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

DEADLINE OCTOBER 24th 2019 – OPEN CALL: Nothing Is Square is mostly a group show featuring invited artists, but Cultivate is also about new blood and opening doors, we are very very picky, but it is important that new artists or artists we don’t know yet or artists we maybe haven’t considered get to feature on our walls and in our shows alongside the names that might be familiar to those who follow Cultivate and come to our shows. Nothing is Square will mostly feature artists we already know but we would like to maybe have four or five artists that we haven’t worked with before or haven’t worked with for a while. If you would like to be involved please do drop us an e.mail with a link to your website via info at and we’ll get back to you the details and the information about the show. The show happens in East London in November, but don’t be leaving things to the last minute, make contact now please…

NOTHING IS SQUARE will be a group show from Cultivate, Nothing is Square will happen in November as part of the next Cultivate Columbia Road Takeover at Shipton Street Gallery here in East London. Everything will be square, all about squares, squares of art, all uniform. What you invited 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

THEME: 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 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),

DATES:  We will open the show on a Thursday night, Thursday 7th November and then we shall be open all day on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday over two weekends (or by appointment) until 6pm on Sunday November 17th.

ONLINE: We will also run the show on line and make work available for sale on line. The show will run via the Organ website at as well as via the Cultivate website, I shall work this out later    .

COSTS: 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, five £20.  Po;icy 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 of galleries that do do this or with artists who knowing take part in such shows)  but we do ask artists who are ACTUALLY TAKING PART and actually physically involved in a show to share the costs with us. Cultivate is an artist-run thing. Emma and I put a lot of time and effort into Cultivate, 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 te 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)     .

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


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….