Sharjah Art Foundation announces its open call for the 2023 iteration of Vantage Point Sharjah (VPS), its annual photography exhibition. As part of deepening its support of photographic practice in the region, the 11th edition of VPS will include a new and expansive vision. VPS11 will identify five talented emerging artists from, or based in, Africa and Asia who use photography as a central medium in their practice, exhibit their work and mentor them.
Artists who apply to the VPS open call with their portfolio will be chosen on the strength of their submission. The five selected artists will get to present their work in a group exhibition, which will take place from 18 October 2023 to 10 March 2024 in Old Al Diwan Al Amiri in Al Hamriyah. They will be encouraged to present their work in creative formats, using a small amount of production funds provided by the Foundation. The artists will also be paired with a professional in their field, who will conduct a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions with them.
How to apply
Please apply through the form here. Only applications submitted through this link will be considered.
The deadline for submission is 11:59 pm, UAE local time (GMT +4), on 10 June 2023. Submissions received after the deadline will not be accepted.
Who can apply for the open call?
• Applicants should be born in, based in, or part of the diaspora of Africa and Asia.
• They should not have had institutional solo exhibitions before the date of the application.
• They should have at least three bodies/series of existing photographic work.
What materials do I need to submit?
To apply to the open call, you will need to submit a portfolio (PDF format, under 20 MB), CV and biography. There is no required number of items or format for the portfolio; it can include work images, installation photos, videos, statements and reviews.
How many artists will be selected, and how?
A total of five artists will be selected by Foundation staff. Deliberations will be strictly based on the submitted portfolio, and applications that do not meet the submission criteria will be automatically disqualified.
What will I receive if I am selected?
The selected artists will participate in the VPS11 exhibition and receive a standard artist fee. All works for the exhibition will be produced in Sharjah with the professional and financial support of the Foundation. A printed booklet for the exhibition, featuring the artists and their works, will be published.
All artists will be invited to Sharjah for the exhibition and offered opportunities to participate in public programmes and digital projects produced and distributed by the Foundation. They will also take part in a minimum of three mentoring sessions with a professional in the field.
Which works will be shown in the exhibition, and how will they be produced?
Exhibited works will be selected mainly from the artist’s portfolio in conversation with Foundation staff. However, artists are highly encouraged to include new works or new elements in the exhibition. There is no maximum number of works, but space and production budgets will be limited.
The production of the exhibited works—any type of fabrication, including printing and framing—should take place in Sharjah and use the resources of the Foundation. All works produced for the exhibition are temporary copies; if the artist wishes to keep the works after the exhibition, packaging, crating, shipping and customs costs should be borne by the artist.
When and where will the exhibition take place?
The VPS11 exhibition will take place from 18 October 2023 to 3 March 2024 in Old Al Diwan Al Amiri in Al Hamriyah. A former ruler’s court, the Old Al Diwan Al Amiri was reactivated into an exhibition and gathering space in 2023 and equipped with a dark room, cafe and shop.
How does the mentoring programme work?
The mentor can be any type of art professional—artist, critic, curator and/or researcher. The mentor can be either proposed by the artist or recommended by the Foundation. If the mentor suggested by the artist is not available during the required dates, the Foundation will recommend a different mentor based on the artist’s interests.