Art Exhibit Guidelines

The goal of the Portsmouth Public Library is to exhibit work by local artists, professional or amateur, which meets objective standards of excellence and artistic quality.

The purpose of the program is to make available to the community artistic experiences which will enhance its appreciation and understanding of various art forms and to give recognition to local artists whose talent and work are of such quality as to warrant the respect of their fellow artists and the general public.

Juried art shows will be judged by the Portsmouth Public Library Jury Committee comprised of local artists, art educators and Portsmouth Public Library staff. Judging will occur prior to the opening of the exhibit and 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners will receive ribbons. A “People’s Choice” winner will be determined by the public’s vote and will be announced during the last week of the exhibit.

The procedures and guidelines for the art exhibits are as follows:


  • Eligible artists must be at least 12 years old and residents of Ohio, Kentucky or West Virginia.
  • Work from all media and styles will be considered.
  • The Library does not carry insurance on artwork loaned to the Library for exhibit. The Library assumes no responsibility for theft, loss, damage or destruction of items left for display. An exhibitor must sign an Agreement to exempt the Portsmouth Public Library and employees from all liability with respect to items on exhibit.
  • The work must be the artist’s original artwork and cannot have been previously exhibited at the library.
  • All artwork will be previewed via photograph or digital image prior to acceptance in any library art exhibit upon approval of the Art Exhibit Committee. All artworks which are legally obscene, including child pornography, or which appeal to prurient interests, and taken as a whole, lack any serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value for minors as measured against local community standards may be rejected for display.
  • The library director will have the final approval for all artwork and exhibits.


  • At this time, we only accept art in two-dimensional format such as paintings, photographs, collages, needle works and other decorative wall-hangings.
  • Art exhibits are scheduled for a period of one month.
  • Size and weight of the exhibit items must be suitable to hang on hook and wires. The maximum size allowed is 16” by 20” with weight not exceeding 15 pounds.
  • All exhibit items must be ready to install with proper hardware such as eyehooks and wire hanger.
  • Installation and removal of exhibit items are completed by the Art Exhibit Committee. Artists must retrieve their artwork from the library no later than three days after the end of the exhibit and the library cannot provide storage space.


  • The Library will be responsible for press releases, publicity and signage for the exhibit.
  • Permission to photograph and reproduce any artwork accepted for exhibition for publicity purposes only is considered granted to the Art Exhibit Committee.
  • Artists with works accepted for the art show are encouraged to submit a one-page biography for guests to browse during the exhibition.


Artwork may be offered for sale but this is not a requirement. Works sold must remain on exhibit until the exhibit is concluded. If an artist offers a work for sale, she/he should provide business cards which will be placed in an artist contact book. Interested parties will be referred to this book. Any sales transactions will be coordinated privately between the artist and purchaser.

The Portsmouth Public Library reserves the right to delay or cancel any exhibit or show due to an unforeseen situation or need of the library to pre-empt the space. Approval of the Art Exhibit Committee to exhibit a work of art does not imply endorsement of the artist’s viewpoints/beliefs or artistic expression by the Portsmouth Public Library system, the Art Exhibit Committee, the Art Jury Committee, library staff or the Library Board of Trustees. Any concerns about an exhibit should be directed in writing to the Art Exhibit Committee and the Library Director.