I often get asked about how I hear about different exhibition and competition open calls, so I thought a list of the websites I regularly check for opportunities may be helpful to new artists looking to get their work out there.
It’s important to always be discerning about applying for new open calls or calls that ask for huge application fees and further fees for space. I spent around £400 from my student loan to rent space for my first exhibition when I was 19. I thought I’d make my money back handily with a decent profit if I sold ALL of my work at the show. I was naive. The gist is to be dubious of these vanity galleries and to do your research if you have doubts but I wholeheartedly trust these website’s resources listed below.
The 5 best websites for artist open calls
1. Art Quest is probably the MVP of artist online resources, they vet their open calls very well so you can rest assured that the opportunities are legit. They usually have an extensive list of (mostly free to enter) art competitions, residencies, commission opportunities and prestigious exhibitions. I usually check all of these websites fortnightly, but if you only look at one of these websites it should be Art Quest.
2. Creative Capital mostly has opportunities for artists based in North America but they almost always have some great residencies eligible to international artists. Every month or two they share a list of open calls, a lot of the opportunities offer stipends, though for many opportunities based in the US there is usually an application fee around $25.