Open calls

This page tells you about any open calls we might be currently running and also informs you of our policy regarding open calls. Please do read everything here, it hopefully makes it all clear and reading it now should save you time.


12: The outside wall and floor of Cultivate, Vyner Street, Sean Worrall, (and some My Dog Sighs water drops)

CURRENT OPEN CALLS:  But please do read the policy on open calls further down the page.


NOTHING IS SQUARE Pt,2 will once again, like the first part, be a group show from Cultivate. Nothing is Square 2 will happen in March as part of the final Cultivate Columbia Road Takeover at Shipton Street Gallery here in East London. Once again everything will be square, all about squares, squares of art, all uniform. What the participating artists do within that square is really up to you. The square will be a canvas, 20cm x 20cm x 1cm, we want every canvas to be EXACTLY the same in terms of dimensions, you can get a 20cm x 20cm x 1cm “I love Art” cotton canvas from Great Art on the Kingsland Road here in East London for just under £2, we insist everyone to paint on the same size canvas. We won’t accept work an anything that isn’t the correct size, we want a gallery full of squares, all exactly the same  – the Great Art on-line store is here – size NOT up for debate, anything brought in on any other formant besides a 20cm x 20cm x 1cm canvas will not be accepted (for avoidance of doubt, no deep edge canvas, no paper, no frames, nothing that isn’t the exact size and on canvas, rules are rules (and for once they can’t be broken)

THE OPEN CALL: NOTHING IS SQUARE Pt,2 will once again mostly feature invited artists we already know or have worked with, however, new blood is always very important to us, we would like to think there will be four or five artists we don’t yet know (or maybe haven’t worked with for some time) in this show. If you wish to be considered, please read all the details here and then one you have, drop is an e.mail via info @ cultivategallery dot com an include a link to your artist website (or artist social media page) along with no more than four examples of the kind of work you would like to include in the show. We don’t expect you to already have work of the correct size and you that you will create new work for the show, that’s fine, we just want an idea in terms of what you will produce. We will properly explore what we see and get back ot you within a couple of days with a response.

THEME: Once again there is no theme besides the square, the square is the theme, the squares will unite the art in the show, besides the square and everyone working on the same size canvas, there are no restrictions and once you’re invited you can do whatever the hell you want within the boundaries of your square. We will be very very (very) picky in terms of the artists we invite to take part, this isn’t a free for all, we are very selective, but once you are invited what you do with 20cm square is really up to you (we will ask you to consider that the space is a very public one and that we get a lot of families and such, especially on the Sundays when the very busy flower market is happening), We anticipate a healthy mix of contemporary painting, abstract goodness, figurative warmth, a touch of forward looking pop, a street art flavour or two (carefully avoiding the street art cliches), there could be a three dimensional aspect, all on the square canvas though

DATES:  We will open the show on a Thursday night, 27th February and then we shall be open all day on the Saturday and Sunday over two weekends 11am until 5pm (or by appointment) until Sunday March 8th . Deadline in terms of this open call is Monday 10th February. Deadline in terms of full confirmation of number of pieces and payment of share of costs is February 17th, we want to send out press releases and flyers with everyone’s name on on February 18th.

THE HANG, DELIVERY,/PICK UP – We want a busy gallery, we want an exciting show,  we want the walls full, three or four lines of paintings on each wall, almost but not quite a salon hang (nothing too high or low though, none of that Royal Academy nonsense, everything on a reasonable eye level), we expect a hang with around 90 paintings in the space, three very uniform lines of ten on each of the three walls (I’m rather looking forward to hanging this one and making it flow as one whole thing, I love hanging shows).

We will want people to be able to either deliver the art in person on the day of the hang Wednesday February 26th between midday and 6pm, or alternatively, if you really really must, before hand at my studio by arrangement,  or, if there really is no other option then post it to us at my studio so we have it in plenty of time before the hang, no last minute chasing around at sorting offices please, you post at your risk),   The gallery is address is Shipton Street Gallery, Shipton St, London E2 7RZ – DO NOT POST ANYTHING TO THE GALLERY, 

All art must be picked up on the final day unless you’ve made prior arrangement, final day is on my birthday so make me happy and take all the art away (I still have paintings here from the first show! I still have art here from the last eight years of art shows!)  pick up 8th March at 5pm – no excuses, if you can’t pick it up or make reasonable arrangements then please don’t take part, we really do have loads of art left over from previous shows, “I’ll come around on the Monday afterwards” doesn’t really work any more.

COSTS: THere is no cost in terms of initial submission  Once you have submitted and we have said yes, then each invited artist can show up to five pieces.  We will ask for a contribution towards the costs, the rent and such,  one piece £5, two pieces £10, three £15, four or five £20.  Policy with all Cultivate shows is to NEVER charge people a fee just to submit work to an e.mail selection process, (indeed we strongly object to the practice and refuse to work with people or galleries that do do this or with artists who knowing take part in and support such shows)  but we do ask artists who are ACTUALLY TAKING PART and who are actually physically involved in a show to share the costs with us. Cultivate is an artist-run thing. Emma and I have put a lot of time and often thankless effort into Cultivate over the last seven or eight years, we are working artists first though, we’re not gallery people (we have nothing against the more reasonable gallery people out there) but we’re artists, we like to treat our fellow artists in a way that we would like to be treated ourselves . We share costs of events we’re actually talking part in TOGETHER, we make no profit from the share of costs asked for, we just cover the costs of rent and such (this does not include covering ALL time spent pulling the show together, doing the publicity, hanging the show, looking after the show during the opening hours and the rest, it just covers the cost of renting a space)


Nothing is Square Pt.1

SALES  This will be a selling show, we would like everything to be on sale, I would say anything between £10 and £250 would be sensible but it really is you who sets the price..  Personally I shall be pricing my five pieces between the £50 – £100 mark. We will ask for a 20% commission on any sales. this IS to cover our time actually looking after the show during opening hours as well as the time spent on-line dealing with sales with publicity and admin the rest. Those are long days sitting in as gallery, it means one of us has to take the time off to be there, I think 20% in reasonable.  .We won’t allow people to take pieces on the opening night but we will allow people to buy and take pieces once the show is properly open. We will allow you to bring in up to three “reserve pieces” that can be kept in the gallery and hung as a replacements if we sell a piece of yours during the show.

I think that is just about everything, but do please please fire any questions you have at us, hopefully you know what Cultivate shows are about by now and hopefully you’ve seen photos and such to the first show. There is an Organ review here with lots of photos of Part One, the hang will be the same this time.

If you wish to submit then please do, once you do we promise to get back within two days, if we don’t them please do check (do keep an eye on spam bins and such, we check oursa everyday) ,

thanks  Sean/Emma, Cultivate

Submissions via e,mail to info at cultivategallery dot com and clearly marked OPEN CALL  in the subject line please -]


Nothing is Square pt.1



The policy on open calls:  We like open call shows, the kind that don’t require you to have to pay a fee just to submit an e.mail of course, open calls are something we are very keen on at Cultivate. Of course it was easy to run open call shows regularly when we had a permanent home, our current nomadic lifestyle doesn’t really lend itself to the notion of open calls so well. Do watch this space though, we will have open call gallery shows happening (there have been several physical shows with open call elements already this year), there will be opens calls from time to time and we do appreciate how important both group shows and open calls are, we like open calls and group shows.

And remember, any open call that asks you to pay JUST to submit and e.mail is really something of a cynical con designed to exploit young artists who don’t know the score, these shows are almost certainly going to be a waste of your time and money, they’re enrally badly run by cynical people more interested in your money than your art, don’t be suckered in to paying just to submit an e.mail, follow that link you just passed for lots more thought on the subject

For the sake of clarity: We STRONGLY object to open calls that demand a fee just to submit an e.mail image to a selection process. As artists we strongly vocally object to being charged just to take part in an often dubious on-line selection process and here at Cultivate we will NEVER demand a submission fee from an artist just to send in an e.mail in the hope of maybe being selected.  The practice is cynical, it exploits artists and it is simply wrong.  When we do put on group shows we will sometimes ask artists who are ACTUALLY TAKING PART to contribute a reasonable share to the costs, to help contribute to the rent/space hire expenses and such, only those who are invited to ACTUALLY TAKE PART though, and NEVER the many who don’t make it past the submission process.  We will not work with galleries or artists who are involved in running these cynical pay just to submit open calls and we believe all artists should voice a loud vocal no to anyone who does wish to charge a cynical submission fee just to be part of a selection process. If as an artist you knowingly work with these galleries then we don’t want to work with you.

RESPONSE POLICY:   Policy when we do have an open call is to set a deadline and stick to it. We encourage people to not wait until the last minute and we do like to respond as soon as we can so artists know their submission has reached us. We will say yes or no as soon as we can rather than make people wait. Generally if we haven’t replies with a a yes or no within a week of you submitting work then we haven’t received it.  Some of our open calls can result in hundreds and hundreds of responses, we don’t like to let it all build up and then have an impossible task once the deadline has passed. if you do it early you stand more chance and we get more time to consider what the work submitted as well as explore your websites and such (we always do that, indeed we’ve often found something more suitable on a website or thought about people for alternative shows)


The Marks Made While Making Art….