Call Detail

[EXTENDED DEADLINE] New Art Center Curatorial Opportunity Program for Artists and Curators 2016
New Art Center
61 Washington Park
Newtonville, MA 02460

Contact Email:
Call Type: Proposals
Eligibility: National
State: Massachusetts
Entry Deadline: 6/1/16
Application Closed
Number of Applications Allowed: 2

Images - Minimum: 7, Maximum: 30
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 6
Total Media - Minimum: 7, Maximum: 30
1. Statement of Purpose

The New Art Center's Curatorial Opportunity Program (COP) supports independent curators of contemporary art by making diverse visions possible in a non-profit and alternative exhibition space. The program investigates contemporary culture through the visual arts, exhibits strong curatorial voices, and encourages the timely examination of new ideas and perspectives.

We are currently accepting curatorial proposals for 5- to 6- week group exhibitions from September 2017 – May 2018 at the New Art Center in Newton. We will only accept electronic submissions received before June 1, 2016 [EXTENDED DEADLINE].

2. Background Information

Since 1991, NAC has used its Main Gallery for group exhibitions (two artists or more) curated by an exhibiting artist or independent curator. We continue this tradition through the COP, our annual public call for curatorial proposals.

Our Main Gallery is one of the few mid-sized nonprofit exhibition spaces in New England, which attracts over 5,000 visitors each year. The gallery occupies the hall of a former church, with 25-foot vaulted ceilings, substantial natural light, and several movable wall panels. The space is approximately 2,000 square feet, with an average width of 39 feet and an average length of 50+ feet. A visit to the gallery prior to application is advised and encouraged, if possible.

The COP furthers the NAC’s mission to support the development of visual artists and cultivate a community that appreciates art. COP exhibitions and associated public programs are the foundation of our gallery education and outreach programs and enhance the learning available in our studio classes and workshops, which educate over 2,500 students annually and sustain a faculty of 40 professional artists.

3. Scope of Work

  • Proposals must include works by two artists or more.
  • Proposals must include one public presentation with an educational component; more than one is encouraged (see ‘proposed public presentations’ under Criteria, below).
  • Artists wishing to include their own artwork in the proposal must submit a second proposal that does not include their own artwork. In proposals including one’s own work, that work should not be the main focus of the exhibition, and should only be included if it supports the thesis. 
Additional Considerations:                    
  • The proposed exhibitions can include works in a single medium or several media, from painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and video to installation art, performance art and sound art. A variety of media or diverse use of similar media is recommended.
  • Exhibitions can be organized around medium or process
  • Exhibitions can investigate social, cultural, historical, theoretical or political concepts

NAC Support
For each exhibition, the New Art Center provides a curator stipend to be applied to exhibition-related expenses at the curator's discretion. The stipend is awarded after the opening reception. Curators and artists are encouraged to consult with the NAC to seek outside funding to enhance their exhibition presentation or invitation, or to provide for additional advertising. The NAC receives a 50% commission on sales of any works in the exhibitions. 
The NAC provides:
  • a set budget for printing of a postcard invitation
  • a $1,000 USD curator stipend
  • public relations support such as press releases and contact sheets to press venues
  • advertisements and extensive listings
  • duplication of material for distribution at the exhibition
  • gallery signage
  • insurance up to $150,000 in total for art work while it is at the NAC
  • physical assistance in preparing the space
  • an opening reception with refreshments
The NAC does not provide (or pay for):
  • transportation of artworks to or from the NAC
  • unusual installation construction

4. Decision Criteria   
  • Quality of the work to be shown: Note - though submission of artists' resumes is required, artists who lack substantial exhibition records and experience will still be considered.
  • Clarity, subtlety, and power of the underlying curatorial concept: Proposed exhibitions must articulate a clear central idea, convincingly supported by the work included. This idea, or thesis, must be expressed in a brief curator's statement of concept. This is required whether the central idea is simply strong aesthetic resonance between works in a single medium or complex theoretical or academic dialogue presented across multiple media.
  • Proposed public presentations: The Curatorial Opportunity Program helps advance the New Art Center’s educational mission by using the galleries to enhance the experience of NAC’s students and guests. Proposals are expected to include at least one educational component connected with the exhibition, the goal of which is to place the exhibition, the art practices, and the curatorial practice into the larger context of contemporary art for a general public. This can consist of a panel discussion, gallery talk, ongoing interactive presentations, activities geared toward engaging the NAC’s daily student population or related presentations and/or performances in other mediums.
  • Capability of the curator to carry out the project: In addition to working with the Exhibitions Director on the exhibition design and installation, curators are also responsible for communicating with the artists. This includes assuring timely delivery of press materials, adherence to agreed-upon artwork delivery and pickup times, etc. The curator and artists are expected to work with the Exhibitions Director to assure that all necessary tasks are accomplished.

5. Eligibility
All artists and curators are eligible regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, belief, national origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities. While artists and curators from the greater Boston area are encouraged to participate, there are no geographic restrictions. Please keep in mind that the NAC does not pay for travel expenses.
Proposals will not be considered for one-person exhibitions or if they envision a general call to artists. Additionally, proposals will not be considered if they lack a statement of concept; require financial support from the Center beyond the usual stipend and services (see Support); are late or incomplete; are inappropriately scaled for the Main Gallery (see Gallery Space) or have highly unusual installation requirements.

6. Requirements for Proposal Preparation
  • ​You must complete all fields in the online application in order for it to be submitted. The application requires that you upload all of your documents as PDF or Word documents. The curator statement, proposed public presentations and image list will also need to be entered into the text boxes provided as well.  CREATE YOUR DOCUMENTS FIRST, AND THEN COPY THE TEXT INTO THE TEXT BOXES.
  • You will be asked whether or not your own artwork is included in your proposal. If the answer is yes, you are required to submit a second proposal that does not include your own work. 
  • You must create a free CaFÉ™ login and password in order to upload images and all other aspects of the application.
  • Other helpful hints and a CaFÉ FAQ are found here:
CHECKLIST - – the following is required for each proposal you submit. Please submit two proposals if your own artwork is included in one of them. 
  • Curator's Statement of Concept  
    • ​​​(suggested length: 1 - 3 pages or 300 - 1,000 words)
      • The curator's statement must begin with an exhibition title and a list of participating artists followed by a one-paragraph summary of the curatorial intention of the show. It should go on to address how each of the artist's work relates to the central concept. 
  • Proposed Public Presentation(s) with Educational Component 
    • (suggested length 1 pg/300 words)
      • At least one public presentation proposal is required, more than one is encouraged. Each proposed presentation should aim to contextualize and/or expand upon the exhibition, the contemporary art practice, and the curatorial practice for the general public.  
  • Artist Agreement
    • You must have secured participation of all the artists in your proposal prior to your application’s submission. Please list all confirmed artists in your Curator Statement of Purpose.
  • Resumes and References
    • Provide resumes (1-4 pages each) for the curator(s) and for each of the participating artists. You will need to combine all resumes into one document before uploading it. Curators must also submit contact information for three professional or academic references.
  • Images
    • Specifications, Audio & Video Specifications:
      • File format: JPEG only
      • File dimensions: No smaller than 1920 pixels on the longest side
      • File resolution: 72 ppi/dpi (standard web resolution)
      • File size: 5 MB maximum
    • A maximum of 30 images will be reviewed, with a maximum of 12 images per artist. For a tutorial on image preparation, please visit:
    • A maximum of 6 audio files and a maximum of 6 video files can be uploaded to CAFÉ, BUT WE CAN REVIEW MORE. In addition to your online submission, please share any additional audio and/or video files via Dropbox with If you prefer, you may also mail the files on a CD to Casey Curry, Manager of Exhibitions and Gallery Learning, New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville, MA 02460. Any mailed application materials must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2016.
  • Image List & Digital Image Submissions - Please follow instructions carefully! 
    • The Image List must be numbered in accordance with the order of the images in the CAFÉ slideshow. We suggest that you create the Image List first and then select and order your images in CAFÉ in accordance with the list.
    • The list must include (for each work):
      • Artist's Name
      • Image Number 
      • Title of work
      • Year
      • Medium (please include as much information about the media used as possible)
      • Dimensions 
      • Specification of either 'A' (for actual work to be exhibited) OR 'R' (for representative work). Inclusion of 'actual' work is encouraged.
        • ​Example: John Doe #1, Untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 24 x 36 inches, A
  • In addition to providing the Image List, you will also need to provide the image information for each image you upload onto CAFÉ. Please follow these directions carefully!!
    • For each image you upload, please fill out the fields with the following information:
      •  In CAFÉ’s “Description” field, include:
        • Artist's Name - The name(s) should be the first words entered in the description field!
        • Image Number - This should follow the Artist’s Name and colon in CAFÉ’s “description” field and be preceded by a hash mark [#]
        • A (for actual work to be exhibited) or R (for representative work)
        • Example: John Doe #1 A
      • ​In CAFÉ’s “Title” field, include the title
      • In CAFÉ’s “Year” field, include the year the piece was completed
      • In CAFÉ’s “Medium” field, include as much information as you can about the media used
      • In CAFÉ’s “Dimensions” field, include the dimensions of the piece
      • In CAFÉ’s “Price” field, insert $0; you must complete this field in order to submit the application, but price has no bearing on the application’s review process.
7. Review of Applications and Award Process                               
  • Deadline: June 1, 2016
  • Applications must be submitted on the CaFÉ website by 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on June 1, 2016.
  • No paper applications will be accepted and no extensions will be granted.
  • Applications are reviewed by a group of professional artists, curators, educators, museum and gallery personnel / staff, NAC staff and NAC Board members.  
  • The panel reviews the application and support materials for the quality of work, educational potential and clarity.
  • NAC staff may contact the applicant’s professional references and/or request to meet with finalists as part of the selection process. The review process may also include a phone interview or studio visit to view actual work.
  • COP awards will be announced to the recipients in August of 2016. No phone calls please.
  • The New Art Center will determine the time slot for COP exhibitions. Restrictions on scheduling flexibility must be stated in the application’s Curator Statement of Concept.
8. Questions?          
Please contact: Casey Curry, Manager of Exhibitions and Gallery Learning, These COP Guidelines can be downloaded from the New Art Center website:
Print this Page    View Legal Agreement