Apply: R&D

2020 Programming Deadline: December 3rd 2018

The 2018 R&D Application Will Be Live on October 17th, 2018.

The R&D (Research & Development) program invites artists, curators, and other cultural producers to articulate their investigation of ideas through a supported exhibition or project that may take the form of group, solo, or collaborative endeavor.

SPACES helps facilitate the artist’s vision by connecting them to resources, tools, and communities. Specifically, SPACES provides R&D artists: an artist commission, a public presentation of new work created, support from SPACES staff in finding materials, developing institutional partnerships, and other exhibition-related activities.

Risa Puno: Exhaust, Photo by Jerry Mann


We accept applications from all artists, 21 and older. Artists can work in any medium, but we look for work with a strong conceptual core. We welcome artists at any stage of their career, who require time and resources to take their work in new directions.

Application Details

Applications must be sent by email. Incomplete or inaccurately assembled applications will not be considered. Notification of the selection process will be sent via email.

Each application must include:

  • Completed SWAP application: PDF Fillable Application
  • 150-word artist statement: Fillable Application
  • 150-word R&D statement: Fillable Application
  • work sample list: Fillable Application
  • one-page C.V. in PDF format
  • work samples-properly labeled, sent to

Application Evaluation

Applications are evaluated by a selections committee comprised of artists, curators, community members, SPACES board members and staff. Applicants will be notified via email as soon as possible after selections have been made in the winter 2019. Please do not call or email to follow up. Artist who submit strong proposals, but are ultimately not selected for 2020 exhibitions may be considered for future programming.

FAQs (or the questions we assume you'll ask)

Q: I have applied to SPACES before, do I need to apply again?
A: Yes. Even if we retained your material for future consideration, we would like to see your more recent work.

Q: I exhibited at SPACES in _____. Can I apply again?
A: Give it at least a two year rest before you apply again.

Q: What does this do for me?
A: You will gain more of a relationship with SPACES and its staff who will do what they can to help you further your ideas. You get an honorarium, public project and press. Sounds good to me.

Q: Do I get to choose if I want to be in a group or solo format?
A: You have the choice to include your work or not. The nature of the projects is decided by the SPACES staff and programming committee, and we will work with you to make sure your work is properly represented. If you do not agree with the platform SPACES selects for your work, you can gracefully decline participation.

Q: I am a traditional landscape/figurative/still life painter/photographer/sculptor/performer. Should I apply to SWAP?
A: SWAP supports artists who explore and experiment. If your work doesn't have strong conceptual grounding and isn't striving to test boundaries, we may not be a good fit. It's not you, it's us.

Q: In my artist statements, I really like to use phrases like, "My work is a de-contextualization of gender identities", "My work fabricates a matrix that engages paradigms of beauty," "Body as text", and "My pieces function as the nexus of post-modern theories of consumerism and environment through the use of ephemeral materials that hint at the sublime." Is that an appropriate way to talk about my work?
A: We have no problem with work that deals with complex issues, but please keep fancy art-speak to a minimum.

Q: It sounds like you're not interested in older artists. Is that true?
A: Untrue. We are interested in all artists, 21 and over, who are doing thoughtful experimental work, and we welcome artists at any stage of their careers.

Q: Can I drop off my application at SPACES in person?
A: No. We are only accepting SWAP applications via email, sent to

Q: You just want a 1-page C.V.?
A: Yes. Please edit your C.V. down to the highlights, so that our selections committee can make it through all the applications.

Q: Will being a member of SPACES help my chances of being selected?
A: No. As a current SPACES' member, you have our deepest gratitude, but it won't affect our decisions.

Q: I don't know how to format images/video/sound digitally for submission. What should I do?
A: Rely on the kindness of friends... and Google.*

Q: Digital images don't do my work justice. Can I bring my work to the gallery for review?
A: Nope.

Q: What is a work sample list?
A: This is a list that the selection committee uses as a point of reference while viewing your work samples. A good work sample list includes the following information: artist's name (usually listed at the top), filename, title, year, media, dimensions/duration and a brief explanatory note for each piece (as needed). This is also where you would list URLs for video and audio works hosted online or web-based artworks. A good work sample list is legible and easy to read. Keep in mind that each image is up for only a short period of time. Lengthy explanations of each piece will not be completely read before the image disappears from the screen.

Q: Should I send postcards/catalogs/reviews of my work along with my application?
A: Please send only what we ask for.

Q: When will I be notified of acceptance/rejection?
A: Reviews of work for 2020 will occur in Winter 2018/19. We then have some clerical/boring things to do after that. We will contact all applicants after selections have been made.

See Also:

How to Submit Applications for Exhibitions: Part 1
How to Submit Applications for Exhibitions: Part 2

Image above: Ward Shelley: The Last Library, Photo by Jerry Mann

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