creative research gallery and drawing center
a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization


    PROPOSAL FORM [link]







SEASON 21 - 2024/2025



Application Deadline Extended: June 23, 2024

Exhibition Season begins late September. Selection of artists is made and season lineup planned (including solo dates) by roughly early to mid-August. Each solo exhibit will then be curated by Manifest's staff in conversation with the artist within several weeks of their assigned exhibition dates.

After reviewing the full prospectus below, find the required application form here.

On average, one-third of Manifest's exhibits are dedicated to solo exhibits. Solo exhibitors have included local, regional, and international artists from as far away as New York City, San Francisco, Canada, and Hong Kong. It is important to our non-profit mission that each of our seasons of free public exhibits consist of a balanced mix of solo and group thematic projects. The group shows provide diversity of approach, media, style, and geographic origin, while the solo exhibits provide a deeper insight into an artist's vision.

Well over 250 artists exhibit (through group and solo shows combined) and over 4000 patrons visit the gallery each year on average; thousands of artists submit works to thematic projects produced at the gallery. Our exhibits are routinely reviewed in local and sometimes national news and art publications (including Sculpture Magazine, Drawing Magazine, and Art Papers among others). And while our focus is on providing a museum-like experience of visual art, patrons and collectors, including museums, watch Manifest and our publications for future acquisitions and exhibitors. We believe this makes the spots in our schedule reserved for solo exhibits highly valuable.

Manifest is eager to receive proposals of various types and accepts these on an ongoing basis, reviewing them starting in early June in consideration for the upcoming season. No notifications are made until the final season schedule is decided (usually by the end of July or early August). The organization is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit founded and operated by artists, and as such operates on a very lean budget with the support of hard won grants as well as thoughtful individual donations to our Annual Fund and in-kind professional services. As such, all submissions to gallery calls and proposals for exhibits include nominal entry/application fees. These are either at or below the national norm for such fees, and we work very hard to maximize all our resources to make the benefits of submission to and participation in our exhibits more valuable than most gallery experiences. The fact that Manifest's non-profit operations are supported in-part by entry fees does not mean that Manifest is a vanity gallery. With a mission to stand for quality in the visual arts, and to serve as a bridge between the community and the highest forms of visual expression, we set our own bar high and generally exceed the expectations of both the exhibiting artists and our patrons with what we do.

In season 10 Manifest expanded its exhibition space by 66%. The museum-quality gallery now comprises nearly 2000 square feet divided between five distinct exhibit spaces of varying proportions and sizes. Total gallery running wall length is approximately 270 feet with all walls being 11.5' in height. All exhibit spaces are appropriately track-lit. The Main Gallery (the largest of the five) and North Gallery have street-facing windows nearly floor to ceiling providing excellent public exposure for the artwork 24/7. Exhibits are open free to the public five days a week for a total of four weeks on view. Images from recent Manifest exhibits can be found in our Facebook albums here. (Please remember, the nature of works previously shown should NOT be considered indicative of what Manifest will exhibit in the future. We are genuinely open to surprise and diverse approaches to visual art.)

In general gallery assignments are decided by the curatorial staff when planning the season. Proposals may suggest a gallery, or indicate the need for a specific type of space. For example, our Central Gallery can be made completely dark even during daytime and is currently outfitted with permanent HD video projection capability. But exhibit size and location will be determined by the curatorial staff at the time of season planning. (Gallery floor plan can be downloaded here.)

Types of proposals:

- Solo exhibits 

- Two person exhibits (while this is acceptable, it is strongly recommended that artists wishing to propose a two-person exhibit submit individual solo proposals, and request consideration of the two-person show as a curatorial option.)* Our system and application form are set up primarily for solo proposals.

- Group shows (while our strong preference is for solo exhibits, we have considered and accepted group proposals in the past). In this case the solo proposal form may be used, and one artist must be the primary contact for the group. We still limit the sample works to 12 total.

*NOTE that our curatorial process also considers the possible combination of solo proposals into small selective group shows when possible, and agreeable to the artists. These have often resulted in exceptional exhibits showcasing a dynamic relationship between the two bodies of work featured.

Eligibility: Anyone can submit a proposal. Artists should bear in mind the need for a consistent and very strong body of work when submitting. Quality of documentation really matters, including installation views, framed/presentation views, etc. when possible.

Media/Genre, etc: Open to all traditional and non-traditional genre and media. Manifest sets out to survey, locate, exhibit, and document excellent quality amongst all types of art. Our record of showing a broad mix speaks for itself.

Cash Award Potential: The Grand Jury Award will result in the awarding of one cash prize (currently $1,000) to a single work selected as the best of each show period across the season (there are 9 show periods each season). The winner will be determined by a re-jury from among a pool of all top-scoring works from each exhibit's jury process across the exhibition period. Solo exhibitors will automatically have one work of their choosing (or Manifest's Director's choosing, should the artist wish it) from their exhibition included in the Grand Jury Award pool. Details on the Grand Jury Awards can be found here.

Marking Manifest's 20th season, every participating exhibitor is awarded a cash honorarium (currenlty $50 for both solo and group show artists) The solo honorarium will increase to $100 in fall 2024. The honorarium has no strings attached (other than full participation in the relevant exhibit). It is a modest thank-you for collaborating with us as we chart our future. However, we realize it may also be helpful as practical support for shipping, framing, delivery, or travel to attend the Manifest exhibit reception events.

Jury and Curator: Manifest's main selection process involves a complex two-part system. Most group exhibits are juried by an anonymous panel of professional and academic advisors from across the U.S. and representing a broad range of expertise. The jury then passes along their recommendations to the exhibit curator who makes the final selections from the jury-approved pool. Solo proposals are handled in a similar way. While artists may provide a specific goal for an exhibit, the final selection and layout of works will be determined by a Manifest curator in consultation with the artist.

Publication: Through nine seasons Manifest Press produced 74 full-color catalogs documenting the works selected for every exhibit presented in our galleries. Starting during Season 10 we shifted to the design of one much larger high quality hard-cover publication documenting each entire season of exhibits, artists, and works shown. This continues Manifest's commitment to long-term documentation and dissemination of our projects, and the expansion of physical exhibits into a broader geography and time frame, while also bringing all exhibits together under one cover each year to create a better product which will be more valuable to the public, teachers, libraries, and exhibiting artists. Each season's book is larger in size than our INDA, INPA, and INPHA publications, and will be designed, printed, and distributed with the same quality and attention to detail. This does not replace those media specific exhibits-in-print, rather it complements them, and we think round out Manifest Press's publication suite nicely.

Each exhibiting artist who is a Manifest Annual Fund Supporting Member at the appropriate level* or above can choose to receive one free copy of the season publication. Exhibiting artists who are not supporting members at the specified level during the season will be able to purchase their copy of the season publication at half price. Solo exhibitors will receive one copy for free regardless of membership status.

The retrospective publication will be planned to be designed and printed within the first quarter of the following season, and expected to ship by the following spring. Manifest's exhibit season runs September to September each year. (The production process for earlier MEA books has been slowed because of the pandemic, and because they are quite large and complex projects—covering each entire season. Nevertheless, this season's book should ship on time as described.) The production timeframe for these retrospective books is subject to change.

Visit Manifest Press to see past catalogs (the former style) and our award-winning INDA, INPA, and INPHA books.

*Become a supporting member at the ARTIST level here.

Delivery and Return of Work: Artists must cover the cost to transport the artwork to and from the gallery. All work selected for the exhibition must arrive ready to install. Works not gallery-ready, or not exhibiting good craftsmanship, may be omitted from the exhibit. Accepted work that differs significantly from the submitted images or suffers from poor presentation, will be disqualified. Please note that professional-level presentation is a must. Work may be hand delivered or shipped. Shipped works must be sent in an easily reusable container/packaging. Works will be returned in the same manner as delivered or via UPS/USPS. Exhibited work will remain on display for the duration of the exhibition. Works not claimed within 30 days of the end of the exhibit will become the property of Manifest.

Insurance: Works will be insured while on gallery premises. Insurance covers theft, vandalism, damage caused by gallery patrons or staff (in accordance with and within limitations of gallery's insurance policy). PLEASE NOTE: Insurance does not cover damage caused during shipping due to any reason, including mishandling by carrier or failure of packaging to protect works in transit. Also not covered is damage caused to work by failure of the work itself, its mounting systems installed by the artist, or disintegration/degradation due to the nature/quality of materials or craftsmanship, or incidental damage to works whose artist-directed presentation methods put them at risk. The artist must be capable of providing proof of value in the event of any necessary insurance claim. In general we recommend artists to have separate insurance coverage on their artworks to ensure full coverage and protection while in transit, and as a supplement to gallery and other venue insurance.

Submission Fee: Each proposal must be accompanied by a $50 non-refundable submission fee. Number of works should be limited to 12 for the initial applicatoin. Fee must be paid by U.S. check or U.S. or International money order made payable to MANIFEST, or by credit card via PayPal. (If paying by PayPal PLEASE use the paypal link provided on the page that follows the submission of the online proposal form.) This link will also be shared in the emailed copy of your form after it is submitted.

What is my fee used for?
Manifest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and state-funded charitable organization operated by artists, for artists, with no significant reserve or endowment. All proceeds from entry fees fund project-related expenses. Not unlike paying a fee to enter a marathon race, this democratically enables our organization's projects to take place. For two decades Manifest has earned an international reputation for producing quality exhibits, and benefiting the artists involved over time, on its meager budget. Our volunteer board of directors and small dedicated mostly part-time all-artist staff work hard to make involvement with Manifest projects well worth the effort and cost to do so. It is important to note that this jury fee is the only cost charged by Manifest for participation.

How many works should I submit?
For proposals we request no more than 12 images be sent for consideration. If the proposal is accepted, additional images may be requested or offered for consideration and further discussion. For group proposals or solo proposals requiring more or less work for some reason, we can accept a different number than the preferred 12 for consideration upon request by email, and at our discretion. While not absolutely necessary, it is highly preferred for works submitted to be available for exhibit if selected, rather than simply offered as a representational sampling of potential future work for exhibit. Our selection committee strongly prefers to know and see what it will be exhibiting before making the commitment, so we ask applicants to indicate "will hold" in the NOTES section of the entry form for any work they can reserve for a potential Manifest show scheduled sometime during the season.

It is advisable that, when possible. submissions include in-context shots revealing how the work appears when on exhibit. It helps our committee to understand the physical nature of the artwork. Such images would be considered 'details' as per the instructions below.

Sale of Work: All work, unless indicated as not for sale (NFS), will be available for sale during exhibit. Manifest Gallery will retain a commission of 30% on all artwork sold during the exhibition. The artist sets the final sale price on the proposal form/agreement.

Images and Info: Manifest accepts only digital images/files for consideration. See specifications below. The Gallery will retain the submitted images of accepted artwork and reserves the right to use the images in publications and gallery publicity. Beyond such use, the artist retains full copyright of exhibited work.

Images must be uploaded using the Dropbox button provided after entry form submission. This link will also be included on the emailed copy of your entry form.

Digital Format: Hi-Res, print-quality images will be requested for accepted works upon conclusion of the final curatorial process which will happen within the season a few months prior to any scheduled exhibition. If suitable images are not provided, the work may not be included in the exhibit or season publication annual.

Entry images must meet the following specifications:

All entry files (regardless of type or media) must be named with artist's last name (underscore) first name, followed by the entry number as noted on the entry form (for example: Jones_Mike_1.jpg). Please DO NOT include any other information in the file name, such as title of work, etc.

Detail, installation, or alternate view images must include the word 'detail' in the filename (for example: Jones_Mike_1detail1.jpg). If you do NOT include the term DETAIL as part of the filename for any additional, extra, installation, or closeup images supporting your entry it will disrupt our process. The copy of your entry form sent by email will provide samples for file-naming.

Information for detail images should NOT be included on the application form. The image files should be in HIGH QUALITY JPEG format, images should be no smaller than 1000 pixels in any direction (about 13”) and be 72dpi. This should result in most image files ranging from 700kb to 2mb in file size but this is only approximate and a rough guideline, not a strict limit.



** Be ABSOLUTELY sure you are sending files at the correct size.

Additional Entry Image Info: Images must be oriented properly (i.e. top of image is top of artwork) and should not include text or borders that are not part of the actual work. When uploading images, it is preferred that you do not include anything other than the entry images in the upload (bio, receipts, signature image, or statement) unless this prospectus specifically calls for it.

For SOLO PROPOSALS we also request a resume/c.v. be uploaded in PDF format.

Any essential information regarding the nature of entries should be included in the notes section for each work on the entry form. Any communications should reference the EXHIBITION PROPOSAL in the subject of the email.

Artists should keep in mind the importance of very good photographic documentation of the works being submitted. In many cases the nature of the presentation of the work in a gallery setting is critical to our jury's judgment of the work for our projects. This is especially true for works that are presented in any way that could be considered non-traditional (unframed, suspended from ceiling, floor-based, etc.). Good detail images should convey the actual physical nature of the work as displayed. This also holds true for photographic works, which vary widely in presentation options from traditional frames, to aluminum prints, to raw paper, and so on.

Keep in mind that presentation matters! How a work is presented is critical to its success in a gallery setting. Choice of framing, mounting, etc., is paramount in delivering an experience of the work to an audience. Take advantage of the 'notes' fields for each entry on the entry form to explain in simple terms how your work is presented (especially if this is not already evident in your submission images). Regardless of various choices the artist may make, Manifest's bottom line is always to present a museum-quality exhibition.

Manifest requests that all video or interactive submissions, or video details illustrating an entry, be in the form of a link to a viewable online copy of each work AND a single representative jpeg image loaded to the project Dropbox. The work should be shown online in its full length
. Note that a jpeg still image must still be submitted to represent the entry in addition to the video material. Please email us if you have any uncertainty about this (

Video links should be provided on the entry form for each work in the VIEWING LINK section, and should link directly to online or downloadable content that does NOT require a login, password or membership to view. These may be in the form of Youtube, Vimeo, Dropbox, or other similar links. Effort should be made to eliminate confusion or extraneous information that may interfere with the jury's viewing of the work. Any extraneous information, or material not considered to be 'the work' will inevitably detract from the jury score for that work.

Links to video entries must remain valid and active through the notification of selection results.


Submitting the entry form indicates that you agree with the conditions of entry and exhibit as outlined in this prospectus, that you are reserving spots in our jury, that you will send the application fee, and that you agree to make your work available and will ship/deliver it to the gallery should it be selected for exhibit. DO NOT submit an application form if you are not prepared to follow through.


General Calendar:

June 23, 2024

Late July - August

Late September, 2024

Mid-September 2025

Extended Deadline for receipt of all materials

Notifications sent by email to all applicants (general timeframe)

Season starts

Season ends


Entry Checklist: (for your convenience and reference only)

Completed proposal form (online submission is required)

Fee paid by check or credit card via PayPal (payable to Manifest)

Digital images formatted as directed and loaded via the Dropbox link provided
Artist's resume loaded via the Dropbox link.





If sending application fee by check, please be sure it is postmarked by the deadline and mailed to:

Manifest Creative Research Gallery and Drawing Center
Exhibition Proposal
P.O. Box 6218
Cincinnati, OH 45206

e-mail with questions



(PLEASE feel free to print, share, or forward this information.)




 Josephine S. Russell
Charitable Trust

Manifest is supported by sustainability funding from the Ohio Arts Council, and through the generous direct contributions of individual supporters and private foundations who care deeply about Manifest's mission for the visual arts.

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closed on sun-mon

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2727 woodburn avenue
cincinnati, ohio 45206

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cincinnati, ohio 45223



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