Artistic Displays and Exhibits Policy


To define the responsibilities of the art jury and purpose and scope of the exhibits at Hamilton Public Library locations and to define procedures for selecting and exhibiting art exhibits.

This policy includes exhibits which are free-standing, placed in cabinets or display windows, attached to Library walls, or attached to exhibit panels owned by the Library.

Hamilton Public Library reserves the right to promote artists and artwork using traditional and social media, advertising, media relations, etc.


  • The library’s artist display and exhibit policy outlines the philosophy and key objectives of the library’s art jury.
  • The ultimate accountability for the management of exhibit spaces lies with the Chief Librarian but in practice is delegated to the Director of Program Development and art jury.
  • The artistic displays and exhibits policy outlines the criteria for selecting and displaying art exhibits.


Art exhibits are presentations of artwork created by professional artists and artisans whose careers are established, mid-career or emerging. The exhibit will present a series of artworks with a cohesive vision and that display an understanding of contemporary art.  

Exhibitors may include artists, makers, artisans, organizations, guilds, cultural groups, collectors, and City of Hamilton working groups and departments.



  1. All exhibited items must be approved by Hamilton Public Library; no substitutions made without Library approval.
  2. Art exhibits are juried by a committee of librarians, managers and directors.
  3. The exhibitor gives permission to Hamilton Public Library to use the images provided during application in publicity without cost.
  4. Exhibitors are to install and deinstall their own work. Hamilton Public Library is not able to provide storage space or tools.
  5. Installation of the exhibits must use the existing hanging hardware or setup and cannot damage the walls or library spaces. Three-dimensional work must be discussed prior to installation.
  6. The Hamilton Public Library Board reserves the right to refuse to display any items considered to be inappropriate and/or unsuitable for a library environment.
  7. Exhibitors are responsible for obtaining their own damage insurance for the contents of their exhibit.
  8. An exhibit is a single occurrence and does not imply the right to repeat exhibits.
  9.  Prices may not be attached. The exhibitor may leave contact information and state “please contact for prices.”
  10. Hamilton Public Library strives to work collaboratively with exhibitors to maintain the integrity of exhibits; however, the Library reserves the right to alter, move, cancel and/or remove an exhibit that is in contravention of this or other library policies. Displays that contravene federal, provincial or municipal laws will not be accepted.

Artistic Exhibits     

  1. Professional status of the artist or artisan is communicated through a CV, resume or online presence showing ongoing engagement and an exhibition history and may or may not be supported by formal education.
  2. Art exhibits can include solo, two-person, or group exhibits.
  3. Hamilton Public Library pays fees for art exhibits to professional artists and artisans in line with CARFAC recommended rates A.1.6 Exhibitions in Other Public Places.

Display Exhibits    

  1. Display exhibits are presentations that may include traveling exhibitions or videos that have a didactic or informational function, craft or art projects created in an art therapy program or art class, craft or art projects created in a social setting, infographics created by reputable organizations, displays of art that are funded through exterior donors or organizations, and other displays that meet the Hamilton Public Library’s mission statement and values
  2. Display exhibits may include craft objects or artworks created by emerging or amateur artists or artisans whose applications do not meet the professional criteria for an Art Exhibit. Applicants are welcome to submit small series and single artworks as display exhibits.
  3. Display exhibits may occur in Hamilton Public Library display spaces, gallery spaces, and other locations on an ad hoc basis.

Selection Criteria  

There are several criteria that the art jury considers when approving an exhibit.

Exhibits must:

    1. Be responsive to Hamilton Public Library’s mission and values.
    2. Represent the diverse interests of the community.
    3. Suitable for showing in a public library space.
    4. Not contravene federal or provincial laws and regulations, or municipal by-laws.
    5. Not contain advertisements or solicitations for recruitment, business or fund-raising.
    6. Not prioritize exhibitors who have recently displayed at the Library. Some groups may have regular exhibits, this does not constitute an ongoing agreement.
    7. Prioritize exhibitors from Hamilton and area.

Potential exhibitors may apply to exhibit a display.

  1. Applications must include digital images of the items that will be exhibited.
  2. All applicants are thanked for submitting their work, however Hamilton Public Library does not have the resources to host all exhibits or to contact all applicants.
  3. Applications will be kept on file for two years.

Publish Date

January 2022