Blue Sky Opens Call for 2020 Curatorial Prize Submissions

Arielle Bobb-Willis,  San Francisco , 2017, from the 2019 Curatorial Prize exhibition  An Inward Gaze  curated by Roula Seikaly and Jon Feinstein.

Arielle Bobb-Willis, San Francisco, 2017, from the 2019 Curatorial Prize exhibition An Inward Gaze curated by Roula Seikaly and Jon Feinstein.


Call opens: Friday, August 16, 2019
Call closes: Friday, October 4, 2019
Decision & Notifications sent: Friday, November 1, 2019
Exhibition dates: April 16–May 31, 2020

Blue Sky’s third annual Curatorial Prize provides an opportunity for curators to present an exhibition of photo-based work, along with related programming and publications at one of the nation’s most highly regarded photography galleries. The program seeks exhibitions of 2–5 artists who use photography in traditional or experimental ways. Video and film are welcome. Previous Curatorial Prize exhibitions were Ultra Vivid Dreaming, curated by Ashely Stull Meyers, and An Inward Gazecurated by Jon Feinstein and Roula Seikaly.

Blue Sky Gallery’s ambitious exhibition schedule does naturally limit the extent of work possible (we only have 1–2 days for installation and 1 day for de-install). Within those parameters, we commonly hang shows of approximately 20–30 images, generally either framed or hung with magnets. If your work is installation based, or is otherwise rigorous to install, please be sure to directly address a manageable approach to installation/de-installation within our fast-paced schedule

Scope of Work

  • Solicit and select 2–5 artists for a six-week exhibition (April 16–May 31, 2020), working with Blue Sky’s Exhibition Manager to confirm artists, contracts, etc.

  • In collaboration with Blue Sky staff, oversee exhibition planning, shipping of work, and coordination of artists’ schedules for events. Artist schedules and events will be finalized 3 months in advance of the exhibition.

  • Write about the artists’ work/your vision for various venues including: an exhibition catalog, press release, and the Blue Sky blog.

  • Present a talk about the artists’ work/your vision at Blue Sky to the public during the opening weekend of the exhibition (or at another mutually agreed upon time, decided 3 months in advance of the exhibition). Attend the opening night if possible.

  • Align with the mission and goals of Blue Sky Gallery while bringing a unique curatorial vision to the Gallery.

  • Prepare exhibition models and sketches as required.


  • Awareness of contemporary photography issues, practices, and artists.

  • Ability to work responsively and collaboratively with Blue Sky staff.

  • Ability to organize and communicate messages effectively through writing and public presentation to different audiences.

  • Ability to manage an exhibition, stay within budget, and meet deadlines.

Financial Considerations

Curatorial stipend is $750. An additional total pool of up to $4,000 for artist stipends, travel/housing (artists and curator), honorariums for writing, printing, and shipping will be available. Blue Sky will work with selected curator to establish budget for programs and publications and all budget allocations are subject to Blue Sky approval, in keeping with our normal fees for other exhibitions. Blue Sky can provide black metal frames for photo prints at no cost if the photos are of a standard size. Other alternatives to framing include magnets or mirror clips. Artists are welcome to display their works using different methods, but those costs must be covered by the artists.

Submission Requirements

Proposals are due to Blue Sky Gallery by October 4 at 11:59 PM.

Please submit materials online using this link. Applications will be reviewed and a curator chosen by Blue Sky’s staff and Exhibition Committee. Applications should include the following documents merged into a single PDF:

  1. Curatorial statement and vision for the Curatorial Prize, including estimated costs.

  2. Professional resume/CV, including a link to your website if applicable.

  3. Examples of past curatorial work, including images and critical reviews.

  4. Samples of work the artists you have chosen for your exhibition (and/or links to the websites of the work selected).

  5. A writing sample of previous curatorial statements or published writing.

Note:  The Exhibition Committee reviews proposals projected onto a screen; keep this in mind when formatting examples of past curatorial work. The preferred format for viewing images in a PDF is with one image per page on a black background with no borders. All images should be free of watermarks. Please be sure that the total size of your PDF file does not exceed 25MB. For videos, please include a link to view video(s) online in your PDF.

For questions, please email Please note that Blue Sky is unable to give feedback on your application or the application process.

Blue Sky