Collage of images featuring pumpkins, cabbage, peppers, a paintbrush, table, and Conservatory with a lime green background

Submit Your Application

Around the Table: Stories of the Foods We Love

June 4–September 11, 2022

NYBG is now accepting proposals to design tables to be placed throughout the 250-acre indoor-outdoor campus for the duration of the exhibition. We invite artists who live or work in the Bronx to submit proposals. Designs may depict any edible plant or plant ingredient (leaves, fruit, roots, seeds, etc.) or tell the story of a favorite recipe made with plant ingredients. Celebrations of family gatherings or cultural traditions, as well as designs that bring to light often overlooked stories are encouraged. Designs may be developed individually, or created in partnership with chefs, foragers, scientists, gardeners, and culture bearers. Be inspired by your favorite dish, indulge your curiosity about a previously unknown (to you) plant, or highlight a plant (or group of plants) and associated dishes that signifies home to you. Accepted media include: paint; collage; bead, wood, or tile embellishments; wood carving, and use of recycled materials; and other media appropriate and safe for visitor use. Electronic components including light or sound will not be accepted.

Approximately 20-30 tables will be displayed along with accompanying interpretation that will offer visitors the opportunity to learn more about the plants’ history and cultural significance. Visitors will be prompted to share their own food stories in the form of recorded video or audio messages (using their own mobile devices), or leaving messages, drawings, or recipes at the tables.

The application process is now closed.

  1. Artists may choose from one type of accessible table:

    • A rectangular unfinished cedar table with attached benches (approximate overall footprint 82” x 32”)

    Final table images and specifications will be provided when selected artists are notified. Tables will be provided by NYBG.

    • Designs should center around plants and/or foods that lend themselves to plant stories that align with the major themes of the exhibition.
    • Accepted media include: paint; collage; bead, wood, or tile embellishments; wood carving, and use of recycled materials; and other media appropriate and safe for visitor use. Electronic components including light or sound will not be accepted.
    • Artists are required to submit a sketch prior to executing their design, which is subject to approval by NYBG.
    • NYBG’s audience includes visitors of all ages and individuals of varying degrees of knowledge about plants and the natural world. All designs should be appropriate for public display.
  2. New York City artists, members of the exhibition advisory committee, and NYBG staff will select designs.

  3. NYBG will provide selected artists with unfinished tables for them to augment. Artists will be responsible for the cost of supplies other than the tables. Artists are encouraged to work onsite at NYBG from April 4–May 5, 2022. Artists who wish to work on their tables offsite will be responsible for transportation and related costs. All tables must be completed and onsite at NYBG no later than May 5, 2022.

    All tables will be coated with a clear varnish to preserve the artist’s design. NYBG reserves the right to perform touch ups as needed throughout the duration of the exhibition, as tables will be subject to the wear and tear of daily visitor use. Artists are encouraged to take daily use into consideration in developing the design and selecting materials. Touch up materials should be provided to NYBG on completion of the table.

  4. The exhibition will be on view outdoors at NYBG from June 4–September 11, 2022. Tables will be placed in select locations throughout the 250-acre Garden landscape for the duration of the exhibition. Tables will be subject to all weather conditions, and will be used by a projected 300,000 visitors over the course of the exhibition period. NYBG will be the final determiner of the display locations of all tables, and will reserve the right to relocate them or remove them from view at any time during the exhibition.

    At the conclusion of the exhibition, NYBG will partner with Bronx-based community gardens to place tables in these outdoor spaces. After the exhibition is over the future care, condition, and repair of the tables with be at the sole discretion of the receiving community garden/organization. Artists who do not wish to pass their tables on to an organization may arrange to collect their tables from NYBG no later than September 30, 2022 at their expense.

  5. NYBG will provide one table to each participating artist. An honorarium of $5,000 will be provided for the artist fee and associated materials.

  6. Submit the following to NYBG using the form at the bottom of this page no later than March 7, 2022:

    • Completed application form with address
    • Written description of the plant or food story (not to exceed 500 words) with up to three (3) sketches, drawings, or sample images
    • A bio or CV (not to exceed 2 pages)
    • Deadline for submission: March 7, 2022
    • Notification of selection: March 14, 2022
    • Onsite artist workspace available: April 4-May 5, 2022
    • Onsite work complete: May 5, 2022
  7. All Artists and table designs are subject to Around the Table exhibition rules including, but not limited to, those relating to the application, selection, design, production, display and post-exhibition processes. Artists must sign a participation agreement confirming their understanding and compliance with these rules and complete a W-9 form prior to the payment of any honorarium or exhibition of their design. Following is a partial summary of exhibition rules, as may be changed by NYBG in its sole discretion. A fuller description of exhibition legal terms and conditions may be found here. The submission of a proposal shall be deemed as an Artist’s full acceptance of such terms and conditions whether or not summarized in this Call for Artists.


    • Submissions will only be accepted via
    • Late submissions will not be reviewed
    • Only complete applications will be considered
    • Submissions will not be returned


    • Tables will be the property of NYBG, etc.
    • Artists will retain copyright in their design
    • Table designs must be original works of art which do not infringe upon the intellectual property rights of others.
    • NYBG will retain a non-exclusive, royalty-free, worldwide license to use the table design in perpetuity for any lawful purpose in any media and may engage third-parties as necessary to accomplish these objectives.

Have a question? Please email