Call for Exhibition Submissions

Call For Exhibition Submissions 2026

The Mary E. Black Gallery is pleased to receive proposals from artists/craftspeople, community groups, cultural groups, guilds, and curators for exhibitions in 2026. As Nova Scotia’s only public fine craft gallery, we strive to host a selection of exhibitions that educate the public about craft while promoting traditional and contemporary fine craft created by emerging and established local, regional, Canadian, and international artists. Juried, curated, and travelling exhibitions are eligible. Exhibitions proposals are selected by a rotating exhibition review committee based on the criteria outlined below.

Please reach out to us with any questions regarding the application process. We are available by appointment to provide feedback on your applications and to further assist you in the process. The best way to reach us is by contacting our Gallery Coordinator at hcraig@craftnovascotia.ca.

Due: Tuesday May 7, 2024, 11:59pm ADT

Application Process

Craft Nova Scotia is committed to following the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act in all aspects and activities of its operation. In accordance, all Craft Nova Scotia exhibitions, including those at the Mary E. Black Gallery or other venues, will be directed by principles of respect, equity, transparency, and accountability. This includes consideration and care for the stories being told through craft displayed in the gallery–ensuring that exhibited craftwork honours the genuine representation of an artist’s own stories, culture, community, heritage, and related practices. Craft Nova Scotia will assess the broad community impact of all programming and craftworks displayed in the Mary E. Black Gallery and other affiliated spaces to ensure alignment with this commitment. Craft Nova Scotia will take into consideration craftworks and programs within a broader historical, social, and cultural context, and how craftworks/programming may impact communities engaged by or reflected in the artwork or programming. This commitment means that Craft Nova Scotia and the Mary E. Black Gallery have the right to exclude or omit any works that do not follow the principles outlined above.

Mary E. Black Gallery Mandate:

  • to encourage and promote the craft movement in Nova Scotia
  • to encourage and promote public awareness and appreciation of craft practices and activities
  • present exhibitions that educate the public about craft and design
  • to promote the pursuit of excellence in the craft community
  • host local, regional, national, and international fine craft exhibitions year-round
  • reflect historical and contemporary expressions, both regionally and nationally
  • promote fine craft that embodies the energy and innovative spirit of Mary E. Black (1896 – 1988)

Proposal evaluation is based on:

Artistic Merit: Quality of artisanship, depth of concept, depth of material exploration, quality of applicants’ work to date.
Suitability for the Gallery: Visitor engagement, programming, and educational opportunities. How well the work fits into/supports the gallery mandate.
Feasibility: The ability of the organization/individual to bring the exhibition to fruition.
Diversity Impact: Cultural relevance, inclusion, expanded diversity of people and human experiences.

In response to the gallery’s mandate and the above-listed evaluation criteria, the most successful proposals illustrate or address the following:

  • A strong, cohesive concept or theme that in its presentation, will work in our gallery setting.
  • Concepts that inspire, challenge, motivate, inform, excite, or incite emotional and intellectual responses, offer new perspectives, and address issues of relevance for our craft community and our visiting public.
  • Artistic merit also includes opportunities to showcase innovation in craft through the use of new materials and/or techniques, or which push the boundaries of craft and craft discourse.
  • Unique gallery experiences that are more active or interactive.
  • We welcome collaborative exhibitions and proposals by curators and groups, as well as projects proposed in partnership with other organizations.
  • Suggestions for public programming that could accompany and enhance the exhibition’s concept, provide exposure for craft artists, activate our gallery space, and engage/educate current and new audiences.

The Mary E. Black Gallery covers:

  • Artist’s fees based on recommended CARFAC rates
  • Cost of an opening reception
  • Digital invitations, printing of gallery labels and title
  • Inclusion in our standard publicity program

Exhibition Submissions must be made using the application form. All required information is outlined below, for more detailed information, please see the FAQ.

 

Proposals must include the following:

A letter of intent/proposal (maximum 500 words)

  • Clear description of theme/concept
  • Clear description of the type of work as defined by medium, technique, scale, etc.
  • Working title of the exhibition
  • A brief description of how you envision the works being presented e.g. special display requirements, AV equipment, etc.

Biographies for artist(s) and/or organizers/curators (maximum 300 words per bio)

If you are proposing a group show, please include a list of proposed artists and a brief justification for the inclusion of each artist.

A CV of the principal organizer/curator or artist

Support material of up to 20 images or media files. These can include past works, works to be exhibited, and sketches. Image/media requirements are as follows:

  • JPEG format, maximum file size of 1MB
  • Image and media files must be titled:
    01FirstInitial_LastName_Title.jpeg (i.e. 01E_Wareham_BlueVase.jpeg)
  • Digital media such as video or audio can be included via a link to a website where the media is hosted (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, personal URL). To include media files please create a PDF with links written out or embedded as hyperlinks. A maximum of 5 minutes of digital media will be considered.

Image list

The image list must correspond to your support materials. Please include the artist’s name, title, medium, dimensions in metric, and creation date of work.

i.e. 01 Emily Wareham, Blue Vase, porcelain, 10cm x 5cm x 7cm, 2022

Cultural context information (maximum 250 words)

In order to help the jury understand your work in relation to its cultural narrative and address the question of who is telling whose story, the application will ask you to answer the following questions:

  • Does your work share cultural expressions or knowledge from marginalized communities?
  • If so, what is your relationship to these communities?
  • How might your work impact the communities reflected in the work?
  • How might your work impact communities in the place where the work is being exhibited?

Additional support material (optional). Can include any materials relevant to the application, such as promotional materials, reviews, and catalogs.

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Applications must be submitted by 11:59pm ADT on Tuesday, May 7, 2024.

Late submissions, incomplete, or submissions sent without using the application form will not be accepted.

We are here to assist and accommodate in any way we can. The Mary E. Black Gallery staff are committed to assisting applicants who face barriers to applying or have any difficulty with the process. If you require assistance or have any questions, please contact the Gallery Coordinator at hcraig@craftnovascotia.ca.