The proposal deadline for the 2012-2013 exhibition season is March 16th, 2012.
Curatorial candidates must submit:
- A cover sheet
- A proposal essay detailing the theme and contents of the exhibition
- An image list
- Visual support materials
- A resume
Proposals must be either mailed or hand-delivered to the Glass Curtain Gallery | 1104 S. Wabash Ave., 1st floor.
Email the Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces (DEPS) at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
If you’ve ever wondered how to go about realizing your exhibition idea, Columbia’s Department of Exhibition and Performance Spaces (DEPS) is taking applications.
Anyone students can submit a proposal, but DEPS is eager to consider strong current students proposals.
Planning, curating and mounting your own show can be a lot of work, said DEPS Director Neysa Page-Lieberman, but the experience is very gratifying. The curators’ vision is exposed to the public and the press. Mounting your own show while still in college is widely considered a huge and noteworthy achievement in the art world.
“I would like to get as many people involved as possible,” Page-Lieberman said. “It’s a very demanding process, but it’s extremely rewarding.”
To apply, curators must submit a cover sheet; a proposal essay detailing the theme and contents of the exhibition; an image list; supporting visual materials; and a resume. Proposals are reviewed by a board of staff from DEPS, faculty and staff from around the college, and current students.
Submissions are frequently returned to the applicant for revisions. Applicants are sometimes given the opportunity to rewrite their proposals, address concerns the board has, and resubmit it. Some shows, however, are not accepted because they simply do not fit in the gallery spaces available, the exhibition guidelines outlined by DEPS, or Columbia’s mission.
It needs to be relevant to Columbia’s mission or tie in with a particular discipline on campus or a curricular program. It needs to really be relevant to student learning.”
DEPS Director Neysa Page-Lieberman
Usually about 12 to 15 proposals are seen by the board, and, on average, two or three are accepted.
In addition to mounting their show, selected students do receive a small stipend for their work.
Page-Lieberman’s advice is to make sure the exhibition involves the Columbia community and offers educational opportunities.
“It needs to be relevant to Columbia’s mission or tie in with a particular discipline on campus or a curricular program,” she said. “It needs to really be relevant to student learning.”
She also said that applicants, especially students, should attend all workshops offered, and thoroughly read the guidelines. Page-Lieberman said she is also more than willing to receive a draft before the deadline.
Past student-curated exhibits have been very successful, and some students have even used their exhibitions as inspiration for future projects.
Nicolette Caldwell curated a show in 2009 called Sixty Inches From Center, and after graduation she started her own art organization under the same name. Callie Humphrey also curated her own exhibition before she graduated in Spring ’09, and she said the experience was inspiration for her to pursue a career in curating.
Humphrey is currently in Buenos Aires launching her next project, Concrete=Canvas, an art organization that transforms concrete spaces into works of art. Humphrey, who also worked for DEPS as a curatorial assistant, said that her experience there taught her how to think outside the box.
“That’s something I always really knew about myself, but Columbia really fostered that idea,” she said.
The next deadline for submitting a curatorial proposal is Friday, October 21st at 5pm.