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Guidelines for all exhibitions

  • Please read through the guidelines for important information about placing work in our online gallery.
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Photo(s) should be around 500 kb, and should measure at least 1500 pixels on one side
Please submit your photo(s) in the .JPEG format
Please include the work title and your name in the file name, eg: title_artistname.jpg

Note: Please do not include the frame in the image unless it is part of the work. For tips on avoiding ‘keystoning’ in your photographs, please see the section “Photographing your Artwork” below.

Image quality: Image must be clearly focused, well-lit and properly exposed.

For 2D works, there should be no background in the photograph. For 3D works, please use plain or neutral backgrounds.

We reserve the right to refuse images if they do not meet requirements for online exhibition.

Photographing artwork is an art in itself, and professionals use specialized equipment and lots of experience to get great results. If you plan to photograph your artwork yourself, however, here are some tricks to help you get good pictures.

Photocopying Small Works: This is an easy way to get good-quality images without distortion.

Lighting: Colour in your artwork will look different depending on the lights you use. Sunlight gives the most natural colours, so some artists photograph their work outdoors on a sunny day. You can also purchase ‘daylight’ bulbs relatively inexpensively (look for bulbs with a colour temperature of 5000 Kelvin). You can buy inexpensive reflective fixtures made of aluminum at hardware stores. The biggest problem with these is that they dent easily, and dents make noticeable bright spots and shadows in your photographs.

Lighting: Uniformity can often be achieved by ‘eyeballing’ the image before you take the picture. You could also use a light meter to measure the light intensity at the four corners and centre of the artwork, and adjust the lights until all readings are the same. Two light sources – one on either side and equidistant from the work – is a good basic setup.

Lighting: Reflections can be difficult to avoid with some glossy media, or if the piece is in a glass frame. Photographing the work unframed is an obvious way to avoid the latter problem, and you can move your lights around to lessen glossy-media reflections.

Physical setup: Keystoning is the perspective distortion that occurs when the camera is not centered properly before photographing the work (see diagram below). To avoid this, the centre of the camera lens must be lined up with the centre of the artwork, both horizontally and vertically. If the camera is too high, the top of the picture will look wider than it is. If too low, the bottom will look wider. The same applies if the camera is too far to the left or right – the side closer to the camera will look too wide.

To avoid this, hang the picture flat on a wall and put the camera on a tripod. Use a tape measure to ensure that the centre of the lens is at the same height as the centre of the picture. Then, look through the viewfinder to check that the left and right sides of the image look the same length. If they don’t look the same, move the camera left or right until they do. Some cameras display a grid in the viewfinder, and you can use the grid to help align the camera correctly.

The NAC reserves the right to remove any artwork from adjudication that may contravene copyright laws or show standards, or which violates these guidelines. Artwork derived from the work of another artist is not permissible, unless it can be considered “transformative” – demonstrating a significant creative departure from the original (i.e: new expression, meaning or message). All artists should familiarize themselves with copyright laws and the concepts of derivative and transformative art. The NAC respects the cultural rights of indigenous peoples and requests that artists’ work be culturally appropriate. If a work is deemed to be below gallery standards or the subject matter is too sensitive for online exhibition, it may not be accepted.

These exhibitions are open to all members of the NAC. Upon becoming a member, you will be able to create an account to log in to our website. Please log in to submit artwork.

As a service to our members, no entry fees shall be charged. Works sold in exhibitions shall be subject to a 30% commission. The NAC shall collect and submit the provincial sales tax. If you are required to remit any other taxes, that shall be the responsibility of the artist.

If the artwork you are submitting is framed, please indicate whether the price includes the frame.
Packaging and shipping is not included and must be negotiated separately between the purchaser and the artist.
Refunds to purchasers will be charged a processing fee of $5 CDN. Refunds must be requested within 30 days of purchase.

All artwork must be original work produced by the exhibitor and must otherwise conform to our guidelines for submissions.

For details on deadlines, exhibition dates, etc. please see the call for submissions for the specific exhibition you wish to enter.

From time to time the NAC shall present special exhibitions for which different conditions apply. These may be curated exhibitions, juried exhibitions, solo exhibitions, contest exhibitions, etc. Please consult the call for submissions and guidelines for the specific exhibition.
Please contact us for information about renting one of our online galleries for your exhibition. Our very low fees cover administration costs and gallery configuration for your show. Artworks displayed will be subject to our guidelines.
Payments to artists who have sold works shall be processed and mailed at the beginning of the month following the sale. Cheques must be deposited within 6 months of issue. Stale-dated cheques will not be reissued. In this case the amount will be considered a donation, and a donation receipt will be issued on request. If you lose your cheque, please contact the NAC before the 6-month deadline to have it reissued.

Artists with existing contracts with a commercial gallery are responsible for any obligations arising out of those contracts.

If the Nanaimo Arts Council makes payments to artists of more than $500 in a calendar year, it is required by law to issue a T4A slip to that artists. Artists must provide a Social Insurance number if a T4A is required.