Open Call for Artists is Closed 

DEADLINE: Sunday, Oct 22, 2023, 11:59pm ET

APPLICATION FEE: $5* / Free for Jersey City-based applicants**

Jersey Art Book (JAB) Fair organizers are curating their first-ever exhibition entitled “Old School, New Worlds,” to be held January 19 - February 15, 2024 at SMUSH Gallery in Jersey City. 

In this month-long exhibit, "Old School, New Worlds” explores the futures of book arts, printed matter, papermaking and works on paper in the face of distorted, paperless, alternate worlds that we’re constantly coaxed into, and how our physical dimensions of humanity, materiality and connection manifest, resist, co-opt or co-emerge in response to these worlds.

Through this exhibition, JAB Fair's team of curators seeks to expand the field of book arts by supporting multidisciplinary practices that demonstrate a breadth of experimentation across techniques, media, scales and/or technologies.

Selected through our open call, up to four individuals will explore this theme through the lens of Jersey City, our host city for 2024. Selected individuals will each be supported to create an exhibition that will be held at SMUSH Gallery for one month (Jan 19 - Feb 15, 2024) and activate their work during JAB Fair (Feb 3 - 4, 2024).

Who can apply to this Call?

JAB Fair's Call for Artists is open to individuals who:

People of color, LGBTQIA+ people, people with disabilities, non-English speaking people and others who have been historically marginalized or oppressed are especially encouraged to apply.

How To Apply

NOTE: The strongest proposals are those that are flexible and have room to evolve. When developing your application, focus on conceptual language, and describe your work and practice in detail. Include some language about what you’re thinking as far as exhibition design and spatial planning, but please note that this may shift due to a number of factors.

Please see the application form for a full list of questions and requirements. All submitted applications will be considered final. Applicants will not be permitted to edit an application once it has been submitted. Incomplete or duplicate applications will not be considered for final review.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email us at

Key Dates


September 7 Launch Open Call

UPDATED! October 22 Close Open Call

Early November Individuals are notified of application status


January 15-18 Install period

January 19 Exhibition opens with reception

February 3-4 JAB Fair activation events

February 15 Closing reception

February 16 De-install

Selection Process

Call for Artists is open through October 22 at 11:59 pm ET. 

We first evaluate your application for the following four criteria:

If your application meets all the above criteria, it then advances to the next round for content review by a jury of advisors. Advisors change each year but may include JAB Fair alums, DesignShed board members, multidisciplinary professionals, and local leaders in curation, community engagement, publishing and visual arts.

As part of the review process, the jury gives special consideration to applicants who reflect our commitment to promoting diversity and equity, as well as those who present ideas or concepts that could be better represented in the mainstream, commercial, or institutional spaces. Individuals will be notified in early November of their application status.

What do artists receive if accepted?

Venue Resources

* The $5 application fee helps to support JAB Fair's basic operating expenses. We understand that for some, this fee may create a barrier or burden to applying. If this is the case for you, please contact with subject "FEE WAIVER" to request a fee waiver.

** Upon submitting proof of eligibility, all applicants who live, work or study in Jersey City will be reimbursed $5 application fee.