Artist Submissions

Although our main focus is to support and advance curatorial practice and inquiry, we do accept artist portfolios on a rolling basis for potential inclusion in our annual program of exhibitions and public events. All artist submissions are reviewed on a biannual basis by our programming committee with an eye toward future solo or group exhibition opportunities produced by Critical Distance or guest curators seeking work for inclusion in their proposals. Artists are welcome to suggest curators they would be interested in working with — however submissions in which a curator is confirmed, and that demonstrate a consideration of our mandate, history/objectives, spatial constraints/opportunities, and multiple publics have the best chances for success.

Artists are also welcome to submit their own curatorial proposals for exhibitions and projects featuring other artists in solo, two-person, or group configurations. Such proposals should not include work by the submitting artist-curator unless a strong case can be made that the arrangement does not compromise the artist-curator’s criticality or constitute a conflict of interest. Please see the Curatorial Proposals page for guidelines on how to apply.

We define the term Artist to mean any person or group that is critically engaged in a continuous, professional-level creative practice, including architects, designers, writers, thinkers, performers, filmmakers, educators, and more.

Our Program
Critical Distance provides a venue and context for artworks and artists in all stages of development. Exhibitions are supported and promoted through the design, production, and distribution of exhibition announcements, press releases, brochures, limited edition catalogues, artworks, and/or objects (to be determined on a case-by-case basis), and the programming of related events throughout the exhibition run. An original curatorial essay will accompany each catalogue or brochure, and artists will receive some remuneration for their participation. Installation assistance, documentation, and insurance will also be provided.

Exhibiting artists are responsible for the execution, delivery, installation, and/or de-installation of their own artwork in collaboration with the curator (alternate arrangements may be made with artists who are not local to Toronto). Selected artists may be asked to contribute material for the catalogue and/or create a small limited-edition artwork in conjunction with the exhibition. To the extent that it is possible, artists are asked to participate in exhibition-related events such as the opening, catalogue launch, artists talks, performances, workshops, and/or other cross-disciplinary programming to be developed in collaboration with the curator.

As an independent curator-led initiative, our focus is on critically engaged, collaborative and/or cross-disciplinary practices, underrepresented artists and/or art forms, and community outreach and education in art and exhibition-making. Submissions that consider our mandate, programs, spatial constraints/opportunities, and audiences have the best chances for success. Site-specific project proposals (installation, architectural intervention, or interactive environment) are very welcome. Overall, project space programming reflects an interest in the artistic process and experimentation is encouraged.

The Space
At approximately 325 square feet in size, the project space is an intimate venue highly suited for solo and small group exhibitions, two-person shows, site-specific installations and interactive environments, and related events. Ceilings are 14 feet high and the gallery is wheelchair accessible. A full-height pocket door allows for division of the space into two distinct areas, one of which is suitable for projection-based works and film screenings. There is the option of using the third floor hallway gallery if the work calls for additional space; budgets and schedules would be adjusted accordingly. Click for a PDF of the floor plan

Submission Guidelines
Please send the following materials to opportunities (at) critical distance (dot) ca in support of your submission. (At this time we are able to accept digital submissions only.)

— 10–20 images from a recent and/or cohesive body of work
— List of titles, dates, media, and dimensions for each image
— List of any relevant URLs: artist’s website, projects, videos, exhibitions, publications and/or press
— Artist statement (250 words or less)
— An updated resume or CV and contact information
— Letter of introduction including your interest in Critical Distance (i.e., how you heard of us, how your project responds to our program, mandate, context)

If submitting a proposal for site-responsive installation/interactive environment, please include the following as well:

— Project description (500 words or less)
— Supporting images (sketches, plans, and/or diagrams relating to our floor plan)
— Estimated budget

Image resolution of 72 dpi is recommended — we will request higher resolution images and/or studio visits if your proposal if selected for further consideration. Incomplete submissions will not be considered. Please address any questions to opportunities (at) criticaldistance (dot) ca. Submissions and questions sent to other email addresses at Critical Distance may be missed.

Review Process
A Programming Committee drawn from our Executive and Advisory Boards will be convened to review submissions on a biannual basis. Critical Distance programs exhibitions at least a year in advance, so decisions may not be made for many months. However all submissions will receive a response, so please be patient. Thank you in advance for your interest and participation.