Franklin Street Works Call for Exhibition Proposals

Franklin Street Works
/ 45 Franklin St.
Stamford, CT 06901


Curatorial Call for Exhibition Proposals: 2017


Franklin Street Works is a not-for-profit contemporary art space located 45 minutes from New York City in Stamford, Connecticut. Franklin Street Works’ mission is to manifest what is happening in contemporary art in an inclusive, professional setting. To date we have exhibited the work of more than 275 artists, curated 22 original exhibitions, and have organized over 100 programs. Franklin Street Works exhibitions have received accolades, including a two-year grant from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and positive reviews in publications such as Bomb blog, Artforum online, Art Papers, Modern Painters, Daily Serving,, and Hyperallergic.




Each year Franklin Street Works invites guest curator(s) or curatorial team(s) to create one to two group, thematic exhibitions. We are accepting proposals for the May 13 – August 17, 2017, slot. If we receive several submissions that work with our mission, we will consider them for later time slots. Exhibitions should be group shows around a theme. We encourage you to check out past shows here:

Three exhibitions over a two-year period resulted from our last open call and included: “It Narratives: The Movement of Objects as Information” curated by Brian Droitcour and Zanna Gilbert; “It’s gonna take a lotta love,” curated by Liza Statton; and “Acting on Dreams: the state of immigrant rights, conditions, and advocacy in the United States,” curated by Yaelle Amir. Invited guest curators and co-curators have included: Claire Barliant, Rebecca Cleman, Taliesin Gilkes-Bower, Amy Lipton, Katie Vida, Jess Wilcox, and Stephen Zacks.




To propose a group, thematic exhibition, please send a written overview, including a 200 – 500 word description and a list of proposed artists. The artist list does not need to be finalized, but should include the names of 4 -10 artists you are considering with any relevant images or links to their work. Guest curators are asked to brainstorm exhibition programming for their shows as well, consequently, any notes about possible public programs are welcome as part of the proposal. People from any field are welcome to propose exhibitions, but folks who have a working understanding of what is involved in putting an exhibition together will be given priority. Exhibitions that do not include the curator’s own artwork (if the curator is also an artist) will also be given priority.

Franklin Street Works will provide an $11,000 exhibition budget, which needs to cover all aspects of the show. In addition to the exhibition budget, there is a $1000 budget for programs (ideally at least two programs, such as talk, tour or performance, will accompany show). In addition to the above, guest curators receive a $1,000 honorarium for curating, $200 for a program (such as exhibition walkthrough), and $300 for writing the exhibition essay. The Franklin Street Works team assists with administrative tasks such as loan forms, shipping arrangements and gallery handouts. We also assist with installation support. The space owns a good deal of A/V equipment, including 5 projectors, media players, DVD players, speakers, seven flat screens, a mac mini, and several CRT televisions – a full list is available upon request.

Proposals are Due on September 30 by 5:00 pm.

Please send proposals, images and/or artist links as well as a current CV to creative director Terri C Smith at

SUBJECT LINE SHOULD READ “2017 Exhibition Submission”

Questions or want more information on the space, existing A/V or supports? Email Terri at

Franklin St_17311


ADDENDUM: Guest Curator Guide

This document gives a rough outline of the professional and financial support Franklin Street Works provides guest curators and articulates the responsibility of guest curators with approximate lead times.

Franklin Street Works Provides


Exhibition Budget: $11,000

Program Budget: $1000 (for 2-3 programs)

Curator Honoraria: $1000 for curating, $300 for essay, $200 to lead a talk or tour.




– Write and send loan forms

– Arrange shipping (shipping costs come out of $13,000 budget) — usually a combination of NYC art truck and FedEx, note budget does not allow for art trucks from other locations, in most cases, fedex must be used for shipments from other cities.

– Create Checklist (with information provided by curator, artists and galleries)

– Format and produce labels for individual works

– Format and produce vinyl wall signage

– Create Google doc where confirmed artists and works are entered. This document is filled in by the curator and FSW team as artists and works are confirmed. It serves as the information source for loan forms, checklist and labels.

– Gather artist biographies



Work with graphic designer to brand show in collaboration with curator

Design and print gallery program

Create, print and mail printed card



Create press release (in concert with curator)

Send press releases to FSW press list

Create digital invitation (send to list of 1600 via mailchimp)

Social media outreach: FB,Instagram

Create flyer for local colleges and universities



Organize dates for programs with artists/presenters

Market programs: write press releases (to be approved by artist(s) and curator), FB event, post on social media, send press release out, post to website

Setup and teardown


INSTALL: Franklin Street Works arranges and facilitates install with the help of professional art handlers. Curators are responsible for proposing locations for artworks, but artists and curators are NOT responsible for hanging work, painting walls etc. unless the artist requests to install work or requests their assistant and/or gallery person to install.



INITIAL EXHIBITION PROPOSAL: Due 10 months prior to exhibition

This is a largely in-house document, but information will be used to communicate with possible partners/funders. Artist list does not need to be final at this point, but example artists are helpful.


UPDATED EXHIBITION PROPOSAL and TITLE: Due 4-6 months prior to exhibition

The exhibition description can change some/be tweaked and artists can be added after this. For use in creating description for website, fundraising, and calendar listings.







This should have final description and full artist list if possible.


FINAL CHECKLIST: 2 months prior

This does not need to be formatted (FSW will do this), as a team we need to make sure all of pertinent information (artist, title, date, medium, dimensions, and courtesy line) is entered in the google doc sheet by this time.


ESSAY(s) DRAFT AND INTRO FOR GALLERY PROGRAM: 1 month prior, sometimes creative director writes intro, this is up to the curator.




ALL PROGRAMMING CONFIRMED: 6 weeks prior (in concert with FSW)


INSTALLATION: 1.5 weeks prior to opening

Ideally the curator can come for the first couple of days of install, but if budget or schedule doesn’t allow, we have successfully arranged show virtually via floor plans, photos, skyping, etc.



Ideally the curator attends the reception and gives a tour at the opening.



The Garden Party  / Thursday, June 16th, 5:00 – 8:00 pm.

12814543_849889375137867_1590031678150437230_nNamed after artist Trisha Baga’s performance art piece for our inaugural show, this party celebrates the first year anniversary of the Franklin Street Works Cafe’s initiative to create its own yummy in-house menus with the foodies and art lovers who make us the vibrant hub that we are! The cafe’s chefs are whipping up some garden-fresh wine and beer summer cocktails as well as a selection of festive happy hour bites for sale. This event is free and open to the public. RSVPs help us plan, so please email – spontaneous friends are welcome too! Rain date: Thursday, June 23.


ArtWalk in Stamford Downtown / June 24, 5:00 – 9:00pm

Franklin Street Works is participating in Stamford Downtown’s annual art party with hourly tours of “All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art” at 6:00, 7:00, and 8:00 pm, along with complimentary snacks and wine! We will also be raffling off a free one-year membership.


Mug Shots and Mimosas / Saturday, June 25th, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

13227068_895252003934937_7782224822603415253_nOur back patio is dog friendly and we hope you will bring your canine buddies to this event.  We’ll have a pooch photo booth and will capture you with your four-legged best friend. There will be mimosa specials and we will have human treats for sale and complimentary dog treats on hand. Dog not required. Rain Date: July 2.



Sunita Prasad Artist Talk / Saturday, July 9 at 4:00 – 5:30 pm

_MG_5000aExhibiting artist Sunita Prasad will give a free, public talk about her work. She will discuss past works that use parafictional, narrative, and research-based strategies to illuminate and challenge discourse on gender online, in public space, and in popular culture.  This includes her video Recitations not from memory, which is on view in Franklin Street Works’ current exhibition All Byte: Feminist Intersections in Video Art, and features women’s stories of gendered experiences read from a teleprompter by men Prasad enlisted via social media.


When Danger Came SmilingSaturday, July 23, Free, public reception from 6:00 – 8:00pm. VIP member reception from 5:00 – 6:00 pm.

For the exhibition Danger Came Smiling: Feminist art and popular music historian Maria Elena Buszek brings together work by contemporary artists who use popular music as a medium, subject, and reference point for activist messages. The show, which will be on view from July 23, 2016 – January 1, 2017, takes the title of an album by the pioneering, unabashedly feminist punk band Ludus, led by artist Linder Sterling, whose career—emerging in the first wave of punk in the 1970s—reflects the approaches in this exhibition.


SAVE THE DATE: November 12 is our annual benefit party from 5:00 – 8:00 pm