Call for Entries: Curatorial Prize at Blue Sky Gallery

Call opens:                                               November 10, 2017 Call closes:                                               December 27, 2017 (extended from December 8th)

Decisions announced:                      late January 2018

Exhibition held:                                    May 3 – June 3, 2018

Blue Sky Gallery in Portland, OR is seeking proposals for a Curatorial Prize for a one-month long photography exhibition in May 2018.

Founded in 1975, Blue Sky's mission is to educate the public about photography through exhibitions, publications, and dialogue; and to further the careers and artistic development of the artists shown. Our main programming focuses on an ambitious exhibition schedule of 22 -24 photography shows each year in Blue Sky’s two galleries. Exhibitions represent a wide variety of work from local, national, and international photographers.

Our newly established 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/film are welcome.

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 May 2018 exhibition, 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. Blue Sky can provide black frames for photography at no cost if the photos are of a standard size. Other alternates to framing include magnets or mirror clips.


Proposals are due to Blue Sky Gallery by December 8, 2017. Please submit to, and be sure to put the phrase “CURATORIAL PRIZE” in the subject line. 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 emailed 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.

For more information about Blue Sky Gallery, please see