What are the gallery hours? And will someone be there if I come? - sometimes galleries are closed when they are supposed to be open.
Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 2-7p.m. and Saturday noon-5p.m. Manifest has maintained these hours since it opened in January of 2005. These represent 25 hours a week, 100 hours per exhibit, of free public access to Manifest exhibits. Yes, barring extenuating circumstances (emergency, weather conditions, or holiday closures) Manifest honors these hours.
Where can I park when I visit the gallery?
Metered parking is available on the street. Side streets offer unmetered parking. A free parking lot is also available within one-half block north of Manifest on the east side of Woodburn avenue.
Can I take photographs at Manifest?
Yes, if you are taking installation shots for your own reference. Manifest and the artists retain all copyrights to images of artwork or installations. Photography for commercial use is strictly prohibited without prior written consent. Members of the press may photograph installations as needed for reviews, provided proper credit/citation is included in the publication. Manifest provides hi-res images of artwork for press use. Almost every work shown at Manifest, with very few exceptions, is documented in full-color catalogs for each show. These are available for purchase here.
What kind of audience does Manifest program exhibits for? Is it appropriate for kids?
Manifest exists as a reservoir of creative culture for all members of the public. However the nature of the benefit we offer varies depending on interest. Our exhibits are never programmed to target a specific ‘market niche’ of the public. Rather we work to vary the kinds of work and exhibits to present a broad range of high quality creativity within the visual arts to our public. With this in mind we expect that every exhibit will challenge some visitors, and please others, and these experiences will change from show to show. So we program exhibits to vary, and to address a varying audience.
Some exhibits will contain nudity (NUDE is an annual exhibit at Manifest). Rarely do we exhibit things we expect to be considered ‘offensive.’ But some folks think any kind of nudity is unfit for children to see, which we respect. Most exhibits do NOT contain nudity, and there is almost always something exciting for kids to see in the gallery. So we strongly encourage parents to expose children to quality fine art by bringing them to Manifest. If there is concern over content, we recommend checking the nature of the exhibit on the website, calling us, or emailing an inquiry.
I’m not an artist, why should I care about Manifest?
Because Manifest takes a stand for quality in the visual arts, and seeks to be a bridge between ‘high art’ of academia, larger museums, commercial galleries, and the general public. We bring museum-quality exhibits of art from around the world to an unintimidating and easily accessible street-level gallery. We present more contemporary artists and art to the public than many major American art museums!
How long has Manifest been in operation?
Manifest opened its doors to the public for its first exhibit in January of 2005. It began offering Open Figure studio drawing sessions in summer of 2004.
Why is Manifest on Woodburn Avenue in East Walnut Hills?
Manifest gallery occupies a formerly vacant property that is just minutes away from downtown Cincinnati, School for the Creative and Performing Arts, Northern Kentucky University, Art Academy of Cincinnati, University of Cincinnati, and Xavier University. Our mission is designed to relate to academia and particularly to serve students of art and design. So our location enables our relationship with students and faculty of our area colleges and schools.
The residents of our immediate community represent an incredibly wide spectrum of socio-economic backgrounds, all within an historic urban setting. Our location is ideal to serve these residents, the Cincinnati region at large, and the development of a stronghold for creative culture in the community in the face of the ever-increasing decline of appreciation for the visual arts.
Manifest’s formation was, in part, a reaction to conclusive studies in major cities across the nation that have clearly established that the arts play a catalytic role in the revitalization process of depressed communities. Our location is ideally suited to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the East Walnut Hills area, both as a viable business district and a culturally rich, diverse, and desirable place to visit or dwell. We believe the presence of the arts represents an important aspect of a healthy community. The Walnut Hills/East Walnut Hills collaborative vision statement (06 Vision 2010), wherein the arts are named as desirable contributors to future growth and quality of life, clearly echoes our vision.
What else is there to do nearby?
Within very close walking distance are a Chinese restaurant, a coffee shop which serves food and salads too, a fine art portrait studio, another gallery (PAC Gallery), an Asian rug gallery, a knitting store. Within about a mile are the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Playhouse in the Park, Krohn Conservatory, Eden Park, and a nearby shopping district of O’Bryonville where a number of boutiques, galleries, and restaurants are located.
How can I support Manifest?
Becoming a supporting member. Learn how here. Become a project sponsor. Recruit other new supporting members. Visit as often as possible. Tell friends and family about Manifest, and encourage them to visit or take classes. Learn about our history and mission, and if you like what we stand for spread the word! Become a volunteer/intern.
What does being a supporting member mean?
It means you have donated a little bit of your hard-earned money to help fund our programming and operations. But more importantly it means you’ve ‘voted with your dollar’ and added your name to a list of people who think Manifest is something special, and something worth standing for and contributing to. It means you believe in our mission and that you appreciate our stand for quality visual arts in the world.
Do you produce a catalog for every exhibit?
Yes. Manifest produces a full-color catalog documenting each exhibit (or exhibit set for concurrent shows) presented at the gallery. These can be viewed and purchased through the Manifest online bookstore here.
Do you give catalogs to exhibiting artists?
Artists who are awarded solo exhibits receive five free copies of their exhibit catalog. Artists participating in our curated competitive group shows receive one free copy of their exhibit catalog.
Why do you produce catalogs?
Because it is part of Manifest’s mission to document the unique exhibits, and the collection of works combined for each, for public posterity. This also provides a valuable service for exhibiting artists by continuing to make their work visible to the world long after the actual exhibit has ended. Finally, we want our exhibits to serve as research material for students of art. Our publications help make this possible.
What is the INDA and how is it different than the exhibit catalogs?
INDA stands for the International Drawing Annual (originally the National Drawing Annual). This is an ‘exhibit-in-print’ publication which, in and of itself, is considered the exhibit. While our exhibit catalogs are considered very high quality and well designed, they are smaller and contain fewer pages than the INDA. The INDA is a once per year publication that is printed on excellent offset presses, comes in softcover or cloth bound hardcover with dust-jacket, and is more of a coffee-table style collectible book.
The INDA is primarily made up of images, with only very brief descriptive text and artist’s names provided. The prize winners (three per book) have artist statements included. It also regularly includes one or more short essays or other written works about drawing that are juried separately from the artwork submissions. However, we believe it is important to know more about each artist, but did not want to use up valuable art space in the book for such text. So each book has a companion online resource which provides artists’ statements and biographical info for each of the artists included. These can be found here.
Where do you distribute the publications?
The exhibit catalogs and INDA books are sold at Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Other regional venues include Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Hyde Park, the Weston Gallery, The Cincinnati Art Museum bookstore, the Taft Museum of Art bookstore, and Suder’s Art Supply store. The INDA books are also available at Amazon.com and at any bookseller in the U.S. or abroad who requests them wholesale.
Additionally, many libraries around the U.S. and abroad order our publications for their collections, especially libraries of Universities whose faculty or students have exhibited at Manifest.
Where is the Drawing Center Studio located? Is it at the gallery?
How is the Drawing Center Studio related to the Gallery?
The gallery provides museum quality exhibits of art for the benefit of students, the public, and professionals. This is, in essence, the ‘product’ end of the process/product continuum of visual art. That said, we believe in the need to support and respect the entire continuum. So we offer the studio program to balance out the gallery. The studio offers the ‘process’ end of the equation.
What classes are offered at the Studio?
You can learn all about the courses and sessions here.
We provide two types of studio offerings: open sessions and instructed courses/workshops. The open sessions are uninstructed opportunities to draw from the live model. These are offered at least twice a week on a regular schedule throughout the year. The instructed courses sometimes vary depending on interest and instructor availability, however our stable of offerings include Classical Drawing, Object Drawing, Intro. to Life Drawing and Anatomy, and Advanced Life Drawing. Other non-regular workshops are also offered from time to time.
Do I have to pay for the entire 10 week term of a class? What if I cannot attend all sessions?
For open sessions you have the option to pay as you go. This will save you money if you attend fewer, but the flexibility will cost you more than the term fee if you attend more than 7 sessions at the walk-in rate. Either way, registration is required for each individual walk-in session, or for the entire term.
For instructed courses there is no pro-rated option with the occasional exception of a mid-term enrollment with a partial discount. These are approved on a case-by-case basis and dependent upon the instructor’s approval.
Is your studio a school?
Technically no. But in the truest sense of the word, yes. We have a regular corps of expert teaching artists, we have a curriculum, and we have a facility that is ideally suited to teaching and learning drawing. The studio program is simply filling a need. We view it as a higher end continuing education program for student and professional artists, the creative public, or folks who once studied art or design but for some reason find themselves drifted away from doing what they once loved. The program is not so much a ‘community education’ offering. However, most of our courses and sessions are suitable for many different levels of involvement, and the people and space are very warm and welcoming to new learners.
In the end our goal is to make people excellent drawers, and have this mean something in the larger context of their lives and careers.
What is the teaching style for the instructed courses?
The teaching style varies from course to course and instructor to instructor. But all are very flexible and usually work to adjust to the needs and nature of the students. Feedback from participants consistently site our instructors as being enthusiastic, very helpful, friendly, highly skilled, and sensitive.
Is there a regular schedule of classes?
Yes, this can be found here. And the studio calendar can be found here.
The schedule may change slightly from quarter to quarter (we offer four 10 week terms each year). But we try to maintain a more-or-less consistent schedule so long as it works for our participants.
What do sessions and classes cost?
Open Sessions cost $75 for a ten week term ($50 for students with a reference and valid student I.D.). Walk-in (per visit) fee for Open Sessions is $10 with no discounts.
Instructed courses vary, ranging from as low as $150 for students to $250 for non-students. This depends on the nature of the course and other factors. Prices generally include 10 three-hour studio meetings with the instructor. Fees do not cover supplies or any other materials or costs which are at the discretion of the participants.
Special workshops can range widely in price, with the high end being $400 for a week-long (five day/30 hour) intensive workshop.
Do I need to register if I want to take a course or session?
Yes, we must receive a registration form (submitted online) from anyone attending our studio offerings. This means you have read and understood the terms of the course offering, and that you commit to pay the fee. The commitment is VERY important because we maintain small class sizes for ideal instruction, and contract our instructors based on registrations. Register only when you are certain you will be attending the offering.
What if my work is damaged in shipment?
All artists are encouraged to do three things. 1). very carefully package the work for shipment to be sure it cannot be damaged. 2). Insure the work for its fair value with the shipper. 3). Use a shipper with a good reputation, whom you trust, and who offers the kind of insurance you need and can afford for your work.
If a work is damaged in shipment TO Manifest, you will need to contact the carrier to deal with the insurance claim. We will provide whatever support we can within reason on our end to document and confirm the damage.
If a work is damaged in shipment back to you, again you will need to address this with the carrier.
We very rarely find that work is damaged upon arrival (or departure). When work arrives damaged, it is usually broken glass (please consider carefully if you really want to try to ship glass), broken frames which were inadequate from the start and probably very inexpensive frames, or works that were very fragile but packaged very poorly.
Do you have pedestals?
Yes, we have several museum quality pedestals. These are usually painted white or black. They vary widely in size.
How should I pack my work?
Pack your work so it can be repacked exactly as you want, using the same materials you packed it in, and with little time spent figuring it out. Once the work leaves Manifest we can no longer take responsibility for its well being. Pack it in such a way as to make it obvious how it should be repacked. Assume the worst when it comes to how carriers handle work. If ever in doubt, purchase the extra insurance to cover loss or damage.
Please do not use styrofoam peanuts. Or if you do, please bundle them in plastic grocery bags or ziplocks to pack around the work. This helps contain them when we unpack, and prevents an avalanche of peanuts from falling and spreading all over our gallery floor.
We plan to produce a tutorial on specifics for art packing at some point. Tips may also be found by doing a Google search on the topic. PACIN is also a valuable resource.
Do I need to install my own work?
No, we install 99% of all work shown at Manifest. We design the exhibit and very lovingly install the work. However, if you are showing an installation, or a work that is very particular about how it is assembled, then by all means we would appreciate you taking care of it.
How should I frame or present my work?
Generally we request work that is framed to be done so with neutral or contemporary ‘museum style’ framing and matting. But we also realize that framing needs vary depending on the kind of work and intent of the artist. We just want your work to be well presented. Works framed cheaply, or without a sense of good taste reflect poorly on the artist, the artwork, and the gallery.
What does showing at Manifest Gallery do for me?
Provides exposure Provides publication documentation Can provide sales Links you with a network of previous and future Manifest exhibitors
Is Manifest a ‘vanity gallery’?
No. We do not charge artists to be in small exhibitions. We charge them to submit their work to be considered by our jury for highly competitive and extremely carefully curated shows. Manifest is not a vanity gallery. Our fees are in line with the standard entry fee charged by large and small venues around the world. Yet our offerings are generally of far superior quality.
By what method does Manifest curate exhibits?
Manifest’s exhibit development process is two-part and very intense. The curator develops the exhibit theme which must be approved by the Manifest Board of Directors. Submissions are assembled by staff, and presented to a blind jury of six to twelve qualified advisors with an art/design/art history background. The juries are a diverse mix of ages and backgrounds, including active professionals, professors, museum curators, and at least one student. The jury is directed to score based purely on their objective assessment of the quality of the work submitted, without regard to the exhibit space, theme, personal preferences, or logistical considerations. They are provided only the basic information for each work of art, including special notes if necessary to understand the submission. Other than the staff presentation the jury process is silent, with no debate. The jury submits its scores back to staff who tally the results, and then provide the jury-approved works to the curator. Only the works scoring 50% or better are considered jury approved and given to the curator for consideration. Usually there are far too many jury approved works to include in the exhibit. Therefore the curator is directed to assemble work from the approved pool. In this way, having undergone the filter of our jury, the exhibit returns to the person who proposed the concept, and develops thematic and spatial unity. The curatorial stage allows for subjective interpretation and judgment in order to fulfill the initial concept. Emphasizing a two-part objective/subjective process and going to the extra effort to arrange for a variety of inputs into the process has contributed to Manifest’s ongoing success at developing consistently strong exhibits with international participation and recognition. The first criteria, as explained above, is stand-alone quality. The curator then works with the jury-approved pool of entries to assemble an exhibit that will fit into our spaces, achieve balance and some sense of unity throughout, and possibly highlight a prevalent theme or characteristic amongst the works approved. The curator can now make subjective decisions to create an exciting exhibit that has been processed through the broadest possible spectrum of critical judgment. The curator generally honors the jury’s highest scores as automatically included in the exhibit if at all possible.
What we do not do, usually, is provide a scholarly and lengthy judgmental statement about the works that are selected. Partially this is due to a lack of staffing and time, and partially because we feel like the works we ultimately show as a set speak for themselves.
How do you select jurors? And why don’t you publicize the juror’s names?
We do not select jurors based on their predisposition towards a particular kind of art, but rather based on our respect for their informed opinion and our trust in their ability to give thoughtful, objective consideration to the works at hand. Also, we do not like to present our jurors as ‘vanity’ jurors - those with an apparent ‘name’ or reputation. While the artists remain anonymous to the jurors we prefer the jurors to also remain anonymous to the artists and the public. This removes ego from the equation, and also puts the focus on our system and Manifest’s reputation for presenting diverse and high quality exhibits rather than on a celebrity who may have very little to do with our mission or operations.
Do you ever publish the data behind number of applicants and number of artworks submitted to each themed exhibition?
Yes, I believe we have done this for every competitive exhibit we have produced, at least for the past four years. This info is clearly documented in our exhibit history on our website. Preceding years are linked from near the top of the exhibits page. This info is also contained in most exhibit catalogs which are also viewable in PDF form in the website bookstore.
As a non-profit organization, data is important to how we operate. We have to provide stats for grant applications and summary reports on an ongoing basis. So we collect as much info as possible about our exhibit trends.
In general, who is part of the curatorial panel for each jury: is the jury made of Manifest employees, and/or do you included a rotating group of outside consultants?
We make it a point to assemble a diverse (internal/external) jury. The jury makeup is different for each exhibit. These will include internal participants such as the Executive Director and/or one staff member (there are only two paid employees at Manifest), as well as sometimes but not always a board member if one is qualified to participate in the judgement of art. All the others are non-employee advisors. These include local professors, professional artists, critics, art historians, and usually one student, as well as a number of artists/advisors from outside our region.
What does submitting an entry form mean?
It means that you agree to the terms of the project prospectus. This is like a contract. This means that if your work is selected by Manifest for exhibit that you are committing to providing it according to the timeline, and give Manifest the right to publish it in PR, publications, on the website, and other appropriate promotional materials. It also means you are agreeing to pay the entry fee.
Why do you charge entry fees?
Manifest is a very small and tightly budgeted non-profit organization. We charge the fees we do in order to cover the costs of presenting the exhibits. If we did not charge the fees there would be no gallery, no exhibits, no catalogs, and no residual benefit to artists through the publicity we generate.
I see that hundreds of works were submitted to an exhibit, yet only a very small percentage were selected for exhibit. Why is this?
Manifest is a limited space (three galleries). One of our priorities is to present the exhibits we create with very high standards. The exhibit is a work of art that supports the works of art on view. So we work hard to select just the right number of works for an exceptional exhibit presentation. We also choose as much art as possible while bearing all this in mind.
The high number of submissions we receive is an honor Manifest has earned over the years. People respect what we do. They appreciate the consistency of our quality, and the attention their work gets because it is shown at Manifest. So we are fortunate to have many artists eager to share their work in our projects.
If your shows are INTERNATIONAL calls, why do I see so few international artists included in past exhibits?
We are eager to include works from abroad in our projects, and we often do. But the fact is that reaching an international audience is not easy, and will take time. Also, folks abroad find it prohibitive to ship works (even small ones) overseas for exhibit. So we receive significantly fewer submissions from outside the U.S. than we do from within. This naturally results in fewer international artists being exhibited across the years.
Why doesn’t Manifest cover or assist with the payment of shipping costs?
We really wish we could. But as a non-profit on an impossibly slim budget we barely make ends meet as it is. Commercial galleries usually cover return shipping to artists if works don’t sell. But Manifest is not a commercial gallery. We don’t take a large commission on sales. And our purpose is to present and educate.
To pay for, or even spend time arranging shipping, for each work would cost Manifest more staff time and financial resources than we can afford. But we try to make up for this by making the experience and value of showing at Manifest equal to or even great than that provided by other venues, and well worth the cost to get the work to and from our gallery.
What is the best way to submit work?
We highly prefer images emailed, submission of the online entry form, and payment by paypal. The prospectus for projects explains other options, but we find the digital process much more efficient and easier to track.
THINGS NOT TO DO when submitting to Manifest
Do NOT send a CD AND submit images online. Receiving double sets of entry images just causes a delay in our process and could again cause your entry to be disqualified.
Do not submit extra materials that are not specifically requested as part of the entry.
DO NOT print the online form (the web page version) and manually fill it out and mail it in. If using this form PLEASE submit it correctly by clicking the SUBMIT button.
DO NOT submit TWO forms, one online then a second one in the mail. This could lead to you being required to pay an additional fee or disqualified. You MAY include a copy of the online form confirmation email if you wish.
Do not submit powerpoint or other multi-media presentations, unless the presentation method is intrinsic to your artwork or the particular exhibit/project calls for such submissions.
THINGS TO DO when submitting
DO label files with your LAST NAME followed by the entry number as it is noted on your entry form. DO NOT include any other information in the filename other than your last name and entry number. (Example: jones1.jpg, jones2.jpg, etc.) Failure to comply with our file naming convention will result in images being disassociated from your name/entry info and therefore lost in the system. We REALLY don’t like to find that a viable work that the jury prefers is no longer traceable to an artist and therefore eliminated from consideration. Please follow our instructions carefully.
FOR DETAIL or alternate views that support primary entries DO include in the filename the word DETAIL and a sequential number following the word detail. (Example: jones1detail1.jpg, jones1detail2.jpg, jones2detail1.jpg, etc.)
WHAT IF MY WORK IS DIGITAL?
First, use common sense when labeling the media for the work on the entry form. Just telling us ‘photoshop’ is like listing ‘brushes’ as the media for a painting. We do need to know the process that created the piece, but also and more importantly we need to know how it is realized in the gallery. In other words is it presented on an included 54“ wide screen flat panel LED video monitor, projected on the wall, printed on vellum, etc... And if it’s printed we need to know by what method (archival inkjet, dye sub transfer, laser print, etc.)
What do you mean by 1000 pixels and 72dpi? Can I submit works that are non-traditional, or in some way push the boundaries of the ordinary?
What if I want to submit a proposal for a solo exhibit? What do I need to know?
For show proposals, we like to see examples of the actual work we can select for show. Solo shows are curated by our staff. They are not exhibit ‘awards’ that are left up to the artists’ preference for what to show - although we are very happy to work together with artists on the exact selections. Proposals are reviewed once a year, usually in June/July, and selections are made and announced usually by early August for the coming season which begins at the end of September. However proposals are accepted and filed throughout the year.
How do I submit a proposal for a solo or two-person exhibit? How do I submit a proposal for a project I would like to curate at Manifest? If I show at Manifest, can my work be for sale? Does the gallery take a commission on sales? What other policies do you have with regard to selling artwork? Do you represent specific artists? Do you have a ‘stable’ of artists?