Arlington Public Library has a long history of showcasing community and contemporary art at our locations.
The Library promotes freedom of expression and believes in the American Library Association’s (ALA’s) Visual and Performing Arts in Libraries Bill of Rights. We promote public art as a means to inspire, connect, and facilitate thought provoking and timely conversations. We are pleased to support and spotlight local and diverse art and artists so that a greater number of diverse perspectives can be seen, and more voices can be heard.
Exhibitions may advocate a position or a point of view. However, inclusion in an exhibit or display does not constitute endorsement of the content or a point of view by the Library or the County government.
Exhibitions proposals may advocate a position or a point of view. However, inclusion in an exhibition or display does not constitute endorsement of the content or a point of view by the library or the County government.
- Applications for exhibitions will be accepted on a rolling basis.
- There is no submission charge.
- Artists are invited to submit work with a common theme, style or medium.
- Artists will be notified within 90 days about the Exhibition Committee's decision.
- Artists may resubmit new work after one year of exhibiting at the library.
Selection of Work for Exhibit
The Exhibition Committee, comprised of one staff representative from each of the eight Library locations along with members of the local arts community, meets four times each year to select works for exhibitions. The Exhibition Committee shall decide on the suitability of any art, its framing or support structure, and any visual or written material that might accompany an exhibit. The Committee will determine the number of pieces, the duration of the exhibition and exhibition location. The artist’s showing preferences will be considered once accepted into the program. The Committee reserves the right to select both individual artworks and collaborative art projects. It may provide the opportunity for a one-person show.
The Committee will consider a wide range of artistic expression when deciding on potential exhibitors. In deciding the suitability of any work, the Exhibition Committee is mindful that all segments of the community and all age groups use and view the display area and library locations.
The Committee seeks to satisfy the following objectives in selecting and developing exhibitions:
- Present a variety of works by a diverse group of local artists in the visual and literary arts;
- Help local artists increase their public exposure and find their marketplace;
- Promote the Arlington Library system, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library, and art activities throughout the County.
- Highlight and promote art related materials within the Arlington Public Library collection.
- Reflect the County and Library values of community, inclusion, and connection.
Residence in Arlington is not required but may be considered in the selection process. Works of art may be offered for sale, but this is not a requirement and will not affect committee decisions.
Works of art may be offered for sale, with prices established by the artist.
The artist is responsible for conducting the sale of any work directly with the purchaser, not through library staff. Work sold must remain on exhibit throughout the designated period. The artist must notify the Exhibit Coordinator within 48 hours of a sale so that the artwork may be marked as “sold”at which time the Exhibit Coordinator will be responsible for marking said item as “sold”.
In return for the opportunity to exhibit at the Library, the committee requests that artists consider:
- Contributing 5%, 10%, 15% or 20% of profits to the Friends of the Arlington Public Library (FOAL) via check or online contribution. Contributions to FOAL are tax deductible.
- Teaching a class, leading a discussion, or offering a workshop highlighting their technique(s), art medium or theme.
Works that are not available for purchase must be clearly designated “NFS” (Not for Sale).
For each work, the artist is to provide a display card or title label indicating the name of the work, artist’s name, medium and price (if applicable). For student artists, include the artist's grade/age.
No labels, signs, artwork or other material is to be attached to any walls without both the item and the means of adhesion being approved first by the Exhibition Committee.
- Command strips and monkey hooks are two types of hardware that are allowed.
- Artists using tape that mars or damages library walls will not be invited to exhibit in the future.
Promotion and Marketing
The Library may promote exhibits through print, social media and on the Library’s website.
- Photography - Permission to photograph and reproduce any work accepted in the exhibition by staff for publicity purposes and permission to photograph any work by patrons viewing the exhibition is considered granted.
- Artist Talks - The Exhibition Committee may invite artists to participate in a discussion of their work. Artists are encouraged to promote their exhibition through invitations and announcements.
- Artist Reception - Artists wishing to hold an opening reception should speak with the Exhibition Coordinator. The artist will be responsible for providing any outside publicity and/or refreshments. No alcohol is permitted.
Installation and Deinstallation
Please note that the following policies contain important deadlines.
Exhibit Acceptance - The artist must contact the Exhibition Coordinator within two weeks of being notified that a submission was accepted for exhibition. The artist will email the Exhibition Coordinator at LIB-ArtCommittee@arlingtova.us with preferred exhibition dates and other relevant deadlines, especially for promotional purposes.
Promotional Materials - At least two weeks prior to installation, artists must submit a draft of their promotional materials to the Exhibition Coordinator, listing all works to be shown, together with the retail selling price or the insurance value if ‘Not For Sale.’ Individual tags for each piece must include the name of the piece, name of the artist, and either ‘FOR SALE’ or ‘NOT FOR SALE.’ The promotional materials must also include:
- Artist’s name
- Telephone number
- Instructions for contacting the artist to arrange for the purchase of any artwork
- Brief biography and artist’s statement
Installation and Deinstallation - Artists are responsible for installing and deinstalling work exhibited at the Library. Art work accepted for exhibition may not be mailed to the Library or Exhibition Committee, nor will it be returned by mail.
All artwork must be deinstalled within two weeks of the final exhibition date.
Any unclaimed artwork will become the property of the Arlington Public Library and may be stored or disposed of at the Library’s discretion. The condition of unclaimed artwork will not be guaranteed.