Open Call for Exhibitions


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

Due to the physical closure of the north portion of the Main Library from March, 2020 – June, 2021, we are limiting the call for 2022 shows. We want to honor all of the previous commitments made to community artists prior to the closure. For 2022, we are seeking exhibitions for the Arapahoe ramp area and for one activist artist-in-residence, which will take place in the Canyon Gallery. For shows on the Arapahoe ramp, preference is given to applications whose topics are of civic interest/relevant to the Boulder community.

Exhibitions on the Arapahoe ramp need to be 6-8 weeks in length. Please review the Arapahoe ramp guidelines [pdf] for a full overview of requirements, covering exhibitor responsibilities and available equipment, to make sure the project is a good fit. Honorariums may be available depending on the scope of the project – if you require funding assistance, please outline those needs in your application. 

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 piloted 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 Front Range artist-activist working in the field of climate change, with a preferred focus on climate justice.  The City of Boulder has a robust Climate Commitment as well as a Racial Equity Plan – 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 continue to develop this 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/climate justice, the proposal for an exhibition and their work’s connection to the City’s Climate Commitment and Racial Equity Plan. Applicants should also review the Canyon Gallery guidelines [pdf] for a full overview of exhibitor requirements.

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.