31 Galleries That Want To See Your Work in the US

Gallery exhibitions are a crucial element on an artist CV, but for most emerging photographers, landing a gallery show is a daunting proposition. Getting your work seen by curators, critics, collectors, and commercial gallery owners is a major challenge, and getting started is the hardest part.

One way to get the ball rolling is to submit your work to university galleries and regional photographer centers that accept submissions from emerging artists. But how to find these low-hanging galleries? For those of you who could use a little help figuring out how to start showing your work, we worked hard to put together a handy list of approachable galleries in the United States. We personally spoke to dozens of gallery directors about their programs and policies to ensure that our list is comprehensive, accurate, up-to-date, and relevant.

Take the Next Step! Before approaching these galleries about exhibiting your work, you’ve got to do your homework. Download our a Four-Step Approach to Low-Hanging Galleries from ONWARD Source so you’ll know exactly what your next step is.

University Galleries

Valdosta State University and Saint Joseph's University galleries

Valdosta State University and Saint Joseph’s University galleries

Universities are not only a hotbed for artistic appreciation, but they may also be home to some of the most approachable galleries in the United States. Once again, it is important to carefully review the submission guidelines, as all of them are different–one gallery may prefer MFA grads, while another may ask you to come and speak to one of their classes about the work you are exhibiting.

It might take some searching to find a gallery that is the right fit for you, but we’ve gotten you started with our list, below:

Barton College – Wilson, NC

  • Rolling submissions
  • Reviewed by board
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

Bloomsburg University – Bloomsburg, PA

  • Rolling submissions
  • 6-8 artists / 200 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by faculty
  • Artist asked to speak
  • International

Bradley University – Peoria, IL

  • Rolling submissions
  • 50 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by gallery staff & faculty
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • Primarily student work
  • International

Chatham University – Pittsburgh, PA

  • Local / Regional
  • Rolling submissions
  • 6 shows / 40 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by faculty
  • Artist pay shipping

The College of New Rochelle – New Rochelle, NY

  • NY metro area
  • Rolling submissions
  • 13 shows per year (2 galleries)
  • Artist responsible for shipping
  • Artist asked to speak

East Carolina University – Greenville, NC

  • Rolling submissions
  • 2-3 shows per year
  • Reviewed by director & faculty committee
  • Artist pays shipping

Emory and Henry College – Emory, VA

  • Rolling submissions
  • 3 shows per semester
  • Reviewed by faculty committee
  • Artist asked to speak
  • International

Maryland Institute College of Art – Baltimore, MD

  • Rolling submissions
  • 20 exhibitions (various galleries) per year
  • Reviewed by gallery staff & faculty
  • Gallery pays shipping
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

New Hampshire Institute of Art – Manchester, NH

  • Rolling submissions
  • 3-4 artists / 12 submissions per year
  • Artist pay shipping
  • International

Ringling College of Art and Design – Sarasota, FL

  • Rolling submissions
  • 10-15 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by gallery director
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International
Saginaw Valley State University – University Center, MI

  • Rolling submissions
  • 12 shows per year / 30-40 submissions
  • Reviewed by gallery staff & faculty
  • Gallery pays shipping
  • Artist asked to speak

Saint Joseph’s University – Philadelphia, PA

  • Deadline: Jan 31st for following year
  • 6 artists / 200 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by faculty committee
  • Artist pay shipping

Salisbury University – Salisbury, MD

  • Deadline: varies (see website)
  • 6 artists / 40 submissions per year
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

Texas Tech University School of Art – Lubbock, TX

  • Deadline: March for the following year
  • 7-8 shows / 100 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by director & faculty committee
  • Artist pays shipping one way

University of Arizona – Tucson, AZ

  • Rolling submissions
  • 6-8 artists / 20-30 submissions per year
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition

University of Central Florida – Orlando,FL

  • Rolling submissions
  • 10 shows per year
  • Reviewed by faculty committee
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • Artist asked to speak
  • International

University of Dallas – Irving, TX

  • Deadline: April 15 (anything after will be considered for the following year)
  • 7 shows / 100+ submissions per year
  • Reviewed by director & committee
  • Artist asked to speak
  • International

University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL

  • Deadline (Submissions reviewed quarterly)
  • 2-3 artists / 150 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by gallery staff & faculty
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

University of Oregon – Portland, OR

  • Deadline (early 2015)
  • 7 shows per year
  • Reviewed by committee of Portland art community/University staff
  • Artist responsible for shipping & framing
  • Interested in experimental work
  • International

Valdosta State University – Valdosta, GA

  • Deadline: Nov 3, 2014 (for 2015-16 year)
  • 3 artists / 100 submissions per year
  • Gallery pays shipping (US only)


Regional Photography Centers

Newspace Center for Photography and the Center for Fine Art Photography galleries

Newspace Center for Photography and the Center for Fine Art Photography galleries

Regional photography centers are an excellent place to start submitting your work. Many of them have an open deadline and no submission fee, offering the same exposure you’d get in a competition, but allowing you to apply at your leisure.

If you go this route, be sure to read the guidelines for submission, as they vary from center to center. Also, be prepared to be patient–due to the high volumes of submissions they receive, it may take a few months for your portfolio to be reviewed by some of the more popular centers. Check out our list of photo arts centers below:

The Center for Fine Art Photography
Fort Collins, CO

  • Rolling submissions
  • 10-12 shows per year
  • Reviewed by director
  • Artist responsible for shipping
  • Shipping & handling depends on exhibition
  • International

Center for Photography at Woodstock – Woodstock, NY

  • Rolling submissions
  • 2-3 shows / 25 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by center staff
  • Artist responsible for framing & shipping
  • International

Cepa Gallery – Buffalo, NY

  • Rolling submissions
  • 4 big shows / 200+ submissions per year
  • Reviewed by staff
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

Colorado Photographic Arts Center – Denver, CO

  • Rolling submissions
  • 6 shows / 500 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by staff & exhibition committee
  • Artist responsible for framing & shipping
  • International

En Foco – Bronx, NY

  • Local (NY)
  • Deadline varies
  • 3-5 artists / 250 submissions
  • Reviewed by well-known juror
  • Artist invited to speak (honorarium)
  • US artists of diverse cultural backgrounds

Houston Center for Photography – Houston, TX

  • Rolling submissions
  • 12-14 shows per year
  • Reviewed by staff, director & board
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • Artist asked to speak at opening
  • International

Museum of Contemporary Photography – Chicago, IL

  • Rolling submissions
  • 4 shows per year
  • Reviewed by staff members & grad students
  • Framing & shipping depends on exhibition
  • International

Newspace Center for Photography – Portland, OR

  • Deadline: Accept submissions during April and May only
  • 12 shows / 100 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by director & panel of jurors
  • Artist responsible for framing & shipping
  • Artist asked to speak
  • International

RayKo Photo Center – San Francisco, CA

  • Rolling submissions
  • 9-10 shows / 200+ submissions per year
  • Reviewed by gallery director
  • Artist responsible for framing & shipping
  • International

Vermont Center of Photography – Brattleboro, VT

  • Rolling submissions (start accepting work on June 1st for following year)
  • 12 shows per year (6-7 for solo artists) / 50 submissions per year
  • Reviewed by exhibitions committee
  • Artist responsible for installation costs ($250 fee if accepted)
  • International

Viewpoint Photographic Center – Sacramento, CA

  • Deadline varies
  • 20 shows per year
  • Reviewed by committee of 10
  • Artist responsible for shipping
  • International

Next Step

After you identify possible venues for your work, you should do a bit of homework before you make contact. Download our “Four-Step Approach to Low-Hanging Galleries,” a practical guides to approaching galleries.

download-lg2-galleries

Note from ONWARD: our goal was to create a list that is easy to use for anyone to obtain information. To this end, we had three criteria when compiling the list. If we miss any other organizations, drop us a line!

    3 Criteria for 2014 list:

  • The information on submissions and procedure was explicitly stated on the website.
  • Juried exhibitions, competitions, and online gallery are excluded.
  • A representative from the gallery was available for a phone interview.