Displays and Exhibits Policy

The Library provides occasional exhibit space to individuals or groups wishing to display works of art, crafts and other relevant objects. This free exhibit space enables Library visitors to participate in the creative life of the community, and presents artists with a valued avenue for exhibiting their work.

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.

  • All exhibitors must complete the Hamilton Public Library Displays and Exhibit Application process to be considered.  The application must include digital images of the proposed exhibit. 
  • The Library does not pay exhibit fees. Exhibitors are responsible for obtaining their own damage insurance for the contents of their exhibit.
  • Permission for an individual or group to exhibit is generally for a single occurrence and does not imply the right to repeat exhibits. 
  • Hamilton Public Library does not allow advertisements or solicitations for recruitment, business or fundraising, nor the sale of items. Prices may not be attached to individual works; however, the exhibitor may leave a price list at the information desk or supply a sign listing a contact person, website address and telephone number where visitors can inquire about purchasing information.

The 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.

Selection Criteria

There are a number of criteria that library staff consider when approving an exhibit. Exhibits should be:

  1. Responsive to HPL’s mission and values as well as the diverse interests of the community.
  2. Suitable for showing in a public library (i.e. extremely erotic or gratuitously violent depictions are not acceptable)
  3. From artists or groups who have not recently displayed at the Library.  The Library may approve repeat exhibits by individual artists or groups but prefer giving opportunities to as many artists as possible. 
  4. From Hamilton and area artists and groups, preferably but not exclusively.

Exhibit Areas

The main exhibit areas for displays at the Central Library are the 1st and 4th floors (Gallery4 and Gallery4 Annex). 


Gallery4 provides artists with display space.  Exhibits are generally approved for one month and represent a variety of media, techniques, subjects and styles.  Artists wanting to display in Gallery4 must apply through the annual call.  In addition to the standard Selection Criteria, HPL reviews the following criteria when approving Gallery4 exhibits:

  1. Artist shows commitment to art (e.g. by training, experience).
  2. A polished application including resume and artist statement.

Gallery4 Annex

Gallery4 Annex is exhibit space dedicated to community displays. Exhibits may range from photographs to clothing (Rev Wear) to art created by students. All exhibitors must complete the Hamilton Public Library Displays and Exhibit Application process to be considered.  The application must include digital images of the proposed exhibit.  

Central Library Meeting Rooms

Individuals or groups wishing to use Central Library’s meeting rooms to exhibit their artwork must book and pay for the space as per the Meeting Rooms Policy.

Branch Libraries

Each branch library has different display space. Interested parties should contact the Branch Manager for information.