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Exhibition Submissions Guidelines – Varley Art Gallery of Markham

Exhibitions at the Varley Art Gallery of Markham are organized by the curator and are confirmed approximately two years in advance.

While the Varley’s exhibition program is invitational, we accept proposals on an ongoing basis from professional artists and curators. In this context, a professional curator is an individual with relevant academic credentials and/or professional experience, who selects artworks for display in order to situate them within specific formal, social, or historical contexts or through theoretical frameworks. A professional curator writes texts to animate the exhibition as required, and is also familiar with how public galleries in Canada operate (loan, shipping and insurance protocols, environmental controls, installation methods, etc.) A professional artist is an individual with relevant academic credentials and/or a compelling exhibition record, who is regarded by his/her peers (artists, academics, critics, curators, gallery professionals, etc.) as making an important contribution to the practice of art in Canada.

All submissions are considered, however due to high volume, not everyone may receive a personal reply. This review process provides a valuable resource for program development and acts as a means of keeping in touch with the work of contemporary artists throughout the country.

Submission requirements

In a concise manner, submissions should provide an overview of the artist’s practice and provide visual documentations of their work. Please submit the following documents:

  • Cover letter
  • A curator thesis or artist statement.
  • A current curriculum vitae listing your complete contact information and relevant artistic experience including education, exhibitions, publications, etc.
  • Up to 10 digital images of recent and relevant work with accompanying image list detailing titles, dates, medium and dimensions of each work.
  • Any additional relevant material such as publications and critical reviews

We accept submissions by mail or by email (up to 2MB only.)

Send submissions to:

Anik Glaude, Curator
Varley Art Gallery of Markham
216 Main Street Unionville
Markham, ON L3R 2H1

If your submission exceeds the message size limit, send it via an email transfer program such as or

Please note that although all submissions will be treated with care the Varley Art Gallery assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to submission material. Please do not send original artwork.

Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grants

The Varley Art Gallery is a third party recommender for the Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Exhibitions Assistance Grants. There are limited funds available and eligible applications are reviewed twice per year or until the funds are depleted. Please visit the OAC website for submission guidelines and to download the application.

Deadline and process:

  • July 15, 2017
  • December 15, 2017

We continue to accept applications between March and May; they will be assessed after the July deadline.

In addition to the OAC program priorities and criteria, we consider the following in our grant decision-making:

  • Artists from York Region (however all submissions received from Zone 3 applications will be considered).
  • Cultural diversity
  • Artistic merit
  • Professional context

We accept the following formats of audio-visual support material:

  • digital images on a CD
  • DVD

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