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Art Exhibit Policy

The Cary Memorial Library offers three gallery spaces to community artists (suitable for displaying two-dimensional art): 

  • Piper Gallery (on the Main Level)
  • Walter S. Pierce Gallery (in the Lower Lobby)
  • Meeting Room Gallery (on the Lower Level)

The Library also offers two display cases (suitable for displaying three-dimensional art):

  • Sophia Ho Case (near Mass Ave Entrance)
  • Commons Display Cases (in the Commons area)

The Commons Gallery of Student Art is reserved for art school students from the public schools (K-12) or other local art school programs. 

The Lexington Community Center offers one gallery space to community artists (suitable for displaying two-dimensional art):

  • 2nd Floor Gallery

There are multiple display cases at the Community Center, some of which are reserved for use by the Center. The cases that are available to artists are:

  • Case #1: 33" wide x 52" high x 32" deep (glass on both sides, art will be seen from the front and back)
  • Case #2: 33" wide x 52" high x 32" deep (glass on both sides, art will be seen from the front and back)
  • Case #3: 33" wide x 52" high x 32" deep (glass on both sides, art will be seen from the front and back)
  • Case #6: 31" wide x 64" high x 12" deep (glass on front only)
  • Case #7: 43" wide x 64" high x 12" deep (glass on front only)
  • Case #8: 60" wide x 64" high x 12" deep (glass on front only)

Artists may request multiple cases, please be sure to indicate case choice(s) by number.

Selection and Scheduling of Exhibits

There is an annual selection process for artists wishing to show in one of the Town’s public gallery spaces.

  • January – Call for artists. Information about the process is posted to the Cary Memorial Library’s website. The call will also be published in the Lexington Minuteman, and distributed through the Lexington Council for the Arts email distribution list.
  • March – Applications are due by 5:00 p.m. on the 3rd Friday of March.
  • May – Art Selection Committee meets to select artists during the first week of May. Notifies artists by Friday of the 3rd week in May.

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 determined by the Art Selection Committee. Normally no artist will be accepted for exhibition more often than once every two years.  Artists are asked 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’s Art Coordinator. In some cases, gallery spaces may be subdivided to accommodate more than one art exhibit at a time, or combined to create a larger venue. The Library and the Community Center reserve the right to earmark gallery spaces for departmental exhibits and displays.

Exhibition Logistics

Art exhibits are scheduled as two-month increments.  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 duration of the show (unless other arrangements are agreed upon by both parties).

All two-dimensional gallery spaces 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 or Community Center staff.  If stools or step-ladders are required, artists must provide their own or request one in advance.

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/Community Center will provide the special hanging adhesive which must be used to affix labels to the walls.

The Library and Community Center are public buildings serving people of all ages. We ask that artists ensure that pieces are “family friendly.” Questions about content will be clarified during the application process. A member of the Library or Community Center 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 or Community Center Staff at the time the exhibit is installed.

Exhibits must be removed no earlier than the second to last day, and no later than the last day of the month. The Library and Community Center have no space to store any artwork. Artwork must be removed from the buildings immediately after the exhibit is dismantled.


The Town of Lexington does not hold insurance for artwork on exhibit and is not responsible for loss of or damage to any of the artists’ work.


The exhibitor agrees to indemnify and hold harmless, the Town of Lexington, the Cary Library, and the Lexington Community Center against any theft, damage, or liability as a result of the use of the exhibit space.


Cary Memorial Library Art Coordinator submits basic monthly press releases and website listings. Artists may submit their own publicity to the press. Artists may create and distribute their own postcards or invitations to receptions.   

Artist's Reception

If the artist wishes to host an opening reception, they may use the established Library and Community Center meeting room scheduling process. For more information about booking a space at the library, please use this reservation form ( For information about booking a reception at the Community Center, contact information will be available soon. Meeting spaces at the Library and Community Center book quickly – we cannot guarantee space will be available to all artists.

Responsibility for signage, refreshments, set up, and clean up of a reception rests with the artist. Library and Community Center staff are not available for assistance with receptions. No alcohol may be served at artist receptions.

Sale of Artwork

The Library and Community Center will not engage in selling or negotiating for the sale of artwork on behalf of the artist; however, business cards, price lists, or contact information for the artist may be left in the gallery. The Library and Community Center receive no commission for any artwork sold.