Many artists, including photographers, are not aware of the exhibition opportunities in university galleries, yet they are some of the best places to make your work known to a great audience. Not only are university galleries places where you can start a dialogue with the budding artists who are students in these academic institutions, but they are visited by invited curators and others – not to speak of the faculty.
Also, since universities are intellectual communities first and foremost, the dialogue that an art exhibition establishes goes beyond art appreciation and connects with concerns of broader interest; it participates in the intellectual debates on campus.
Some things to have in mind: these galleries are art spaces that can be rather competitive in terms of exhibition proposals. It would be really helpful if the proposal is related to the mission of the university and the academic interests of students (as sometimes other departments may cosponsor the exhibition). The required submission packet includes an artist statement, a CV, images and sometimes other materials such as press releases, reviews of past exhibitions, etc.
As the exhibitions are sponsored by the university, transportation of the artwork (and certainly insurance) are covered. The university extends an official invitation to the reception, which also may include an artist talk and meetings with students. In this case, the travel expenses are covered and this often includes an honorarium for the artist.
Many galleries don’t accept submissions but extend invitations to artists they have chosen. Here are a few galleries that accept exhibition proposals with their respective deadlines and links.
I am not related to these galleries; please visit the links for more information and details. Good luck!
South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, Washington
Kenneth J Minnaert Center for the Arts
Gallery website: http://www.spscc.ctc.edu/gallery
Proposals (submission deadline is Jan 15): the announced theme is a sense of place and of identity
Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA
Gallery website: http://www.sju.edu/int/resources/gallery/index.html
Deadline: Jan 15
Washington & Jefferson College, Washington, PA 15301
Olin Art Gallery
Deadline: Feb 20. Printed materials/CD requested
Ohio University Eastern
Gallery Website: http://www.ohio.edu/eastern/events/Art-Gallery.cfm
Deadline: generally July
Midland College, Midland, TX
Montgomery College, Montgomery, Maryland
The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation Arts Center
Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech School of Arts
Deadline: March 15
Marshall University, Huntington, West Virginia
College of Arts and Media- School of Art and Design
Birke Art Gallery
Gallery website: http://www.marshall.edu/art/birke-art-gallery
Submission info: http://www.marshall.edu/art/files/Exhibition_Proposal_Guidelines.pdf