Call Detail
2020 Call for Group Exhibitions at Annenberg Community Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Hwy, Santa Monica CA 90402

Contact Email:
Call Type: Exhibitions
Eligibility: Regional
State: California
Entry Deadline: 9/24/19
Application Closed
Images - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 16
Video - Minimum: 0, Maximum: 1
Total Media - Minimum: 1, Maximum: 17

Proposals for: January - April 2020 | May-August 2020 | September - December 2020

Santa Monica Cultural Affairs (SMCA) administers the Beach=Culture program, which presents a year-round series of temporary exhibits, concerts, talks, readings and artist residencies at the Annenberg Community Beach House (ACBH). Three exhibits every year showcase the work of emerging and established Los Angeles County artists. The Beach=Culture program is designed to inspire visitors with fun, provocative, engaging art in an unexpected context. The Annenberg Community Beach House celebrates its tenth anniversary through April 2020, and staff and guests are invited to discover memories of the past and imagine the future during their visits to the Beach House.


In the past few years, Americans have been engaged in deeply re-imagining our collective futures and the future of the American experiment. The theme of Beach House exhibitions in 2020 is “Activism.” Curators are invited to create proposals that engage with ideas of collective and individual action. Proposals that connect to advocacy topics directly affecting the environments and communities in Santa Monica and/or Southern California are encouraged. Potential topics include human rights, immigration, climate change, gentrification, housing or food insecurity, and criminal justice reform.


We welcome proposals from curators for group exhibitions (of three or more artists), with emerging-to-established artists and artist groups. Curators and artists must be based in Los Angeles County. The exhibition display period is four (4) months, with the possibility of extension. Proposals from curators for solo shows or for artists outside Los Angeles County will NOT be considered. 


The selected curator(s) will be paid a curatorial stipend of $1,500 for organizing and producing the exhibition and all exhibition-related content. In addition, $200 is allocated for entertainment at the opening reception. There is also the possibility of up to $500 for an optional midterm event.

The selected curator(s) are required to produce, manage, and execute the content for the exhibition in a professional and timely manner, as well as to attend a joint orientation, which will be scheduled for December 2019, with all of the selected curators. All content for the exhibit will be produced by the curator, subject to review and approval by SMCA Staff. One curator will be the main point of contact for SMCA.

Curator deliverables include:

  • Exhibit hanging layout and hanging requirement
  • Artwork information and a signed loan form 
  • Artwork delivery and pickup
  • Opening reception and any additional exhibition programming scheduling and content
  •  Didactic wall text and wall label information
  • Printed postcard, online event calendar listing and social media posting design and content
  • A City blog post in the form of a Q&A with selected artists

 Santa Monica Cultural Affairs will pay for the following exhibition-related expenses associated with the exhibition:

  •  Installation and de-installation by a professional art handling service
  • Didactic wall text, wall label and exhibition postcard printing (500 count/double-sided/color processing; no mailing included)
  • Marketing of exhibition events to City email lists and social medi
  • Presentation of a public opening reception + light refreshments and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Potential hosting of a mid-term public workshop, talk, or other activity with the artists


Santa Monica Cultural Affairs will review eligible proposals and select up to three (3) proposals for exhibitions through December 2020. Curators of the selected proposals will be notified by late fall 2019. There is a required curator orientation meeting in late December, 2019. All curators and artists are invited to the ACBH artist anniversary event, tentatively scheduled for April 23, 2020. 

All applications will be considered using the following Review Criteria:

  • Curator’s body of work shows a strong and clear artistic vision.
  • Proposal presents a specific perspective & connects to the curatorial theme.
  • Curator’s statement/narrative and proposed artworks present a cogent and complete exhibition.
  • Curator has demonstrated organizational experience.

The three timeframes for the exhibitions are as follows (dates are subject to change):

  • January – April 2020
    • Install: January 13th 10am-1pm
    • Opening reception: Thursday, January 16th, 6-8pm
    • Deinstall: April 28th 10am-1pm
  • May – Early Sept 2020
    • Install: May 1st 10am-1pm
    • Opening reception: Thursday, May 14th, 6-8pm
    • Deinstall: September 9th 10am-1pm
  • Sept - Early January 2021
    • Install: September 11th 10am-1pm
    • Opening reception: Thursday, September 17th, 6-8 pm
    • Deinstall: January 11th 10-1 pm


Proposals should showcase the ready-to-hang artwork of three or more artists exemplifying the curatorial theme. When developing a proposal, please take into account the diversity of visitors that make up the Beach House audience, including youth and families.

All artwork must be framed/ready to install and wall-mountable (except for display cabinet items), as there is no space for free-standing artwork in the space. Also, take into account that the gallery is a highly-traversed area and open to the public, without staff to continuously monitor the gallery. Delicate artworks are vulnerable in this setting, and their inclusion is not advised.

The display space is a central hallway consisting of 9-foot high white walls, with approximately 100 linear feet total wall space and adjustable ceiling-mounted track lighting. In addition, there are two (2) lighted display cabinets (4ft.w x 6ft.h x 2ft.d) to be filled. Cabinets have adjustable glass shelves for small-scale 2D and 3D artworks or process documentation/research/background display. We highly encourage you to visit the Beach House to get a sense of the Event House gallery space before submitting a proposal. Gallery hours are 9:00 am to 4:00 pm daily except during private events. Please call (310) 458-4904 to confirm that the gallery is open.


As a City venue, we cannot display any prices or price lists in the gallery area. However, staff can work with artists to provide contact information for inquiries about artwork purchase, and the City does not collect any profit from sales. The City will insure the artwork while on display and in the City’s possession. Artists will be required to complete an artwork loan form stipulating the reasonable replacement value for the artwork on display.


Exhibits may be allocated additional budget for a mid-term event. Proposals for an event may include an artist-led workshop or gallery talk in conjunction with the exhibition. A small honorarium of up to $500 will be allocated for this mid-term event pending approval of Cultural Affairs staff. If curators are interested in programming a mid-term event they can submit an event proposal with a description and budget as part of the exhibition application. The City reserves the right to select group show proposals and reject optional events proposed. Santa Monica Cultural Affairs supports the labor of artists and art workers, and asks that curators refrain from planning any exhibition-related activities that do not compensate artists, performers, or speakers for their time.

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