Photo by Melissa Blackall

Open Call for Applications: Mills Gallery Exhibitions of BOSTON CENTER FOR THE ARTS

Please apply before Monday, January 29 at 11 pm to be considered for the September-December 2024 and the Spring 2025 exhibition slots.



Boston Center for the Arts (BCA) introduces a new model for upcoming exhibitions in the Mills Gallery. 

Our collaborative exhibition-making mode​l focuses on innovative solo shows created collaboratively between​ one artist and one curator, presented​ in the BCA Mills Gallery. ​ In addition, curators and artists selected for upcoming projects will be provided with 10-12 weeks of studio space in BCA Artist Studios Building, to develop their project in close proximity to the gallery. 

The opportunity to use studio space at BCA provides the curator and artist with space not only to develop their exhibition, but also to engage them in ongoing conversations about their project with staff, BCA studio residents, and the local community. 

In addition to studio space, the selected artists and curators receive: an honorarium​; logistical, critical, and practical assistance​; funds and resources to produce ​their 12-week​ exhibition​ in the Mills Gallery; and support for exhibition-related public programming. 

BCA encourages proposals that take creative advantage of this innovative, collaborative approach 

Watch an Info Session


The proposed exhibition will be a collaborative project between one curator and one artist, and will either introduce a new artist or highlight a new aspect of a more experienced artist.  

This program aims to support emerging and mid-career artists and curators and give them the opportunity to experiment, complete or develop new work, and engage in deeper conversations about their practice and presentation. 

Our goal is to gather a diverse and inclusive community of artists for the purpose of supporting innovative work across disciplines, connecting artists with peers and resources, and providing a vibrant platform for new art in Boston.



During the 10-12 week period leading up to the exhibition opening, the selected artist and curator will:

  • Have 24/7 studio access to work-only studio space
  • Meet regularly with BCA staff to discuss their exhibition 
  • Open their studio during BCA Open Houses  
  • Present their exhibition’s ideas and developments to fellow artists as part of the BCA Studio Residency
  • Meet with BCA Marketing and Communication team to discuss the exhibition

During the 12-week exhibition, BCA staff and the selected artist and curator will:

  • Host an opening reception in the gallery within the first two weeks of the exhibition
  • Present two (2) public programs to engage with the local community and to create more points of access to the exhibition.



In support of the exhibition, BCA provides: 

  • $1,500 Stipend for Curator, and $1,500 Stipend for Artist 
  • Access to work-only studio space during the 10-12 weeks prior to the exhibition opening, shared between artist and curator
  • Staff to install the exhibition during the week before opening and to de-install the week after closing
  • Marketing support and promotion including press outreach, website listings, and social media promotion on BCA channels
  • Photo documentation of the exhibition
  • Gallery sitters during the exhibition’s public hours
  • One public reception/opening (Including bartender, beverages, etc)
  • Budget to organize two public programs
  • Basic hardware that might be used for installation (screws, nails, etc)
  • Exhibition printed materials (wall vinyl, labels, posters, postcards, handouts)

In addition, BCA provides funds up to $1,500* to cover costs for everything outside of those listed above. These costs are proposed by the Curator, and have to be approved by BCA. Expenses that can be considered for approval might include art transportation, art materials to finish or do new work, framing, gallery buildout, and special hardware or paint that the installation might need. 

*This figure is subject to change.  

If needed, review this document with extra information containing: Mills Gallery Floorplan, available technology, pedestals, and more details. 



Applications will be evaluated based on the project’s demonstration of:


We support artistic work that displays innovation and openness to new ideas, perspectives and techniques.


In the process of supporting new and innovative work, we value ideas that are relevant to contemporary interests and conversations.

Community engagement.

We encourage an artistic practice that engages meaningfully with the ecosystem where it exists through collaboration and exchange among artists and audiences.

Potential impact.

We seek to support artists for whom our involvement has the potential to propel their practice creating a path for growth artistically and professionally.



Proposals will be reviewed by BCA staff and an external jury of art professionals.



The Mills Gallery is a 1,800-square-foot flexible open-plan layout, offering highly visible exhibitions for contemporary artists and curators in Boston and beyond since the mid 1970s. 

The Mills Gallery at Boston Center for the Arts is located at 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA.

Click here to view the Mills Gallery Floorplan