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Artist & Curator


The MacLaren’s curatorial team is dedicated to staying current and responsive to the outside arts community. In this spirit, unsolicited submissions from artists and curators are accepted on an ongoing basis. The review process provides a valuable resource for programme development and a means of advancing critical discussion.

Exhibition programming at the MacLaren is generally confirmed three years in advance. Exhibitions reflect a wide range of influences and media, from more traditional to multi-faceted installations, and diverse cultural, material and aesthetic orientations. Priority is given to practicing professional artists who achieve outstanding results while demonstrating consistency, concentrated investigation, and imaginative investment.

The MacLaren’s exhibitions feature work by contemporary Canadian artists in all stages of their careers, especially artists of regional interest. Programmes elucidate concerns around the expanding city of Barrie, the unique landscape of Simcoe County and local histories, fostering links between out exhibitions and our audiences. They also explore the role of language in contemporary visual arts, highlighting the cultural legacy of our building as Barrie’s first public library. In shaping the artistic programme, the curators regularly present exhibitions using artworks from the MacLaren’s Permanent Collection and develop exhibitions that support, reflect and animate the Collection, making it an accessible, relevant and meaningful resource.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions are accepted and reviewed on an ongoing basis. Please allow three months for a response. Due to high volume, not everyone may receive a personal reply. Please email all submissions to While digital submissions are preferred, if hard copy submissions are the only means of conveying information, please mail them to the attention of the curator. Hard copy submissions will not be returned.

Please note that the Carnegie gallery is an event space with large windows, limiting the type of exhibitions suitable for this space. If you are interested in using this space, please confirm suitability with the curator prior to submitting your proposal.

All submissions should contain the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Artist statement (including the media, technique, theme or context of your artwork), maximum 1,000 words
  • Up-to-date curriculum vitae, maximum 3 pages
  • Maximum of twenty digital images and up to three videos (please format images as jpegs at 300 dpi and approximately 10 cm on the long side)
  • Corresponding key list of images, indicating title, date of execution, medium and dimensions
  • Copies of relevant support material (articles, reviews, catalogues, etc.) in PDF form

The MacLaren pays artist fees to exhibiting artists for exhibitions, public discussions and workshops in accordance with the recommended fee schedule set out by CARFAC with advice from CAMDO. The MacLaren is a member of the Ontario Association of Art Galleries, the Ontario Museums Association, the Canadian Museums Association and the Canadian Museum Directors’ Organization, and subscribes to a code of professional standards, ethics and legal requirements as set forth by these organizations.

Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grants

The MacLaren Art Centre is a third-party recommender for Ontario Arts Council (OAC) Exhibition Assistance Grants for 2022-23. Eligible applications will be reviewed on an ongoing, first come first serve basis until funds are depleted. The program opens each year in June. Please visit the OAC website for submission guidelines and to download the application.