Guidelines for Exhibitions Proposals



Mahara Gallery presents a range of contemporary and occasionally historical exhibitions spanning a wide range of media and concerns. It is not a collecting gallery. For the last decade it has mounted a busy annual programme of 15-20 shows. 


MAHARA iti is 25 square meters has three white plasterboard walls(14.5m), and a polished concrete floor.


A written proposal should outline the ideas, themes, purpose and nature of the exhibition. It should include a number of images attached as high quality JPEGS. Formal proposals will be considered when possible within a month of receipt. People who arrive without prior warning or an appointment cannot be guaranteed the time it takes to fully consider and discuss a proposal. As our staffing is very small, proposals are considered ongoing, rather than having a formal time-frame around when they are received and considered. Priority is given to Kāpiti and Horowhenua-based artists, but proposals from other artists, places and galleries are also welcomed. Our programme includes nationally and internationally-sourced artists and shows.


Exhibition programme decisions are made by the director in consultation with the board, other staff and external advisers as required. The gallery plans exhibitions up to two years in advance therefore we will be unlikely to be able to develop and present an exhibition at very short notice, but prior-arranged shows still sometimes change at a late stage. It is better therefore to have already made contact and registered interest in case of an opportunity arising sooner than expected.


The gallery also develops retrospective or review exhibitions from time-to-time of individual artists with a national reputation or a substantial body of work spanning a longer time period, again with particular focus on artists associated with this district. The gallery is also interested in exhibition projects which offer opportunities for enriching education or public programmes, interesting ways of engaging diverse audiences, and expanding accepted definitions of art and culture. Potential collaborations with other arts groups, organisations, iwi and educational groups are also welcome.


A well-developed proposal would include the following:

1. A conceptual theme / ideas & philosophy behind it / purpose & nature of the show

2. A working title & hero image

3. Four to six good quality indicative images with titles and dates

4. Relevance to diverse audiences, cultures, abilities & life-long learners

5. Ideas for public programme events and possible partners/sponsors.

6. A current C/V of the artist/s, curator/s, partner/s with referees or reviews where possible or relevant

7. Estimated wall space m2 needed

8. Estimated floor area m2 needed

9. Indicative numbers, sizes and nature of works (eg. wall-based 2D, multi-media or 3D)

10. Media/materials

11. Hanging/installation/special requirements eg. plinths/lighting/ technology

12. Proposed catalogue ideas, other references where relevant

13. Interpretative or research material for didactic panels where possible

14. Project plan & timeline for more complex projects, including an indicative budget and people or further resources required

15. Other commitments/needs


For contemporary shows, recent or new work is expected. Ideally it should not previously have been exhibited in Kāpiti or elsewhere. On agreement of an exhibition date and broad perameters, an exhibition contract would be developed to clarify expectations, roles and commitments for both parties. Any expectation of curatorial fees or requests to support funding applications should be discussed before this time. Mahara is not able to fund the production of artwork or pay artist’s fees. Projects requiring further external funding need to be proposed well in advance. Referee support from Mahara should not be assumed when a proposal is made.


Work should be professionally presented. Works on paper should be matted and preference for unframed presentation should be discussed prior with the director. Some gallery frames are available for use. Artworks should come with professional hanging attachments. Larger size D-rings are preferable to cord. The gallery contracts experienced high-quality exhibition installers. Artists/curators are welcome to assist with layout and final installation. However the Gallery reserves the right to the final decision on selection, layout and presentation.


Please email exhibition proposals to, post or deliver to


The Director

Mahara Gallery

Mahara Place Waikanae 5036