icon_arrow-right icon_arrow-signup icon_arrowtop icon_chevron-signup icon_chevron icon_facebook icon_glass icon_plus icon_rss icon_twitter icon_x icon_youtube icon_instagram

57th Venice Art Biennale 2017

Creative New Zealand is seeking proposals for the official New Zealand presentation at the 57th Venice Biennale. The Venice Biennale is the most prestigious event on the international contemporary visual arts calendar. Both curator or artist-led presentations are welcome.


Closing dates:

Find out who got funded recently


16 Sep 2015

Artforms funded:

This content is tagged as Visual arts .

1. Check your eligibility

This will be New Zealand’s 8th official exhibition at the Venice Biennale. A series of diverse and powerful presentations by New Zealand artists has preceded it and a legacy of brave, affecting, rich, resonant and superbly well  executed work has been built.

Creative New Zealand has a very broad view of the possibilities and form that the 2017 presentation might take.  It has no fixed expectation of a single or multiple artist concepts or of the media and artform. Both curator or artist-led presentations are welcome.   
To be eligible to present in Venice at the New Zealand pavilion:

  • The artist(s) and/or curator must have significant exhibition experience in New Zealand and some experience internationally.  Priority will be given to those with established profiles within the New Zealand contemporary arts sector and internationally.
  • The proposal must include artist(s) that are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents of New Zealand.  Artists can be based overseas. Proposals including international curators and/or collaborators will be considered.
  • The project team must have a history of working collaboratively on significant projects. 
  • The artist(s) and curator will be key members of the exhibition promotion team in New Zealand and Venice. The artist(s) and curator will participate in media interviews and promotional activities, and undertake an ambassadorial role. Media training will be available, if required.

Please note that the artist(s) and/or curator will be required to travel to Venice between 23-30 October 2015 to visit the Biennale and support the selection of the venue for the 2017 pavilion.

2. See what's funded

Please contact Creative New Zealand to discuss your proposal and what’s funded.

3. Make an application

Downloads (application forms and criteria)

Register or Log in

You must contact Creative New Zealand to confirm your eligibility and to receive the proposal guidelines and a coversheet.

You will be required to prepare a proposal of no more than ten A4 pages (excluding support material) including:

1.  Exhibition 

The Venice Biennale is yet to announce the artistic director or curatorial direction for 2017 so proposals do not need to address a specific theme. The site and scale of the New Zealand pavilion will be chosen prior to the end of the current Biennale with the participation of the chosen team.

Proposals need to include details of the proposed exhibition concept, including:

  • a curatorial statement, including suitability and relevance for the Venice Biennale environment and international audiences
  • specific site requirements
  • exhibition catalogue overview, and
  • public programme and/or specific promotional ideas.

2. Budget

A draft budget detailing:

  • new work development and production costs (including materials, any fees for specialist labour, studio assistants etc.)
  • estimated freighting costs (during production phases and getting the work to and from Venice), and
  • exhibition catalogue costs (design, print and bind, freight, duty and taxes)
  • information about possible avenues of support, including both in kind and direct financial support, e.g. support from museums, galleries, tertiary institutions and gallerists.

3. Team

Details of the proposed artist(s) and curator, including the individual team members’ 

  • national and international experience
  • capacity to undertake an exhibition of this international significance
  • previous national and/or international collaborations, and
  • evidence of willingness to undertake promotional and ambassadorial roles. 

Where the curator is employed by an organisation, the application must include a letter of support from the organisation indicating that the curator is being supported and/or released from other curatorial duties to undertake the 2017 Biennale project.

Your proposal must be submitted to Creative New Zealand by 5pm on the closing date.  Late proposals will not be accepted.

4. Assessing applications

Assessment Panel

The selection of the New Zealand participant(s) at the 2017 Biennale will be made by an assessment panel constituted by Creative New Zealand. The Commissioner will lead the process and will make a recommendation to the Arts Council for a final decision. 

The 2017 assessment panel members are:

Alastair Carruthers, Commissioner 2017
Aaron Kreisler, Head, Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury
Dr Caroline Vercoe, Senior Lecturer, Art History, Auckland University
Charlotte Huddleston, Director, St Paul St Gallery
Dayle Mace, Patron 
Heather Galbraith, Associate Professor, Whiti o Rehua School of Art, Massey University and Venice Biennale Commissioner 2015 
Judy Millar, artist, Venice Biennale 2009
Leigh Melville, Head of Patrons 
Michael Prentice, Arts Council 
Rose Evans, Arts Council 

Chaired by Dr Dick Grant, Arts Council Chairman

Criteria for assessment

The following criteria will be applied during the assessment process:


  1. The proposal presents an outstanding exhibition concept, suitable for the Venice Biennale context.
  2. Logistical viability
  3. The financial viability of the exhibition within the resources available.


  1. The artist(s) and curator have significant exhibition records in New Zealand and/or internationally and they are considered by the sector to be at the ‘top of their game’.
  2. The artist(s) and/or curator have established profiles within the New Zealand contemporary arts sector, and internationally.
  3. The artist(s) and curator have a proven track record for completing projects on time and in budget.
  4. The artist(s) and/or curator are prepared to promote the exhibition in New Zealand and internationally.

Note – In the event that the proposals received do not meet the criteria, Creative New Zealand reserves the right to select the exhibition by other means.

5. Notification of results

Decisions will be announced in mid-October 2015.

6. On completion

 All team members are required to participate in a formal evaluation.  Interim reporting during the development stages of the project may be required, this will be negotiated.

7. Who to contact

Jude Chambers
Project Director, NZ at Venice
Manager, International Special Projects & Cultural Exchange

09 373 3070 or 027 483 5230