Open Call for 2020 Novel Ideas Exhibition

Open Call for Artists

Application Period: July 1 – August 31, 2019

Review Period: September 2019

Artist Notification: Fall 2019


Blue Star Contemporary is pleased to offer this open call opportunity to artists in Texas, nationally, and internationally for the group exhibition Novel Ideas. Blue Star Contemporary seeks work exploring books as subject, form, and catalyst for new ideas. We are open to works of all kinds which explore the importance of books as medium, source, subject, etc. – to the history of art and to artists, be they sculpture, print, photography, one of a kind artist books in the tradition of book arts, digitally based works, and more! To be considered for this exhibition submit your application via Slideroom.


Candidates must:

Have at least 5 years of relevant experience and/or specialized arts training, such as a degree or certificate.

Demonstrate a clear investment of time and resources into their artistic practice.

Have professional portfolios that include publicly displayed and possibly published works.

Not have had a solo exhibition at Blue Star Contemporary within the last five years.

Not be current students.

Have work that demonstrates artistic excellence.

Where to apply

BSC Slideroom portal:

How to apply

All applications must be submitted via Slideroom and include the attachments detailed below and a portfolio of work.


Submit a portfolio your work to be considered for this specific exhibition. Portfolios should include recent work, made within the last five years. Your portfolio should give us an understanding of visual and conceptual themes, and your voice.Please note this is not a solo exhibition proposal.

CV – includes exhibition record, education/training, professional experience, lectures, publications, etc. and website if applicable. (uploaded PDF or word document)

Artist Statement – Statement should discuss your practice in general and may touch on specific projects presented. There is space to provide descriptions on individual works with those uploads.

Artist Bio – Paragraph form biography about artist


Provide 15-20 items.

Allowed Media Types:

    • Images (up to 5MB each)
    • Video (up to 250MB each)
    • Audio (up to 30MB each)
    • Accompanying each media upload please include the title, medium, dimensions, and year the works was made in the provided fields. You may also include a description providing additional information about the piece.
    • Note Youtube, Vimeo, and Soundcloud links also acceptable.

Application Fee

All applicants pay a $10 application fee to Slideroom. This is a fee to use Slideroom’s services and not a fee collected by or distributed back to BSC.

Exhibition Support & Expectations for Selected Artists

BSC is a W.A.G.E. certified organization. We pay all exhibiting artists an honoraria based on our operating budget and W.A.G.E. guidelines. Artists participating in or leading public programs are also paid an honoraria. BSC covers two way shipping costs for all works exhibited. If an artist is requested onsite to complete an installation or invited for a public program BSC covers travel and accommodations and pays artists a per diem (some limitations apply). BSC is most often not commissioning projects or new work, we therefore do not offer financial support in the form of materials stipends for the production of work. We do not cover packing expenses, framing, studios assistants, etc. Installations are completed by our full-time staff gallery technician and contracted crew. Artists on site for installation are provided assistants. Displays, vitrines, pedestals, miscellaneous hardware, and technology are most often provided or fabricated by BSC. We work with artists to evaluate their needs and offer as much support as possible within the institution’s capacity. Artists send work ready to install with detailed instructions. When BSC commissions projects additional support is provided. We remain flexible and committed to our mission to support artists. BSC also provides professional documentation, promotion, assistance editing and fine tuning artist statements and biographies for exhibiting artist, fine art insurance for work while in transit and on view, and develops public programs, connecting our audiences more deeply with the work on view. This description serves to give artists an understanding of BSC’s institutional capacity and is not a binding document or set in stone. Please find our FY19 (Oct 1, 2018 – Sept 30, 2019) artist fee rates below. These rates fluctuate each year with our operating budget. Detailed definitions of categoriescan be found on the W.A.G.E. website.

Solo Exhibition $1,924.50 USD (percent of annual operating budget 0.20%)

Solo Project $1,154.68 (.12%)

2 Person Exhibition $962.23 (.10%)

Group Exhibition 3-5 Artists $481.12 (.05%)

Group Exhibition 6+ Artists $288.67 (.03%)

Traveling Exhibition 50% of standard full fee

Performance of Existing Work $577.34 (.06%)

Performance/Commissioning of New Work $1,154.68 (.12%)

Solo Screening with in person appearance $192.45 (.02%)

Event w/multiple participants $192.45 (.02%)

Artist Talk or Reading $192.45 (.03%)

Workshop and artist talk or reading if commissioned work $288.67 (.05%)

Existing text for publication $.043/word

Commissioned text for publication $.43/word

Day rate for performers $125


Open Call Engagement Rates

2014 Open Call (all regions, 9/1/2014 deadline)


2015 National and International (11/30/15 deadline)


2016 Texas Call (3/31/16 deadline)

  • 161 applicants
  • Augmented Reality(3 of 6 artists selected from call; Susi Brister, Kris Pierce, and Randy Bolton)
  • Home Bodies(3 of 9 artists selected from call; Ivonne Acero, Catherine Colangelo, Casey Arguelles Gregory)
  • Two person exhibition Origins, Rations, Extractions(Gissette Padilla call applicant)
  • 32 studio visits across Texas
  • More forthcoming 2018/2019, to be announced


2017 National and International (5/31/17 deadline)

  • 391 applicants
  • In development as of 1/1/2018

*Additionally, Texas based artists introduced to BSC through open calls have been invited to participate in our Red Dot art sale fundraiser, to lead workshops and family day activities, selected for studio visits with collectors and visiting curators, and participate in other public programs.


Review Process

BSC’s reviews applications through a multi round process, developed from considering accessibility to artists and reviewers, effectiveness in aiding BSC admin in managing applications, and by surveying peer organizations’ open calls. The criteria and process itself are evaluated annually and we take into consideration artist and reviewer feedback. Reviewers include BSC curatorial staff and for some calls invited guest reviewers. Guest reviews are invited based on their visual arts knowledge and expertise, vary with each call, and have included artists, curators, collectors, gallerists, architects and other creative professionals.