Call Detail
Call for Curatorial Exhibition Proposals
Entry Deadline: 6/1/23
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 3
Work Sample Requirements
Images | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 20
Video | Minimum:Min. 0, Maximum:Max. 6
Total Samples | Minimum:Min. 10, Maximum:Max. 20
Call Type: Proposals
Eligibility: Regional
State: California

Art Works Downtown warmly welcomes curators to submit proposals for exhibition in Gallery 1337. Our goal is to provide engaging visual art experiences for the public, and we need diverse and creative perspectives to help us. We’re seeking proposals that demonstrate professionalism, clear vision, and innovative concepts.

As a community-driven organization, we understand the visual-arts are an important benefit for society; but at the same time, exhibit production can be taken for granted. Art Works Downtown created this program to support curators financially and creatively, and we can’t wait to see your unique vision come to life. Thank you for considering us, we look forward to receiving your proposal.


About the Gallery 1337 program at Art Works Downtown

Gallery 1337 at Art Works Downtown features traditional, modern, and contemporary work by established and emerging artists from the greater San Francisco Bay Area. The exhibit program serves the public by offering a connection to the creative aspect of our humanness for the purpose of inspiration, contemplation, and discourse. Located in the heart of San Rafael, CA, this gallery showcases the best of local art for the serious collector and casual viewer alike. Art Works Downtown invites you to visit to engage with the art happening today, in your community… welcome!

Art Works Downtown, Inc, a 501(c)3 corporation, is Marin's premier non-profit art center. Located on Fourth Street, our 40,000 square-foot building houses 4 galleries, 27 art studios, artist membership program, restaurant, jewelers guild, frame shop, ceramic center, other arts organizations, 17 affordable apartments and more. We feature new exhibits, events, and classes every month as well as outreach programs and 6 public art installations throughout San Rafael.



  • Proposals due: June 1, 2023 (9:59pm PST)
    • Acceptance Notification: after June 30 via email
      • No emails or phone calls, please.
  • Exhibit Dates: September 29–November 10, 2023
    • Delivery: Sept. 21–23
    • Installation: Sept. 24–28

Application Requirements


Conceptual Guidelines

  • Proposals will be evaluated based on qualities such as the strength of concept, quality of proposed artworks, and feasibility of exhibit plan.
  • Attention will be given to proposals supporting or exploring themes of inclusivity, diversity, equity, or accessibility.
  • Concepts should be accessible to a wide spectrum of audience from art-educated guests to people who are new to art.
  • Artwork content with explicit sexual content or graphic violence is prohibited. AWD prefers not to censor artwork, but we must also maintain a safe space in our very public gallery.
  • The theme must be different than our past 2 years of exhibits, see Gallery 1337 archive on our website.


Artist Requirements

  • Group exhibits of three or more artists are preferred. Curators working with a solo artist are also welcome to apply. Artists may not curate their own artwork. Art Works Downtown discourages curators including their own work in the exhibit.
  • Potential artists must be contacted by curators prior to submission of proposal to confirm interest.
  • Curators can only include artists who reside within 100 miles of San Rafael California during the exhibit dates.
  • Exhibitors must be living artists.


Artwork Requirements

  • All visual-art mediums are welcome.
  • Exhibits must showcase about 16–36 artworks, depending on scale.
  • Artwork must be ready to install. Installation-art must include clear instructions, or the artist must be available to install complex installations within the schedule.
  • At least 50% of the exhibiting artworks must be for sale. AWD asks for a 40% donation upon sale. Sales tax is paid by AWD not the artist.
  • Artwork must arrive in a professionally presentable state. We do not accept damaged frames, scratched glass, wet paint, floating paper, etc.
  • Video art is welcome, but must qualify as follows.
    • Most display equipment required for the exhibit must be provided.
    • Projections are usually prohibited because the space contains too much light.
  • Audible works must use headphones and not broadcast sound through the space.
  • Editions
    • Originals of limited editions are permitted. They must be signed and numbered. For example: photographic prints, printmaking, bronze castings.
    • Un-editioned reproductions such as giclée’s, or print-to-order, are prohibited.


Curator Requirements

  • Any curator is welcome to apply, including professional, independent, emerging, and team curators. Experience is preferred.
  • Curator may use the stipend according to your own discretion. Payable by 50% before exhibit and 50% after the exhibit ends, or 100% after the exhibit ends. Please recognize that an approved budget will be the entire budget for the curator and artists. There are no additional funds for anyone or anything beyond our standard exhibition practices.
  • The curator agrees to
    • dates and deadlines as established with the AWD staff.
    • to be available for meetings with staff; two receptions; and an Art Talk.
      • Curator agrees to lead an Art Talk about the exhibit, which may be in person or Zoom.
    • to complete a W9 form in order to receive the stipend. AWD cannot offer visa sponsorship.
    • agree to any interviews by the press about the exhibit.
  • Exhibitions must be installable in under four days.
  • Curator has permission to direct the gallery design/artwork placement. However, AWD retains the right to make design decisions. The AWD Gallery Designer and installer will be available to install and advise on design. Their advice must be considered as they are experts and have an intimate understanding of our gallery space. Expect to collaborate with our gallery installation team.
  • We strongly encourage you to visit and view the Gallery 1337 exhibit space at Art Works Downtown before applying for this opportunity.

Eligibility Criteria


Proposal Requirements

  • Cost to apply: free
  • Exhibition Vision Statement: outline the exhibition’s concept and how the artists and artwork support the vision and goal of the exhibit. (2000 words maximum).
  • Provide the estimated budget you will need for curating—and participating in—the exhibit outlined in this call for proposals, not to exceed $5,000.
  • Images or videos of proposed artworks
    • 10–20 images of the artworks to exhibit, or close examples of the types of the artwork expected to exhibit.
    • Image list of proposed artworks, including title, media, dimensions
    • It is recognized that the selection of art in the proposal can’t be guaranteed, but the examples should provide a proximity to the art expected to exhibit.
    • Videos submissions: maximum 6 within the application system.
  • Artists' Information
    • the resumes, bios, artist statements, and links for each artist you plan to exhibit
  • Curator's Information
    • Resume, bio, curator’s statement (optional), examples of past exhibits
  • A draft plan or reference to show the art would display in the exhibition space. See the Gallery 1337 Floor Plan included/attached in this call.



  • Stipends awarded to approved proposals.
  • Curator may use the stipend to your own discretion.
    • Please recognize the awarded stipend will be the entire budget for the curator and artists. There are no additional funds for anyone or anything beyond our standard exhibition practices as listed below.
    • Additional payments will be provided for up to three artist participants at $100 per artists per artist talk.  Curator will be required to be present at artist talk with curatorial stipend covering their cost for participation.
  • Exhibition advertising and promotions including
    • Email-invitation
    • Print postcard
    • Printed poster distribution throughout Marin County
    • Press-releases
    • AWD email promotions
    • AWD social media promotions
    • Printed catalogue of exhibit
    • Installation of the final exhibit
  • Staffing of the gallery during the exhibition. Public hours are Thu–Sat, 1–8pm.
  • Provide Gallery 1337 to include, but not limited to, gallery design, installation, exhibit, and promotion.
  • Two receptions on two Fridays, 5–8pm
  • A positive and professional exhibition experience for everyone involved.