Main Menu

Main Library and Meadows Branch Library are open with holds pick-up, and socially distant computer use.
NoBo Corner Library and George Reynolds Branch Library have holds carryout appointments. Need help? Contact us.

Open Call for 2020 Exhibitions

Due to the closure of the library during the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the planned 2020 exhibitions have been postponed until 2021. As a result, there will not be an open call for new shows for next year. The next open call will take place August 2021.


The library is a place where people, ideas and knowledge come together.  It calls for a different kind of exhibition space. The exhibition series in the Canyon Gallery is where ideas meet action.  The gallery is a place where the people can experiment with new ways of sharing on community-driven topics.  Projects presented here merge visual display with conversation and civic-related content.  For inspiration take a look through some of the highlights of our previous exhibitions.

The Open Call

The library invites proposals for projects ranging from a few weeks to 2 months that intertwine visual display, socially engaged art and/or installations with live programs, interactivity and collaborative happenings.  Presentations in the gallery are as much about process as product and we want visitors to be engaged in all levels.  Exhibitions should focus on topics of civic interest that inspire broad curiosity and appeal. Multidisciplinary groups are encouraged to plan and apply together.  Traditional art exhibitions will be considered, however preference will be given to individuals/groups who present projects based on the above specifications. 

Honorariums may be available depending on the scope of the project – if you require funding assistance, please outline those needs in your application.  Please review the gallery usage guidelines, covering exhibitor responsibilities and available equipment, to make sure the project is a good fit.

Please consider the following criteria and reflect your answers in your application:

  • Topic is of civic interest/relevant to the Boulder community
  • Exhibition blends visuals with participatory elements

Applications must include a completed application form, as well as a CV for the project leader and up to 5 pages of sample work.  Selected samples should be related to project scope or demonstrate the applicant’s ability to create proposed project.

Activist-in-Residence Call

In 2020, the library is piloting an Activist-in-Residence opportunity in conjunction with the exhibition program.  Artists can play integral roles in provoking new dialogue, expanding perspective and calling others to action.  We are seeking a local Front Range artist-activist working in the field of climate change.  The City of Boulder has a robust Climate Commitment with many community goals – please refer to the City’s goals in outlining your proposed work.  The selected resident will produce an exhibition related to the issue, but will also collaborate with the library to identify other opportunities to present programs, utilize library spaces, etc. We are seeking a flexible and creative partner to experiment with as we pilot this new program.  An honorarium will be available to the resident, dependent on the scope of work.  Interested applicants can follow the same procedures listed above, focusing on their experience around the issue of climate change, the proposal for an exhibition and their work’s connection to the City’s Climate Commitment.

For information on additional display spaces in the library system, make inquiries regarding the Main Library Teen Art Gallery or at the Meadows Branch Library.