ABOUT SPARKPLUG

Sparkplug was launched in 2007, as DC Arts Center's artist collective. Approximately ten artists, from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences from the Washington DC area, are selected to come together to form each new group. Over the course of the two year program, Sparkplug members meet on a monthly basis to do critiques and socialize. The structure of the program creates opportunities for camaraderie, productive feedback, and professional development.

If selected to join Sparkplug, members are expected to actively participate in the program. Responsibilities include: continuing to actively create new artwork, attending in-person meetings, and giving constructive feedback to other artists. Being able to work with other members with diverse practices and personalities is critical. Each member is also responsible for hosting at least one meeting in a location within the DC, MD, VA area.

To facilitate the professional development of collective members, DCAC will organize studio visits, offer opportunities for artists to hone presentation skills, and provide resources for artistic enrichment. Sparkplug members are able to tap into a deep roster of alumni members, in addition, DCAC will help initiate new connections with local curators, collectors, and established artists. For each year of the program, DCAC organizes two curated Sparkplug exhibitions for the group in its main gallery.


HOW SPARKPLUG WORKS

Collective members agree to:

  • Meet monthly to participate in critiques, plan exhibitions, and discuss topics related to their art practice
  • Identify resources that will assist in their artistic development and communicate those needs to DCAC
  • Create new work during their two-year membership in Sparkplug
  • Provide artwork for Sparkplug shows and related projects, when requested
  • Abide by the exhibition contracts for Sparkplug shows at DCAC
  • Represent Sparkplug at DCAC events
  • List their participation in Sparkplug in their professional materials (bio, website, blog, etc.) and provide a link to DCAC’s website, www.dcartscenter.org, on their own websites
  • Maintain DCAC membership at the $60 membership level or above while in Sparkplug (membership includes 20% off all DCAC tickets and events; bimonthly calendar of events; FREE 2’x2′ square at 1460 Wallmountables; invitations to member meetings and events)

DCAC agrees to:

  • Provide an advisor who will coordinate monthly meetings and facilitate the planning process for Sparkplug exhibitions and events
  • Provide administrative support to Sparkplug—maintaining a roster of members, scheduling activities, and maintaining Sparkplug’s presence on the DCAC website and in the newsletter
  • Provide opportunities for artists to publicly present their work and helps artists hone their presentation skills
  • Organize a “Blitz Crit” event for Sparkplug members, bringing together a group of local curators for an evening of critiques
  • Make the gallery or theater available for monthly discussions and critiques
  • Work with Sparkplug artists to identify essential outside expertise (legal, technical, curatorial, etc.) and bring knowledgeable professionals to share information at meetings
  • Host two group shows of Sparkplug artists at DCAC and find curators to work with the artists for those exhibitions


To apply for Sparkplug 2021-23, please submit the following:

1) This completed application form, including an artist statement of 200 words or less.

2) An up-to-date résumé or CV.

3) Ten samples of artwork created within the last 5 years, and a list of corresponding work information.


Deadline to Apply is Sunday, November 7, 2021 @ 11:59 p.m.

DC Arts Center accepts proposals from artists and curators on a rolling basis. Artists may submit their own work in order to be considered for a solo exhibition or inclusion in a group exhibition. Curators may submit proposals for solo or group exhibitions. If you are a curator interested in submitting an exhibition proposal, please submit your proposal through the curatorial proposal form

Proposals are reviewed by DCAC's Visual Arts Committee on quarterly basis. Once your proposal is received, our gallery manager may reach out to you to schedule a studio visit or meeting with members of the Visual Arts Committee. 

Exhibitions are generally scheduled 6 to 12 months in advance. 

We are open to applications from all artists working seriously in their field and do not discriminate according to politics, race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

Artist statement, image list, and CV/resume should be uploaded as .pdf or .doc files. 

Images should be submitted as .jpg files. 

Artists wishing to submit samples of video work should provide links to the samples on their website or on a video-sharing site (Vimeo, YouTube etc) in the artwork identification list.

ARTIST SUBMISSION REQUIRED MATERIAL

  • Artist statement
  • CV or Resume 
  • Image Identification List
  • 10-12 images (submitted as .jpg files)

DC Arts Center accepts proposals from artists and curators on a rolling basis. Artists may submit their own work in order to be considered for a solo exhibition or inclusion in a group exhibition. Curators may submit proposals for solo or group exhibitions. If you are an artist interested in submitting your artwork for consideration, please do so through the artist submission form

Proposals are reviewed by DCAC's Visual Arts Committee on quarterly basis. Once your proposal is received, our gallery manager may reach out to you to schedule a studio visit or meeting with members of the Visual Arts Committee. 

Exhibitions are generally scheduled 6 to 12 months in advance. Before submitting, curators should communicate with artists in order to confirm their interest in participating in the proposed exhibition.  

We are open to applications from all artists and curators working seriously in their field and do not discriminate according to politics, race, age, religion, gender or sexual orientation.

CURATORIAL PROPOSAL - REQUIRED MATERIAL

  • Curatorial Statement, outlining the exhibition concept and listing the proposed artists
  • CVs or resumes for the curator and all proposed artists
  • Artwork Identification List
  • 10-12 images of artwork samples (submitted as .jpg files)
Curatorial statement, image list, and CV/resume should be uploaded as .pdf or .doc files. 

Images should be submitted as .jpg files. 

Curators wishing to submit samples of video work should provide links to the samples on the artist's website or on a video-sharing site (Vimeo, YouTube etc) in the artwork identification list.

DC Arts Center