Submission Policies & FAQs

When is the submission deadline for Portal: Governors Island 2019?

The submission Deadline for Portal: Governors Island 2019 is CLOSED. We will open the 2020 application in April 2020

When do submissions start for Portal: GI 2020?

The submission for Portal: GI 2019 will be open April 2020.

When will artists be notified about acceptance?

Artists will be notified no later than July 10, 2019.

How can I bring my artwork to Governors Island?

There are two options:

– you can bring your art on the GI ferry as a carry-on using a cart or dolly.

– you can drop-off your artwork at our warehouse (the address will be emailed to you with the acceptance letter) and have our art mover deliver it to the island (in exchange for a minimum $20 tip to the mover).

Can I drive my car onto Governors Island?

We STRONGLY prefer that you use our art mover or carry your artwork on to the island yourself or use our art mover. Car permission for the ferry is a lengthy process. We make some exceptions for some large-scale/outdoor works.

Can I bring a friend/helper to Governors Island?

Yes, the island is open to the public 7 days a week 10am-6pm. But, without an artist ID badge (you’ll get one during install), your helper might be charged the ferry fee of $2

What are the dates for Portal: GI 2019?

Every Saturday and Sunday from August 31 to September 29, 2019 (five weekends this year).

What are the hours that Portal: GI 2019 is open?

Portal: GI 2019 will be open to the public every weekend in September (also August 31st this year) from 11am-6pm

Will there be a site visit for accepted artists?

Yep. July 26-28

What are the installation dates and times?

Our installation dates begin on Aug. 13th and continue through Aug. 26th, 2019 (11am-5pm). As always, artists may carry or cart their work onto the island. We will have an art mover transporting artworks onto the island. You will receive an email with transportation dates and times. Participants will be informed where to drop off their work to be transported by the art mover.

What are the de-installation dates and times?

De-installation will occur from October 2 – 11, 2019 from 11am-5pm.

Does 4heads take a commission on sales?

Yes, 4heads takes 30% of the retail price of each work sold.

What other expenses does the artist have to expect?

There is no room/exhibition charge. But before installation can begin, all exhibitors must pay a Refundable Deposit of $150 in form of a check which will not be deposited. The deposit will be held by 4heads and will only be cashed in the case that any damage to the facilities is apparent. If no damages are found, the deposit will be returned to the artist as it was received.

Will there be a catalog printed of Portal: GI 2019?

Yes, there will be a catalog printed. The artist is given the option to have one image of their exhibited artwork published for a $30 fee (to help offset printing costs). In exchange, the artist will receive one free catalog which will be for sale at the fair for $20 – artists essentially pre-buy to be included.

What is the required size of the image for the Portal: GI 2019 catalog?

To be represented in the Portal: GI 2019 catalog, please email one image (5″ x 7″, 300dpi) of your exhibited artwork to: This must be a piece that is part of your exhibit.

Image must be accompanied by the following information:
– Artist’s name
– Title of work
– Year of completion
– Medium
– Dimensions in inches
– Your website address

What is the size of a standard Portal: GI room?

Portal: GI takes place in former military residences. Each room is part of an apartment and has windows, doors and closets. There are also outdoor spaces. The interior rooms vary in size from 90sq.ft. to 200sq.ft. Please take a look at the images or the previous year’s video of exhibition spaces to get an idea.

What kind of lighting and electricity is available in the room?

There is one ceiling fixture in each room. We recommend placing “Y” light bulb socket splitters into the existing ceiling fixture which allow for extra bulbs to be inserted (for more information google: “Y light bulb socket splitter”). The existing ceiling fixture cannot be removed or replaced with new fixtures. There are regular outlets in each room. Additional lamps can be plugged into outlets. The artists are fully responsible for any desired additional lighting. Each room has windows and is filled with daylight. Since Portal: GI is a daytime exhibition, most exhibitors have found that the existing fixture in conjunction with the natural light from the windows allows for comfortable viewing.

What am I allowed to do with my Portal: GI exhibition room?

There are some restrictions listed below. But within these guidelines you are free to do anything you see fit as long as the room is returned to the condition it was found in. You can paint your room and transform it according to your vision as long as you do not interfere with the structural integrity of that walls, such as by creating large holes, etc. In brief, the restrictions are:
– You are not allowed to hang anything from the ceiling. The ceiling can not be screwed, nailed or drilled into, or damaged in any way. It can be painted, although it must be returned to white before leaving. In the past, artists have created a wall-mounted grid just below the ceiling to hang works from.
– Each room has hardwood floors. The floors can not be screwed, nailed or drilled into, painted or damaged in any way.
– You may not drill or screw into doors, cabinets, trim or any woodwork.
– The windows and doors may not be removed or altered in any way.

Can the Portal: GI room be locked when the artist is not present?

No, the room can not be locked. We strongly encourage the artists to be present or to have a representative present in their rooms. Those that do, tend to sell more work and make more contacts. There is a closet in each room to which a padlock may be applied. This is recommended for the housing of valuables, tools, computers, etc. We also encourage the artists to install security hangers to secure small works to the wall or installation display.

Can artists share a Portal: GI room?

Yes, but you must apply as a “2 person collaboration”.

What are the safety and security arrangements at Portal: GI?

Each weekend 4heads staff and volunteers will be present but, with over 100 rooms of exhibition, we cannot possibly guard every room. All artists are fully responsible for the safety of their works. We strongly encourage exhibitors to be there as much as possible. For safety and security of the island itself, the Trust for Governors Island has security personnel and emergency ambulances on site.

Is my artwork at Portal: GI insured by 4heads?

No, the artist is solely responsible for the safety of their art works. 4heads recommends using security hangers and for the artist to be present in the exhibition space as much as possible.

Do I have to be present every Saturday and Sunday during the duration of Portal: GI?

No, you are not required to be present on every exhibition day, BUT we strongly encourage you to be there as often as possible, or to have a representative stand in for you. Through our experience, the artists who were present representing their work themselves had the most success in selling work and connecting with gallery scouts, art dealers, journalists, and other artists.

How many visitors come to Portal: GI?

Portal: GI has experienced a constant growth in visitors throughout the past 10 years and is expecting up to 40,000 visitors this season.

How many artists exhibit at Portal: GI?

Each year between 80-100 artists exhibit at Portal: GI.

How many years in a row can an artist exhibit at Portal: GI?

Artists can show a maximum of two consecutive years. After a one year hiatus, artists can apply again

Does 4heads pay for transportation?

4heads only provides transport of artworks from our warehouse space (location to be announced) to Governors Island during the stated installation and de-installation dates. Portal: GI. Artists are required to tip the art movers a minimum of $20. We do not provide any other transportation or financial help.

Does 4heads pay for lodging in New York?


Does 4heads pay for travel to New York?


Does 4heads pay for framing?


Can I bring alcohol to Portal: GI?

No. Bringing alcohol to the island is strictly prohibited. However there are bars and restaurants on the island.

Can I bring my dog or pet to the island?

No, pets are not allowed on the island.

Will the public have access to the rooms during the week or will Portal: GI be closed?

The Buildings will be locked Monday through Friday.

Can the artist take any of their work off the island during Portal: GI?

No, all artwork chosen by the artist to be exhibited with Portal: GI must remain on exhibit through the run of the fair. With 4heads approval in special cases, a buyer may take the work upon purchase. The artist must have a replacement piece for display by the morning of the next Public Day.

Would it be possible to screw a latch and lock on the door of the Portal: GI exhibition room and fill the holes with putty at end of exhibition?

No. The artist is not allowed to install a lock on their room. All rooms must be fully accessible at all times. No alterations are to made to the doors, frames, or trim.

Is it a problem if 100 artists carry their artwork onto the Governors Island ferry at the same time?

No, it is a big ferry. Walk-Ons are welcomed as long as the amount of work can be completely carried on and off the ferry by the artist and/or assistant. The security personnel will not help. It is the artist’s responsibility to manage the load themselves. Carts and dollies are allowed.
The artist is also more than welcome to use our art mover to deliver works to the island. Details about the art mover and the drop-off location will be announced in August.

Did 4heads ever experience any incidents of theft or vandalism at Portal: GI?

With so many exhibition spaces, it is impossible for 4heads to guard them all. We sadly have experienced the theft of small works in the past and therefore emphasize the importance of using security hangers for smaller pieces, and globes for small sculptures. Small electronics items that are not secured in place or locked in a closet have also gone missing on one occasion and again we strongly recommend installing a padlock on the closet of your room. Padlock hasps need not be removed upon de-installation of the exhibition. That said, the artist’s presence during the fair is by far the best security.

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