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Home » Resources » Exhibition Proposals

How to Propose an Exhibition

MSVU Art Gallery
Guidelines for exhibition proposals

The Statement of Purpose (below) provides broad guidelines for the assessment of proposals. The Gallery presents 12 to 15 exhibitions within a given 12-month period and receives approximately 60 proposals annually.

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Proposal Requirements

Exhibition proposals must be addressed to Ingrid Jenkner, Director/Curator, MSVU Art Gallery. Complete submissions include the following elements:

  • A covering letter summarizing the proposal and situating its critical themes within the gallery’s mandate.
  • Documentation of artist’s recent work. Please refer to documentation requirements listed below. The gallery does not accept responsibility for original works of art.
  • A numbered image list containing a detailed description of each work represented (artist’s name, title of work, medium, dimensions, and date).
  • Professional CVs of all personnel involved in the proposed project
  • Your proposal; a clear and concise description of the proposed exhibition, listing any special requirements – no longer than one page. Artist’s statements are not required.
  • Other documentation such as exhibition catalogues, and press coverage, is helpful
  • Enclosure of a stamped return envelope is appreciated.

MSVU Art Gallery curatorial staff schedule proposal reviews on an ad hoc basis, after accumulating a dozen or more external submissions. Allow at least 12 weeks for a reply.

Documentation Requirements

A CD with 10-15 image files (including full installation views where applicable)

  • Saved as PC compatible .jpg files
  • 72 dpi and 1024 x 768 pixels
  • Each image labeled with a number and title—start the first nine images with a zero (01title.jpg, 02title.jpg...10title.jpg) to ensure they are presented in the order in which you wish them to be viewed.

Or, where applicable, a DVD

  • Clearly marked with the artist’s name, title of work, duration and date of completion.
  • Not to exceed 10 minutes.

Statement of Purpose

Through its exhibitions and programs, the Gallery functions as a visual arts resource to the University, communities served by the University, metro residents and art publics everywhere. It is located off the main entrance foyer of Seton Academic Centre. Admission is always free of charge.

The Art Gallery reflects the University’s educational aims by devoting many of its activities to the representation of women as cultural subjects and producers. This program focus is balanced with exhibitions on themes in visual culture which are relevant to university academic programs and/or constituencies served by the art gallery. Artists and artisans from the Atlantic region are well represented, often in the early stages of their careers. The Gallery’s exhibitions and programs are funded in part by Nova Scotia Tourism, Culture & Heritage, and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Since many contemporary artists treat artmaking as a form of inquiry, university art galleries are uniquely positioned to promote access to their work. MSVU Art Gallery aims to foster informed, critical responses to works of contemporary and historical art in keeping with its academic setting. Gallery publications, lectures and talks by visiting artists and scholars are announced in the semi-annual newsletter.

The gallery encourages interdisciplinary approaches to knowledge, and its exhibitions are used by students and faculty in their course work. In addition to offering guided class tours tailored to suit individual class curricula, MSVU Art Gallery maintains a database of open access, downloadable texts excerpted from its library of exhibition catalogues. This material is available on the gallery website, www.msvuart.ca, which also contains information on current, past and upcoming exhibitions, as well as the gallery’s history and mandate.

On behalf of the University, the Gallery manages a collection of art that reflects priorities set by the exhibition program and the University’s mission. Many works can be viewed in the E. Margaret Fulton Communications Centre and other campus buildings. The special collection of pottery by Nova Scotia ceramicist and MSVU alumna, Alice Hagen, is also displayed on campus.


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