January 12, 2022

Open call for classroom voting program


Gulsen Bal. Courtesy of apexart.

A unique opportunity for students to help determine real-world arts programming.

The apexart Open Call is a unique open call for exhibition proposals that occurs twice per year accepting 500-word proposals from anyone, anywhere, that describe an idea-based group exhibition. No images, links, videos, or CVs are accepted. The jury is composed of approximately 400 individuals and arts-related classes from around the world using an online crowdsourcing system designed by us, allowing each juror to vote on a subset of anonymous and randomized proposals. Our signature selection process results in exhibitions that reflect the interests and sensibilities of our international audiences, and is the fairest procedure we’ve developed so far.

How your class can participate
As an assignment or an elective, you can specify the number of proposals students review—generally 20–50, according to how much time you wish to devote to voting and subsequent discussion. It takes about two hours to read and rate 50 proposals. Each student is given an individual login through which they review proposals, rating each one on a scale of one to five.

Classroom benefits
Students actually help determine next season’s programming and gain real world, real time experience evaluating proposals and considering what makes a compelling exhibition proposal. As apexart jurors, they’ll review ideas coming from all around the world—our last open call brought proposals in from 68 countries. Being on the other side of the “grading” process is essential to one’s own understanding of the curatorial process and the selection process, and provides great classroom discussion about what art is, what its purpose can be and what constitutes a good well written proposal. The variety of proposals provides valuable insight into the themes and ideas that are pressing in local and international considerations.

What you need to do
Provide a list of all participating students’ names and email addresses (or the number of students for numerical identification) and the parameters of the process that work best for you, such as number of proposals to be assigned and calendar restraints. Send this list and information to Lisa Vagnoni at [email protected]

What we provide
Login information, instructions, and voting deadline reminders that can be sent directly to your students, along with dates to end the voting process and begin discussion. We provide you with a live tally page that will show voting by your students, as well as the ratings for each proposal given by each student, a copy of the proposal, and the order of its ranking as determined by all jurors. We provide sample questions for discussion about content, and how to consider unfamiliar cultural and aesthetic elements on their own terms when rating exhibition proposals.

Educators find that serving on an apexart jury encourages lively discussion about many aspects of curating, writing, and exhibition organization including size, location, purpose, and feasibility. To date, more than 100 classes from universities and art schools have participated, including The New School, Node Center for Curatorial Studies, Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, de Appel Curatorial Program, Makere University, and MICA.

More information on the program and how to sign up can be found here. Contact: Lisa Vagnoni, Web Director, lisa.vagnoni [​at​]

Are you a high school teacher interested in getting your class involved at apexart? Read about our high school program here or email maya.suess [​at​] for more information.

Thank you!

An email with a confirmation link has been sent to the email address you entered. To complete your subscription, click this link.