Submitting a proposal

Blue Oyster welcomes proposals from Aotearoa and abroad. The deadline for proposals for the 2024 programme is midnight on Sunday 24 September.

Please email proposals as per the guidelines and requirements below to: director@blueoyster.org.nz

Resources for general information for exhibitions and a Blue Oyster floor plan can be found at the end of this page.


Call for proposals

Blue Oyster is an art project space that has been running since 1999 in Ōtepoti Dunedin, located within the takiwā of Te Rūnaka o Ōtākou and Kāti Huirapa Rūnaka ki Puketeraki of Kāi Tahu. Blue Oyster invites proposals that are new, innovative and non-commercial with a focus on experimental practice by solo, duo or collaborating artist practitioners to be developed and presented in conversation and in collaboration with the director.

With support from Blue Oyster Arts Trust, the director will prioritise high-quality proposals that align with Blue Oyster’s responsibilities to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, as well as focus on the development of experimental visual practice, and relate, add to and strengthen diverse perspectives on local, national and global conversations on contemporary art.

The director, alongside the Trust, aim to present original and varied exhibitions that respond to Blue Oyster’s context and vision, including the key principles outlined by its Māori Engagement Strategy: manaakitaka, whakawhanaukataka, kaitiakitaka, tuakana/teina and rakatirataka (definitions of these are outlined below). To read and understand more about the Trust's mission and goals visit our About page on our website.

Proposal guidelines:

- All proposals must be submitted by the closing deadline. Any proposals submitted after this time will not be considered.

- Only emailed proposals in a single PDF with your name as the file name will be accepted, i.e. lastname_firstname_proposal.pdf

- Proposals for exhibitions already presented will not be considered. Please refrain from submitting a proposal that has been sent to another gallery or organisation.

- Keep your proposal clear, succinct and as specific as possible.

- We are not able to accommodate all proposals submitted, but are pleased to provide feedback on request.

- You are not required to send illustrated floor plans, nor will they be considered in the proposal, please only use the floor plans and Sketch Up file to write and inform your proposal.

Applications must include:

- A 500 word outline of your proposed project and how it fits into your current practice. It is not expected that this will be a finalised project at this stage, we seek projects that are robust and well researched to be further developed in conversation and collaboration with the director. Outlines that are self-aware, critical, well-researched and clearly written will be prioritised.

- 4-5 examples of your previous work, written, photographic, audio and video documentation encouraged in links to websites.

- 1 page artist CV with a bio that explains your background and experience relevant to your artistic practice.

Further information for applicants:

By the closing date you will receive an email confirming we have received your proposal, if you have not received this email, your proposal has not been received—please call or email the gallery for receipt. 

Successful applicants will be notified by the director.
If your proposal is successful you will be reimbursed with a modest fee to assist with production, materials and transport. Please check the exhibition information packet to see full details of the exhibition budget. Blue Oyster also assists with install, deinstall, promotion, equipment and tools If you live outside of Ōtepoti, you will be required to organise your own airfares and accommodation as well as extra freight costs.

Exhibitors are required to sign an artist agreement, set achievable goals and expectations for the project with the director as well as complete a survey, or a feedback session after the exhibition.

This call for proposals is for the exhibition programme for 2024 which includes a series of exhibitions at Blue Oyster, one online project and one off site project in collaboration with The Physics Room.

Māori Engagement Strategy principles:

- Manaakitaka (manaakitanga) - Hospitality, kindness, support, the process of showing respect, generosity and care for others.

- Whakawhanaukataka (whakawhanaungatanga) - Process of establishing relationships, relating well to others, through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging.

- Kaitiakitaka (kaitiakitanga) - Guardianship of knowledge, environment, each other. Another translation is stewardship.

- Tuakana/teina - Mentor and mentee, nurturing relationships through sharing of knowledge and care.

- Rakatirataka (rangatiratanga) - Self-determination, sovereignty, autonomy, self-government.