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Advice on Writing an Exhibition Proposal*

Here is some guidance on creating an Exhibition Proposal

The proposal

What we expect a proposal to contain:

  • An account of the proposed artwork.
  • A description of the space needed to exhibit.
  • A biography or CV of those artists involved.
  • A portfolio, or images of relevant or recent work.
  • An itemised budget.


The proposed work

Within the first sentences of your proposal, you should clearly and succinctly state:

  • The kind of activity you are planning (a solo or group show, short-run performance).
  • Who will be involved.
  • The duration of the project.
  • Why your project is significant (see our artistic policy for further guidance)

The first paragraph should be as concise as possible with further information being drip fed through your text.

The proposal’s word count should reflect the scale of your project; proposing an evening event might involve a short proposal, whilst a larger group exhibition might well require a lengthier rationale, particularly if you must describe several artists’ practices.

Consider the benefits to the organisation of your proposed activity. What kind of audience will the activity bring to the venue? Does the work align with the values or thematic focus of the space? (Again, see our artistic policy for pointers)

It is not essential to meet all these action points, but their careful consideration might increase your chance of success.

The space

Your proposal should reflect the size of the exhibition space.


Be sure to send a CV that clearly relates to the activity that you are proposing. Include work experience only if it’s relevant to your project.

Portfolio and images

Ensure you send good-quality images that are clearly labelled. Consider resolution but also composition, lighting, etc.  File size is also an important consideration, too large and the images become difficult to circulate and download.

Itemised budget

How much will your project cost to realise? Explain your expenses logically and realistically.


*This advice is a reworked and abbreviated version of guidance provided by a-n The Artists Information Company. For full access to their excellent resources please visit and become a member.