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Student Space Galleries Quick Answers

We receive many questions in the Student Activities Office about the Student Space Gallery process. Below is a list of some of the most common questions students ask.

When can I apply for an exhibition?

The Student Space Gallery application process takes place every September and March. Be certain that you apply for an exhibition when you will be a current student, for example: seniors graduating in May can only apply in September for a spring exhibition.

How competitive is the process?

The level of competition ranges from semester to semester depending on how many students apply. In a given semester we might receive 25 applications for 12 exhibition spots, or we might receive 45 applications. It just depends on the semester. Please do not let this discourage you from applying. The applications for exhibitions that are well thought-out and present a cohesive body of work rise to the top and are often chosen. If you feel like your material fits those requirements, do not hesitate to apply simply because you worry that you won't get chosen.  See Career Development for support on how to best document your work, write an effective artist statement, and create an awesome installation proposal.

How many SSG exhibitions are there every year?

Each gallery hosts 3 exhibitions each semester for a total of 12 SSG exhibitions a semester. 

Can only Juniors and Seniors apply?

Any MICA undergraduate student is welcome to apply for an SSG exhibition. However, it is unusual for a MICA foundation year student to have the body of work necessary for an SSG exhibition. Foundation students are not discouraged from applying; rather it should be taken in to consideration that the body of work needs to be cohesive, in depth and significant enough to fill an entire gallery. Therefore the majority of the student selected are Juniors and Seniors and occasionally Sophomores.

How does the jury decide who gets an exhibition?

The jury meets every September and March to determine the exhibitions for the following semester. The jury carefully examines every application and decides which exhibitions would work best in the spaces we have available. It is the prerogative of the jury to decide not to fill all of the spaces in a given semester based on the applications they receive.

If I don't get chosen, should I even bother to reapply?

Yes! If you are not chosen to have an exhibition, you can get feedback on your application from Kirsten Fricke (kfricke@mica.edu) after the jury process is complete. This is a great learning opportunity for you to make adjustments to your application and reapply the next semester.

Does faculty have a say in who is chosen?

No, faculty does not have a say in who is chosen. The SSG Jury of undergraduate students has the final say in any/all SSG decisions. Sometimes input from the Exhibitions Office is needed to determine the feasibility of an exhibition, but beyond that all other decisions are made by the jury.

Can I submit ideas for performance art and/or other ideas that might not go on a wall?

Yes, the SSG Jury is happy to review applications for any type of exhibition. But know that there are limitations as to what can happen in the gallery spaces we have. Decisions will be made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Exhibitions Office if necessary. Please do not hold back from applying if you think you artwork is unconventional compared to what you've seen in the galleries.

Does my artwork have to be 100% complete before I apply?

No, you can submit an application and still have a few pieces "pending" or "in the works". It should be noted that whatever you submit in your application should be very close to what you actually intend to put up on the gallery walls for your exhibition. Any drastic changes to the nature of your work are subject to approval from the SSG Jury.

If I get an exhibition, what happens next?

You will be contacted by Kirsten Fricke in Student Activities to notify you whether or not you were chosen for an SSG exhibition. If you are chosen, you will meet with Kirsten at least once 5 weeks before your installation, and then meet again two weeks prior to your installation. In these meetings, you will receive support on logistics and details leading up to your opening reception.