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Art Exhibit Guidelines

View all of our ART Gallery Exhibits

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. A.R.T. Gallery shows will be juried by a committee of jurors. Jurying 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.


A.R.T. Gallery Submission Form and Guidelines

  • Eligible artists must be at least 12 years old and must be residents of Ohio, Kentucky or West Virginia. (Exceptions, such as special shows featuring artwork by local children, will be made at the discretion of the Director.)
  • Art exhibits are displayed for a period of one month.
  • Due to space limitations, each artist may submit a maximum of three (3) pieces of artwork each month. Application and artwork submission deadlines are listed on page 2 of this form.
  • The work must be the artist’s original artwork and cannot have been previously exhibited at the Library.
  • Artwork cannot be constructed from a kit or any other pre-manufactured pattern (i.e. “Paint by Numbers,” etc.)
  • All artwork will be previewed before being approved for display. By completing the application, you are submitting your work to be previewed; this does not guarantee approval to appear in the show. If for any reason your artwork does NOT meet the guidelines, the Library will contact you to pick up the artwork within 3 business days.
  • 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.
  • The Library does not carry insurance on artwork loaned to the Library for exhibition. 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 its employees from all liability with respect to items on exhibit.
  • Installation and removal of exhibit items are completed by the Library; artwork must remain on exhibit until the last day of the month. Artists must retrieve their work no later than three days after the end of the exhibit. After that date, the Library cannot provide storage space.



  • Two-dimensional format includes paintings, photographs, collages, needlework and other decorative wall hangings.
  • Size and weight of 2-D items must be suitable to hang on hooks and wires. There is no minimum or maximum size limit for 2-D submissions; however, the weight of each entry must not exceed 15 lbs.
  • 2-D items must be ready to install with proper hardware such as eyehooks and wire hanger.


  • 3-D artwork should be stable and ready for display in display case.
  • 3-D artwork that requires assembly or installation will not be permitted.
  • No freestanding 3-D artwork outside display case will be permitted.
  • All 3-D artwork should be no greater than 10” x 15” in any direction.
  • 3-D artwork must stand on its own or the artist must provide a stand.
  • The amount of entries and artwork per artist may be limited based on available space in the display case.


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 Library. Accepted artists are encouraged to submit a one-paragraph biography to be included in a brochure 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. 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 preempt the space.

Approval by the Library 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, jurors, 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.