Last year I wrote about two emerging gallerists, Charlie Grosso and Kesha Bruce from Baang + Burne Contemporary, that were shaking up the traditional system by creating six weekly exhibitions over the course of last fall. All exhibitions were held in pop-up spaces and these innovative entrepreneurs tapped into alternative outlets to garner attention and marry new communities to art.
“After all the excitement following Baang + Burne Contemporary’s 2011
exhibition season, we’ve decided, once again, to do something a bit
unconventional. In June we will be launching an international open call
to artists. Just to be clear, we aren’t doing an open call for a juried group
exhibition; we’re looking to sign new artists to our gallery for
inclusion in exhibitions, projects, and events for the 2012-2014
seasons. We’re offering the chance to be represented by the gallery. We want to find artists whose work we admire, and help to promote and
sell their work for the next two years. The fact that their art will
be featured in an exhibition in New York City is really just the icing
on a very sweet cake.
Why Are We Doing This?
Let me tell you a little story.
Once upon a time a team of gallery directors went about the task of
finding new artists for their gallery. They asked their friends for
suggestions; they searched the internet; they did studio visits; they
went to MFA thesis exhibitions. After months of searching, they realized
something: They were doing this the hard way.
Why not put out the word you’re looking for new artists to work with,
tell the artists what type of partnership you have to offer them, and
then let interested artists come to you? So that’s exactly what we’re
Why the Fee?
You learn a lot when you decide to open an art gallery. First
lesson—everything costs much more money than you thought it would. In
the pre-internet dark ages, sending submissions to a gallery was a real
chore. Luckily, nowadays, submissions can be completed on-line. Quick,
easy, and free, right?
Whether it means buying more storage for your e-mail server and
spending hours downloading thousands of individual images, or paying a
service to store and organize the images, accepting submissions on-line
costs money. A lot of money. In our case, we decided to license
software to handle the submissions. That meant an initial investment of
around $1000 before we’d even announced we were taking submissions.
Bottom line: We need to charge a fee to cover our costs or we’d have
to forget about doing the open call all together. In the end we decided
we didn’t love the idea of charging artists money, but absolutely hated the
idea of not getting to see the exciting work you are making. . The
lesser of two evils: We’re charging a $45 fee. A relatively small pill
to swallow considering the opportunity we’re offering.
What’s In It For Artists?
From the very beginning our goal has been to create projects and
opportunities for artists that challenge the very idea of what an art
gallery can be. In the first 16 months of our existence, we produced 8
exhibitions and organized nearly 20 events bringing about unexpected
alliances and partnerships between creative fields outside the art world
and non-profit arts organizations.
We’re interested in engaging the world at large and presenting work
that generates cultural dialogue about what art can really do. We wanted
to educate our fellow artists and provide them with the tools,
information, and resources they need to advance their career. If all of
the above makes your heart sing, you might be a perfect match for us.
So here you have it: This is what we do. This is why we do it. If
that trips your trigger, send us your work. Let’s make something
We are only accepting online submissions through the Call for Entry system. Thank you!