1 July 2019

Opportunity Description

*the deadline has been extended until 1 July 2019

UNDERLINE projects is a new organisation, founded by curators, dedicated to supporting independent voices in contemporary art. We have opened a call to all curators to apply to present an exhibition within our inaugural UNDERLINE show.

Our main initiative is the UNDERLINE show – an exhibition platform for independent curators. Through an open call process, the show offers independent curators in Africa and the diaspora an opportunity to present an exhibition, free of charge, within a larger curated show. We provide accepted applicants with no-cost exhibition space and logistical support, in exchange for their visionary perspectives on established, overlooked, and unknown artists.

The inaugural edition of the UNDERLINE show will be open to the public from 12-15 September 2019 at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Maboneng, with the space being generously provided by the GSA (Graduate School of Architecture) at the University of Johannesburg. The event is strategically timed to happen during Johannesburg’s official Art Week.


  • Applicants do not need to have any formal curatorial training or experience, selections will be made based on the strength of each proposal.
  • Curators can apply as individuals, as collectives or in association with an organisation, but preference will be given to those operating independently.
  • Preference will be given to curators either based on the African continent or in the Diaspora.
  • Specific attention will also be paid to previously marginalised groups in the interest of redress and those working outside of the established gallery circuit, with little access to opportunities within these circles.
  • If also an artist, curators cannot feature only their own work.


  • Each application must be submitted by a lead curator, who will work collaboratively with an artist/group of artists.
  • There can be more than one curator per project, however there must be one lead curator and point of contact.
  • We accept applications for solo and group exhibitions, single-artist installations, and performance art.
  • Due to space restrictions, the maximum number of artists allowed in a group shows is 5.
  • We encourage curators to propose single or two-person exhibitions.
  • Applicants will not be charged an application fee, and if accepted will not be charged a participation fee.
  • Selected curators are provided with an exhibition space free of charge.
  • The UNDERLINE show will offer to all accepted applicants extensive mentorship and guidance in realizing their exhibition.
  • The UNDERLINE show will offer to all accepted applicants, within reason, logistical support such as hanging and installation.
  • If applying from outside of Johannesburg, curators and artists will need to fund their own transport and travel.
  • Curators, or their designated representatives, must be available and on-site during the show, including, installation and de-installation dates, opening, and daily show hours.
  • The UNDERLINE show is scheduled to take place at the Museum of African Design (MOAD) in Johannesburg.
  • The installation will take place on 9-10 September 2019.
  • Opening night and the preview will take place 11 September 2019.
  • The show runs from 12-15 September 2019.
  • Deinstallation will take place on 16-17 September 2019.


  1. Do I have to pay anything to apply? No.
  2. Do I have to pay anything if accepted? There are no participation fees.
  3. Does UNDERLINE projects pay for travel? No. If applying from outside of Johannesburg, curators and artists will need to fund their own transport and travel.
  4. Does UNDERLINE projects pay for artwork production? No. Unfortunately, we cannot offer funding for the production of artworks.
  5. Are the artworks for sale? Yes, all artworks are for sale, and curators are required to sign a consignment agreement with UNDERLINE projects.
  6. Who handles sales? UNDERLINE projects will handle all sales and after-sales logistics.
  7. What percentage of sales goes to artists and curators? UNDERLINE projects, in keeping with industry standards, offers 50% to the artists but breaks new ground by offering the curator a 20% commission.
  8. Do all artists and all curators get a commission on all sales? When an artwork is sold, only the specific artist and the curator of the exhibition in which the work is presented, receive a commission.
  9. Does UNDERLINE projects arrange and pay for the shipping of artwork? Curators and artists will have to arrange their own shipping and delivery to site at the start of the installation date. However, if artworks are sold during the fair, UNDERLINE projects will arrange for the logistics and delivery to the respective clients. Any unsold artworks will need to be collected by the curators and artists at the end of deinstallation.

How to Apply

For further info, and to apply, visit: http://underlineprojects.art/apply/