The Springfield Museum of Art (SMoA) presents a variety of exhibitions each year including solo, group, traveling, and guest curated exhibitions. Historically, local and regional artists have been a driving force behind the successes of the Museum. Priority is given to exemplary artists with substantive ties to the Midwest, Ohio, and Springfield. Exhibitions of national and/or international relevance are also considered.
While no formal education is required, the Museum seeks artists and curators who have extensive experience in their field. While past exhibition experience is not required, it is preferred and taken into consideration when reviewing proposals.
Proposal Submission Process
The Museum’s Curatorial Affairs Committee reviews exhibition proposals and recommends a slate of exhibitions for the Museum’s upcoming exhibition calendar. This committee reviews proposals twice per year, once in May and again in November. The Museum books exhibitions 1-3 years in advance.
Deadline for spring review is Apr 16, 2023. Applications received past this deadline will be reviewed in the fall of 2023. Artists/curators will be notified by the end of August of their proposal status following the Curatorial Affair Committee’s proposal review.
Artists, groups, and curators interested in applying for an exhibition should submit the following in PDF format:
Artist/Curator Biography: biographies should describe your background as an artist or curator. Include training, professional or otherwise, interests as an artist, and biographical information about yourself. (2 paragraphs maximum)
Artist/Curator Statement: statements should explain your artistic or curatorial vision, including the subject matter with which you work and what you hope to convey as an artist or curator. (1 page maximum)
Artist/Curator Resume or Curriculum Vitae: resumes/CVs should detail your artistic training and previous exhibitions. While no formal education is required, the Museum seeks artists and curators who have extensive experience in their field. While past exhibition experience is not required, it is preferred and taken into consideration when reviewing proposals. (Can be attached as separate PDF)
Exhibition Proposal: proposals need to include the following information:
» A description of your proposed exhibition including subject matter, concepts, media, targeted audience, number of pieces, and scale of artwork. Examples of proposal types include a current body of work, a retrospective body of work, or a special project/body of work you plan to create. (1 page maximum)
» If the work is to be site-specific or created specifically for this proposal, include substantial detail of your plan so the committee can fully understand your vision, include preliminary sketches/images of maquettes in your image inventory along with samples of prior finished work.
» If the proposal is for a curated exhibit, include brief information about each artist you hope to feature in the exhibition.
» An inventory of 10-12 images with identifications of each work. Images should be submitted as a single pdf with one image per page and identification information listed with the artwork including title, media, size, and date. If proposal is to be mailed, images can still be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, mailed on CD or flash drive, or printed and included with other documents. You may note websites that highlight your work in addition to this inventory, but do not solely make reference to websites. Only send images of work, please refrain from sending actual artwork. Application packets, including hard copies, CDs, and flash drives of images, cannot be returned.
» (Optional) Samples of previous exhibitions as relevant, include images of installed artwork and references to exhibitions online or in print. Please limit this to no more than two previous exhibitions.
Proposals can be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to 107 Cliff Park Rd Springfield, OH 45504 attn: Elizabeth Wetterstroem, Collections and Exhibitions Manager. Proposal materials should arrive as a cohesive unit. If sent via email, please submit materials in PDF format and send a follow-up email that requests confirmation that the materials have been received. Sending large documents can prove problematic and may not come through to our inbox. Proposals are evaluated using a scoring rubric of review criteria. Review criteria can be found below.
Deadline for fall review is Oct 1st, 2023. Applications received past this deadline will be reviewed in the spring of 2024. Artists/curators will be notified by the end of June of their proposal status following the Curatorial Affair Committee’s proposal review.
Please note that artists/curators may request to show in a particular SMoA gallery; however, the gallery selected for any exhibition is at the sole discretion of the Museum. Due to the high number of proposal submissions, fewer than 10% of applicants are offered an exhibition. Proposal may be kept on file and revisited for unexpected schedule openings or opportune connections with pertinent themes of community and regional interest.
Proposals are evaluated using the following criteria:
Calendar/Timing: accepted proposals must work with the timeline of the Museum’s exhibition calendar. The Museum plans its calendar 1-3 years in advance.
Quality & Strength of Artwork: SMoA presents high quality exhibitions featuring artists who have extensive experience. Strength of artwork should reflect this extensive experience.
Inclusivity & Diversity: SMoA is interested in proposals that broadly support inclusivity and diversity. This may relate to either/both the subject matter of the artwork or the artist(s) creating the work. Diversity may include but not be limited to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disabilities, age, and socioeconomic demographics.
Relevance to the Springfield Community: SMoA is committed to presenting exhibitions that have relevance and contemporary resonance to our community. This may pertain to both the subject matter and the conceptual themes presented by the exhibition.
Conceptual Strength & Quality of Execution: SMoA seeks exhibitions driven by conceptual thinking and insight, with artwork that strongly executes the concepts and ideas posed by themes of the exhibition.
Expense/Fundability: SMoA maintains an annual exhibition budget, costs associated with the exhibition as well as the fundability of the project are taken into consideration when accepting proposals.