Artist FAQ


1. Who can apply?

Artists must be residents of the Waterloo Region and committed to the development of a visual arts practice.

Artist collectives are not eligible.

Students enrolled in undergraduate programs as of the September 1st prior to BOX are not eligible.

Artists of all levels of experience are welcome.

2. Can I apply if I was accepted a previous year to BOX?

Participation in a previous BOX show does not prevent re-application. Art submitted must be current and new to BOX. 

3. What are the Stage One Submission Requirements for this juried art sale and exhibition?

  • *In advance of Stage One, a non-binding indication of your intent to apply.
  • Completed BOX Stage One Entry Form, with $30 non-refundable application fee.
  • A current one page combined Artist Statement and Biography,
  • A self addressed 9” x 12” envelope without postage.
  • Four works of signed, dated and labeled original fine art from the same body of work, ready for exhibition. Up to four installation artworks are to be submitted using a disk, see details under Artist Submission Info. Artwork submitted must be current, available for sale, not undergraduate student art work, or work previously exhibited at BOX. Each artwork submitted must have the required BOX art identification label attached.

*Help BOX prepare for an efficient Stage One Entry Drop-off process. As soon as possible, please inform Denise at  or 519-885-0757 of your non-binding intention to submit to BOX 11 and your artwork medium.

Please check the BOX website in early May for the required BOX art identification label form, and the “Call to Artists” which will include the Stage One Entry Form, requirements, details and deadlines. Due to the number of applicants it is not possible to be flexible about the BOX requirements.

4. Does BOX require an artists’ fee to participate?

No. Instead 20% of all BOX art sales from the show will be donated by the participating BOX artists to the BOX charitable partner organization.


5. What kind of original fine art is shown at BOX?

BOX exhibits sculpture, installation work, painting, printmaking, drawing, photography and mixed media.  

6. Are signed limited editions accepted?

Yes. Limited edition works are accepted but must be signed and numbered, preferably on the border of the work itself, and are not to exceed ten in the series. The recorded sequence (i.e. 3/10) indicates the placement of the artwork in a series. These submitted works must be framed to show at BOX.  Additional unframed signed and numbered limited editions of only those framed editions selected for BOX may also be offered for sale at the show.

7. Are unlimited reproductions and artist proofs accepted?


8. What does it mean that artwork submitted to Stage One must be ready for exhibition?

Artwork must be dry, and where applicable, sealed to prevent smudging.

All two dimensional works must be prepared for hanging using a strong, secure wire system to hang on a hook. Work needs to be professionally presented.  Matting and/or framing can definitely provide a very polished look. In some cases alternative presentation techniques can be very pleasing. If in doubt please email BOX.

Submission of the required proper supports/ plinths with three dimensional works is now optional for Stage One.  Applicants may choose to submit one such support/ plinth as an example or instead submit a coloured hard copy image of the supports/plinths being used, from a variety of angles; with the understanding that all supports must be approved by the Curatorial Advisor. If selected the artist must deliver all of those approved supports to Stage Two.

Contracted BOX artists are obligated to have all Stage One work in same condition for the BOX show.

9. What is an Artist Statement?

An Artist Statement should establish context and offer insight into the concepts and the development of your artwork. For example: why was it created, what inspired it, or if it relates to current issues. You might include a short discussion on your technique if unusual or relevant.

Be concise, write in plain language in the first person, as if you were describing it to a friend, and avoid “art speak” so that someone without art training can understand.

Your artist statement should be between 50 and 250 words long – less than 50 and it is difficult to get an idea of your work across to your viewer – over 250 and studies have shown that people tend to stop reading.

10. How do I write an Artist Biography?

For the BOX combined requirement, your artist biography will be a short written narrative, one or two paragraphs long. The artist biography is always written in the third person and it is accepted practice to use your last name when referring to yourself.

It should only include information relating to your artist’s career, and such personal information as you feel to be relevant to your career. The most important information should come first. Professional information might include your education/artistic training, special shows and awards, while the personal might include your background and significant life experiences.

Many websites offer ideas on how to write a biography, with guidelines and examples.

11. What is the one page combined Artist Statement and Biography required by BOX?

BOX requires one page in total, single spaced.

  • You may wish to have a short biography and longer artist statement, or vice versa but in total it should not exceed one page.
  • Remember to include your name, date completed and contact information.
  • Ask a number of people to edit for spelling and grammar, and to read for clarity of content before printing or submitting to BOX. This document may be widely circulated and published if you are a successful BOX applicant.
  • A single hard copy is required in the Stage One submission and kept on file for the jurors’ use.
  • If selected by the jury, BOX will require that this be submitted again electronically for the BOX website, the media and for other promotional purposes.
  • If selected by the jury, BOX artists are to provide 100 printed copies for distribution to BOX show visitors. The presentation of this printed version is up to each artist’s imagination and tastes.

12. Can someone else deliver my Stage One submission?

Yes, only for Stage One. Any designated person can deliver and/or pick-up your Stage One submission requirements. Please notify BOX in advance by email or send a signed note with the name and contact phone for that designated person.  


13. What do the jurors look for?

Jurors look for a well executed body of work that displays a level of creativity, artistic merit and professionalism. The visual aesthetics of quality frames, proper matting, hanging hardware/supports, and properly completed required support materials are also important.

14. What is a body of work?

It is a collection of artwork which represents a cohesive theme with each piece reflecting a similar execution in terms of medium, technique and presentation. A solid body of work indicates artistic focus and development, and helps viewers to better understand and recognize an artist’s work. If required, please contact BOX for further clarification.

15. Who are the BOX jurors?

The BOX jury consists of 3 visual art experts. The BOX organizers are not members of the jury.

16. How will I know if I am selected or not?

Notification letters will be mailed out within two weeks to all artists who have submitted to Stage One. Please do not call or email for results. Selected artists will be required to return a signed agreement by a specified date towards the end of September.

17. How many artists are selected for participation in BOX?

Approximately 20 artists have been selected each year. For BOX 13 many more artists will be included, dependent on the quality of submissions.

18. If not selected, does this means my work isn’t good enough?

No.  Due to the large number of submissions the jury selection is very competitive. Jury decisions are determined by the criteria mentioned in FAQ 13, number of submissions within a medium, and the limitations of the venue space.  

19. Will I get feedback on my Stage One artwork submissions from the jurors?

No, not necessarily. Only those artists selected to participate in BOX will be given the jurors’ suggestions for work improvement and development, along with feedback on the artist’s suggested pricings.


20. How do I price my art?

This is always a difficult task. Before determining prices, research and compare prices of other artists working in the same medium, scale and at a similar career level. It’s not good to be priced out of the market or to undervalue your work. Prices submitted to BOX are to be all-inclusive, incorporating a 20% charity donation and HST where applicable.

21. Why are art prices reviewed by the jury? And do I have to follow
their suggestions?

Art prices are reviewed by the jury to ensure that values are appropriate for all participating BOX artists. Pricing yourself out of the market or devaluing your work would be a disservice, to yourself and the other artists in the show. In some cases the BOX Artist Agreement offer may be conditional upon pricing revisions as suggested by the jurors.

22. What kind of art sales can I anticipate at BOX?

It is hoped that sales will occur for all BOX participants but it is not guaranteed.

Art is very subjective and some artwork may have more commercial appeal than others. To increase your sale success consider including a range of prices and sizes of artwork. Even if sales do not occur, BOX is still a great opportunity to build your CV and network with other artists/arts professionals and potential future purchasers.  

23. If I’m selected, what are the requirements of Stage Two?

Immediately following Stage One, the selected applicants will receive a mailed artist agreement and information package outlining requirements, details and deadlines.

These Stage Two requirements include:

  • A high resolution reproduction quality image of one Stage One work selected by the jury for purposes of BOX fundraising and promotions; to be submitted electronically.
  • The Stage One combined Artist Statement and Biography; now submitted electronically.
  • A short summary; submitted electronically. See FAQ 26.
  • 100 business cards.
  • 100 printed copies of the Stage One single page combined Artist Statement and Biography.
  • Additional artwork. It is intended that artists will prepare additional art work beyond the four works submitted in Stage One to be included in BOX, subject to a second jury review. The total amount of a body of work which might be included in BOX is discussed on an individual basis, and will be dependent in part on the size of works and available display space. This does not apply to installation work.

24. Where can I get my art photographed? What does a high resolution
image mean?

If you do not feel comfortable taking your own photos to meet the requirements outlined here, the BOX website “Artist Resources” section has a list of photographers experienced with the electronic photographic documentation of art.

Selected artists must submit a high resolution reproduction quality electronic jpeg image of the one Stage One work chosen by the jurors. The image must be in colour and at least 300 dpi and at least 4 inches/1200 pixels.

25. Why should I document all of my artwork?

Having a concise and accurate record of your artwork is important for future appraisals or exhibition opportunities. It gives an artist good reference records and the ability to capitalize on opportunities quickly. In addition to photographic documentation, it’s important to keep a record of the particulars about each artwork, such as size, materials used, where shown, sale price, a purchaser’s contact information etc.

26. What is the short summary required of the selected BOX artists?

This summary will be used for the BOX website, publicity and promotional materials so include only the most important information which needs to be communicated to potential viewers or buyers of your work.

The summary requested is to be about 50 – 75 words or 2-3 sentences long. Information might include: where you are from, your medium, style, and your concern, theme, or perhaps a quote.

27. If I am selected to be in BOX and sign the BOX Artist Agreement, does this affect my participation in other art events, exhibitions, and opportunities?

The BOX time period is about eight to nine weeks long; from the time of the Stage One submission in September to the closing of the BOX show in November. The success of BOX Art Show and Sale depends on the quality, amount and freshness of the original art being presented by the selected artists. For that reason, during the BOX time period, all artwork intended for BOX may not be exhibited in other shows, events, or media.

Artists in the following circumstances should contact BOX in advance of making application to Stage One, to ensure that the artist can fully satisfy BOX requirements, subject to the BOX Curator’s discretion: 

  • If during the BOX period a contracted BOX artist intends to apply or has committed to, another concurrent exhibition, is intending to take on gallery representation, or to engage in any other potentially conflicting opportunity.
  • If an an artist applicant has gallery representation. It is the artist’s responsibility in advance of the BOX Stage One to ensure that their gallery contract permits them to apply to BOX, and that they can produce sufficient art from different bodies of work to satisfy both organizations during the BOX period.

28. What will BOX do for me throughout the year?

 BOX Art Show & Sale is celebrating the final November show and intends to move to a different format in 2014, to be announced. BOX will continue to convey information and opportunities to the BOX juried artists but will not be planning any additional shows in 2014.

Updated April 2013

Questions? Contact Cathy Farwell at  or 519.504.3277