Hamilton Artists Inc. (The Inc.) accepts proposals from artists, collectives, and curators at various stages of their careers for its exhibition platforms and public programs. We welcome proposals from artists working in all disciplines and from local, regional and national communities. As an artist-run centre, we are passionate about providing a space for creative exploration and risk-taking. We are interested in unconventional and challenging contemporary art that engages with critical, conceptual, or experimental ideas and approaches. The Inc. encourages submissions that showcase artists and curators’ most recent endeavours as well as works that incite conversation and represent diverse perspectives. In addition to our galleries, our Special Projects foster activities that do not take the form of regular gallery exhibitions.
We welcome submissions from artists of all backgrounds (including but not limited to): Indigenous, Black, people of colour, refugees, newcomers, immigrants, Two-Spirit, LGBTQ+, gender non-binary persons, persons with disabilities, and those on low-incomes or living in poverty. Please advise us of any accommodations needed to ensure you can access and complete the submissions process.
Please see the full descriptions for each call in order to identify which opportunity is best suited to your practice/ objectives.
Special Projects provide an excellent opportunity for artists and collectives to respond to social, political and cultural issues in new and unconventional ways. They may be performances, zines, posters, screenings, workshops, activities that are site-specific, digital, outdoors, or other creative initiatives. Special projects do not take the form of gallery exhibitions. Learn more about Special Projects.
James Gallery (Themed Calls)
Deadline: February 9, 2024
Hamilton Artists Inc. is seeking dynamic proposals from artists and curators at all stages of their careers and from across disciplines. As an artist-run centre, the Inc. is interested in works that push boundaries and engage with critical, conceptual and/or experimental thinking from diverse perspectives. James Gallery is the Inc.’s dedicated members’ gallery. You must be a member in good standing to exhibit in this space. The Inc. always welcomes new and returning members, who will then be eligible to exhibit in this space.
Themes: Art Practice Jan 24 - March 8, 2025
Artist Run Centres have often existed with the intention of being spaces for community advocacy and activism. This intention is executed with mixed results, considering the widespread industry burnout and dependence on colonial funding bodies. ARCs continually seek to shift their models in order to create a better, braver structure, while still acknowledging the systems they are tied to. This call seeks to offer exhibition space in the James Gallery for something that bends the rules of exhibition. The proposed exhibition for this call can consider alternative forms of practice - what does it mean to use the gallery space as a place for advocacy? What if we treat advocacy as art? What can it look like to use exhibition space and institutional reach in order to create social good? How can art practice be expanded past the white walls? This call is open to all mediums, and can consider performance, meetings, workshops, and advocacy work. Proposals for this call do not need to be centered around a physical artwork, and can consider relational work in the gallery space as a form of art.
Out of Sight June 21 - August 10, 2024
For this call we are engaging in the idea of invisible labour, asking artists how they use the idea of unseen care in their artistic practice. What does it mean to care for someone? How is care-work implemented into your artistic practice? How can we engage as a community in recognizing labour that is often free and unseen? We invite relational artworks that explore themes of both one to one and group relationship dynamics, unseen emotional, physical, or free labour. This call is open to all artist mediums, we welcome relational, site-specific works, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and installation just to name a few.
James Gallery (Self Curated Calls)
Deadline: February 9, 2024
We are seeking applications for a curated/ self-curated exhibition to be presented in the James Gallery. Members may act as an independent curator in an exhibition featuring up to 3 artists, or include themselves in an exhibition featuring up to 4 artists. Exhibitions should have a strong theme connecting the artworks on display. The committee is interested in works that are creative, push boundaries and engage with critical, conceptual or experimental thinking from a range of perspectives. The James Gallery is the Inc.’s dedicated members’ gallery. You must be a member in good standing to exhibit in this space. The Inc. always welcomes new and returning members, who will then be eligible to apply to exhibit in this space. Please submit your application through the fillable form on our website. We thank all applicants for their interest, but due to the high volume of submissions we receive, only successful applicants will be notified. For questions or help with your application, please contact Programming Director, Sanaa Humayun, at email@example.com.
Submissions to the Cannon Gallery, Cannon Project Wall, James Gallery, Indigenous Residency, and Photophobia: Contemporary Moving Image Festival are now closed. 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.
Frequestly Asked Questions
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.
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!
We welcome and encourage all artists of any discipline to apply to our calls, regardless of where they live!
Please visit our Submissions page and follow the specific application instructions for each exhibition opportunity you would like to be considered for.
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.
Yes! We also accept audio and video submissions in place of written proposals. Please answer all the questions from the application form and send us your recording along with the other required materials (i.e. your contact details, images, bio, CV, etc.). Submissions in alternative formats can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Audio submission: 15 minutes max. and no larger than 100 MB, or sent as a soundcloud link.
- Video submission: 15 minutes max. and no larger than 1 GB, or sent as a youtube/vimeo link.
Please note: Due to the limitations imposed by COVID-19, we will not be accepting hard-copy paper submissions this year. 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 Assistant, Kristina Durka, at email@example.com or leave a message at 905-529-3355.
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 email or call us at any time. We also host occasionally host Submission Cafés, which are drop-in sessions where applicants can receive one-on-one help on their in-progress applications on a first come, first served basis. Everyone is welcome to attend these sessions to get feedback and tips on their application.
There are currently no Submission Cafés scheduled. Please check back soon for updates.
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.
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 due to the high volume of submissions we receive, only those selected for an exhibition will be notified.
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.
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.
All members are welcome to submit to our annual members’ exhibition, SWARM, which takes place every winter. Artwork drop-off is typically in early November and the exhibition will open in December. Please check our social media or ‘news’ page for the latest updates.
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.
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.
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.
Programming Assistant, Kristina Durka: firstname.lastname@example.org
Programming Director, Abedar Kamgari: email@example.com
Leave a message at 905 529 3355 (please note: emails will be seen more quickly while we are working remotely.)