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Art Exhibit Procedures

The Cary Memorial Library offers three exhibit spaces to community artists: the Piper Gallery (on the Main Level), the Walter S. Pierce Gallery (in the Lower Lobby), and the Meeting Room Gallery. These galleries are suitable for displaying two-dimensional art. The Piper and Pierce Galleries are available for public viewing whenever the library is open; the Meeting Room Gallery is open at the discretion of the library director when meetings are not being held. (No meeting, class or event may be interrupted to set up or remove any exhibit.)

Selection and Scheduling of Exhibits
The Cary Memorial Library Art process begins during the fall for the following year. A call for exhibitors will be published in the Lexington Minuteman newspaper, and simultaneously announced on this website. As soon as the call is published, artists interested in exhibiting in the galleries during the next twelve months should submit the following:

  • A filled-out Art Exhibit Application form, which may be obtained at the Circulation desk or online
  • A title for the exhibit, a brief Artist's Statement (250 words or less), a short biography and resume of career which the library will use in its publicity and signage for the exhibit;
  • A sample of recent work typical of what will be exhibited (either in a website link or a sample of work on up to 10 slides or a CD, with a self-addressed stamped envelope for their return);
  • ​If slides or a CD are not available, the artist will be contacted to appear in person at a meeting with samples of his/her actual artwork.

Submission of applications, statements and biographies may be e-mailed to Images of artwork may not be e-mailed. Alternatively, applications and accompanying materials can be mailed or delivered in person to:

Cary Memorial Library
Attn: Art Selection
1874 Massachusetts Ave.
Lexington, MA 02420

Selection Criteria
Exhibit space is made available to anyone, but, due to high demand, priority will be given to Lexington residents, and subject to such additional criteria as the director shall promulgate. Normally no artist will be accepted for exhibition more often than once every two years. Artists will be allowed to indicate which month(s) they prefer, and which gallery assignments they will accept. The schedule and location of exhibits will be managed by the Library staff. At the discretion of the staff, gallery spaces may be subdivided to accommodate more than one art exhibit at a time, and gallery space may be reserved for Lexington school exhibits.

Exhibition Logistics
Art exhibits are scheduled as month-long exhibits. Artists must be prepared to hang their exhibits within the first two days of the month assigned. All artwork included in the exhibit must remain hanging for the entire month.

The galleries at Cary Memorial Library utilize a special hanging system for artwork. Works must be framed with a wire across the back to accommodate this system. No other method of hanging (tape, glue, tacks, nails, etc.) may be used. Artists (or their representatives) must be prepared to hang their own work with minimal assistance from library staff. If stools or step-ladders are required, artists must provide their own.

The artist will produce a sign, artist's biography, and brief description of the exhibit for display which will fit an 8 ½ x 11 inch paper or cardstock. The artist is also responsible for producing cardstock labels (approximately 2 x 3 ") for each art piece. The library will provide the special hanging adhesive which must be used to affix labels to the walls.

A member of the staff must approve the exhibit after it is hung, and may require changes in layout for appearance or safety considerations. A complete list of the all the artworks contained in the exhibit must be left with the Library staff.

Exhibits must be removed no earlier than the second-last day, and no later than the last day of the month. Cary Memorial Library has no space to store any artwork. Artwork must be removed from the library building immediately after the exhibit is dismantled.

Cary Memorial Library does not hold insurance for artwork on exhibit and is not responsible for loss of or damage to any of the artists' work.

Cary Memorial Library Administration handles all gallery exhibit publicity, including press releases and website listing. Artists may not submit their own publicity to the press. Artists may create and distribute their own postcards or invitations to receptions.

Artist's Reception
The artist may schedule a reception during his/her exhibit, using the library's Meeting Room or the Learning Center, subject to the terms and conditions of the library's Meeting Room Policy.

The reception must be scheduled through the library's Meeting Room booking system. The rooms are heavily used throughout the year; a reception should be scheduled as soon as the artist receives his/her exhibit assignment. Call 781-862-6288 x 251 or use the reservation form to reserve either the Meeting Room or the Learning Center for your reception. (Note: Artists do not need to submit a Room Use Approval Form.) Requests for special table or chair arrangements in the Meeting Room should be made at the time of scheduling. No last-minute changes can be guaranteed.

Responsibility for signage, refreshments, set up, and clean up of a reception rests with the artist. Library staff is not available for assistance with receptions.

Sale of Artwork
The library will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of artwork on behalf of the artist; however, business cards or contact information for the artist may be left in the gallery. Cary Memorial Library receives no commission for any artwork sold.