 – Saturday, Nov 15 

ARTIST TALK:

Artists/curators are asked to give an artist talk during their opening reception at 8 PM; talks are generally casual and conversational. No presentation components are necessary beyond what artists/curators would like to verbally share about their practice, work, and artistic journey.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT:

As part of the exhibition experience, Waterloo Arts asks that artists/curators propose an additional community engagement concept, beyond the opening reception, that will pair well with their artwork; this could relate to the content or medium of the work. 

Examples from past exhibitions include:

  • Artist hosted a screen printing workshop to make Chinese New Year themed cards
  • Poetry night in the adjacent cafe space for an exhibition on a mobile home park with the poetry theme of “home” 
  • Gender-ambiguous clothing swap held by artist during exhibition about trans experience
  • Three artists who were exhibiting their own still life paintings/prints, set up a giant still life composition in the center of the gallery and hosted community drawing sessions.

Waterloo Arts staff are happy to work with the artists to assist with programming and promoting the community engagement activity. Additional funds for supplies are available. Multiple utilizable areas of building open for community engagement: performance space (black box theater), working studio space, café/gallery, and outdoor space. 

STIPEND:

Each main-gallery accepted proposal will receive a stipend of $300 (regardless of the number of artists in the exhibition) to help off-set expenses associated with the exhibition. Waterloo Arts owns an apartment which can be made available for traveling artists/curators upon request.  

GALLERY COMMISSION:

Waterloo Arts takes a 30% commission on art sales. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Thursday, August 1st

NOTIFICATION OF ACCEPTANCE/DENIAL: Saturday, August 16th


Waterloo Arts Gallery floorplan
Images of Waterloo Arts Gallery (left: back facing front, right: front facing back)


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To submit an application via email:
send the following information to jacob@waterlooarts.org with the subject line “Open Call Application”. Single .pdf preferred!

– Your Name, Email, and Phone Number
– Whether you are applying as: an artist or a curator
– Names of Participating Artists/Collaborators 
– City and State of Artist(s) Residence
– Exhibition Title
– Project Proposal (250 words max) ex. What will be displayed in the gallery? What themes are the artists/curator pursuing? Is there a programming element that is crucial to the experience of the exhibit?
– Link to Artist Portfolio, if available (social media/website)  
– Up to 10 images of specific works, or 3 min of video (YouTube/Vimeo link preferred). Indicate title, medium, size, and year for each artwork included, and whether or not the work submitted may be the exact work exhibited.
*For video, performance, installation, social engagements, and new media, provide no more than 60 words of context for each piece.
– Indicate whether the proposed project has been exhibited previously, or if the artist may have additional exhibition commitments planned for 2025.