Submissions FAQ

Submitting Artwork to the Inc.
Frequently Asked Questions

When does Hamilton Artists Inc. accept exhibition proposals?
We accept exhibition proposals each fall. Please check back soon or subscribe to our mailing list at the bottom of this web-page to find out when to apply to future calls.

Do I need to be a member to apply for an exhibition?
Only submissions to our James Gallery require you to be a current member. As a member-driven organization, we have a dedicated members gallery which is the James Gallery. We welcome anyone and everyone to become a member and join Hamilton Artists Inc.’s community! Various membership options are available to ensure our community remains inclusive and barrier-free.  Click here to become a member!

Do I have to be from Hamilton to apply?
We welcome and encourage all artists of any discipline to apply to our calls, regardless of where they live!

How do I apply for an exhibition?
Please visit our Submissions page and follow the specific application instructions for each exhibition opportunity you would like to be considered for.

Can I apply for more than one exhibition?
Yes, artists are welcome to apply to more than one of our submission opportunities unless they have recently exhibited at Hamilton Artists Inc. If an artist has recently had an exhibition in the Cannon Gallery, they are not permitted to exhibit again until a period of three years has transpired. Likewise, if an applicant has had an exhibition in the James Gallery, they are not permitted to exhibit in the Cannon gallery for a period of one year in order to be fair to other applicants.

How do I use the fillable PDF forms?
If you are using Adobe Acrobat Pro, download the application form onto your computer.  To save the completed form go to File > Save As and save your document.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, Click Here to download the Adobe Reader software for free from the Adobe website.
Open the application form in the software and complete the fields. Please note that Adobe Reader will not save your responses so you may want to keep a record in a separate document. Once ready to save your document, you must click “File”, then “Print”. In the print dialog box, select “print as PDF” to save the document with your responses.

All application forms are available as both PDF fillable forms, and Word Documents. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Pro or are having difficulty using the PDF option, you are welcome to complete your application using the Word Document option.

Why is the online submission form not allowing me to upload all my images?
Please make sure that each of your images is sized at 1MB or smaller. If you have trouble compressing your image files, you can try free online services such as this or this.

Does Hamilton Artists Inc. accept hand-written applications or other alternative submission formats?
Hamilton Artists Inc. is committed to equity and inclusion in all aspects of its operations, and will accept alternative submission formats such as the ones below.

  • Audio submission: 15 minutes max. and no larger than 200 MB, or sent as a soundcloud link.
  • Video submission: 15 minutes max. and no larger than 200 MB, or sent as a youtube/vimeo link.
  • Hard-copy paper submission: Please do not send us original artworks. Artwork examples may be submitted as photocopies, or on a USB or CD.

Please advise us of any accommodations needed to ensure you can access and complete the submissions process. For questions or help with your application please contact Programming Director, Abedar Kamgari, at programming@theinc.ca or 905-529-3355.

Can my application be reviewed before I submit it?
Due to the high volume of submissions we receive, unfortunately we can’t offer to review applications. However, our staff are always available to answer your questions. Please don’t hesitate to call or email us. We also host drop-in sessions in December and January where applicants can receive one-on-one help on their in-progress applications. Everyone is welcome to attend these sessions to get feedback and tips on their application. First-come, first-served.

Do the images included in my application need to be of the works proposed for the exhibition?
In general, we welcome photos of past work as reference to your artistic practice but would like to see examples of artworks being proposed for exhibition, if available. Photos of finished work, evidence of works in progress, or even preparatory drawings and renderings are welcome. If you are proposing a body of work that isn’t yet created, you may contextualize your practice with examples of relevant past works along with detailed descriptions of the works you plan on making in your application form. Please refer to submission guidelines for each call for more information on what is required.

When will I hear if my application has been successful?
For submissions to the James Gallery, the selected artists can expect notification 3 months after the deadline. For all other submissions, notification can be expected in 4-8 months after the deadline. We thank all applicants who apply but only those selected for an exhibition will be notified.

Will I hear back if my application is not successful?
We thank all submitting artists for the care and thought put into their proposals. We receive a very high volume of applications and as such only those selected for an exhibition will be notified.

Why was my application not successful?
We receive an exceptionally high volume of submissions for comparatively few exhibition opportunities. It can be quite competitive! If you appropriately followed the application guidelines, we encourage you consider applying again next year.

I am a member and my application was not chosen, how do I show my artwork?
All members are welcome to submit to our annual members’ exhibition, SWARM, which takes place every winter. Artwork drop-off is in early November, 2020 and the exhibition will open in December, 2020.



What is the difference between an Artist Biography, CV, and project description?
An Artist Biography is a summary of an artists’s career highlights and accomplishments usually written in the third person, whereas a CV is a list of an artist’s professional experiences. A Project Description explains the aesthetic and conceptual details of artworks that are proposed for a specific exhibition.

Artist Biography
Your Artist Biography is a summary of significant facts about your art career usually written in third person. An Artist Biography can include your name, your discipline (i.e. painting, performance, installation), and some background information. Information to consider adding to an Artist Biography includes: where you are currently living, where you work, your education, and a selection of your art experiences. To see examples, refer to some of our Past, Current and Upcoming Exhibitions. Each exhibition includes a biography for the artists or curators.  Click here for more information.

Curriculum Vitae
An artist’s Curriculum Vitae (CV) is a summary of an artist’s professional experiences formatted as a list.
Each CV will be unique to each artist’s field of discipline. To write your own, you can list your art education, exhibition history, record of performances, residencies you have participated in, or collections your work is included in. Your CV will also include your contact information including your name, address, phone number, email, and website (if applicable).
For examples, visit the Hamilton Arts Council Blog to see their CV templates: Click here for more information.

Project Description or Project Proposal
A Project Description is how an artist communicates with a gallery, or selections jury.

An artist’s Project Description can include:

  • The artwork’s medium, or the materials the artwork is made of.
  • The size of the artwork, or the space it will occupy.
  • A description of what the artwork looks like.
  • An explanation of what the artwork/exhibition are about. What are the concepts or ideas behind the work? Explain any specific research topics that inspired the proposed exhibition.
  • The impact the artwork may have on the audience.
  • A description of any special techniques that were used to create the artwork.
  • Describe how the artwork may be installed, and any tools or technology required for the mounting of the artwork.
  • Any other relevant information which would assist the selections jury in understanding your application.

All submission streams have specific Project Description requirements on each unique application form. Please refer to the full list of calls to determine which submission stream is best suited to the nature of your project. Click here for more information.

How do I ask specific questions regarding the application process?
If you have any questions concerning the application process please contact Programming Director, Abedar Kamgari, at programming@theinc.ca or call the gallery at 905.529.3355.

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