The Art Gallery at the Main library presents exhibitions that promote access to and stimulate interest in a wide variety of ideas. The gallery is open during the library’s regular hours. Admission to the gallery is free and the public is welcome to all events. Funding for the Art Gallery made possible by generous gifts to the Nashville Public Library Foundation.
How are exhibits chosen?
At the main library, exhibition proposals should be directed to the Library’s Arts Coordinator. At each of the branches they should be submitted to the Branch Manager. They are subject to review by an Exhibitions Committee that shall include, but is not limited to: a Library Board and Foundation member; the Library’s Director and Arts Coordinator; a Branch Manager, and a member of the professional art community. The Exhibition Committee will make recommendations to the Director who will then approve or disapprove the recommendation based solely on guidelines set in this policy.
Before submitting a proposal, please review the complete Exhibitions Policy.
NPL Mission Statement
Mission: Inspire Reading, Advance Learning and connect Our Community.
Vision: All members of our diverse community are empowered through limitless learning opportunities to enrich their lives.
We Value: Extraordinary Customer Service, Love of reading, Lifelong Learning, Intellectual Freedom, Innovation, Excellence, Inclusiveness
Objective of Exhibits
In keeping with this mission, NPL, as a major cultural and educational institution, recognizes its unique and exciting potential to reach a broad cross section of the public through its exhibition spaces that are in environments conducive to learning and discovery. To that end, NPL will present exhibitions that promote access to and stimulate interest in a wide variety of ideas.
The Library will organize exhibitions that support its mission, programs, and services. It will utilize resources available in its own collections and will present exhibitions that utilize outside resources available to the Library that support the Library’s mission. The Main Library will present only professionally curated exhibitions in its galleries.
Priorities for Exhibitions
As an institution that serves all of Davidson County in its branches and main library, the Library will focus on presenting exhibitions that are either, but not limited to:
- Related to the particular focus of the Library by highlighting the library’s collections, programs, and services;
- Drawn from the Library’s collections and resources;
- Specific to the Nashville area including but not limited to exhibitions which would stimulate interest in some aspect of its history;
- Significant as a document of the times;
- Co-curated with other institutions, museums, art galleries, libraries and agencies to provide a thematic examination of a particular area of interest to the Library as described in its Mission Statement;
- Curated by other institutions, as described above, agencies or individuals and are of the highest quality and provide examination or viewing of a particular area of interest to the Library as described in its Mission Statement.
- Feature an artist whose work is renowned. The term "renowned" reflects (I) the number of times this artist has had her/his work on public or private display; (II) whether or not the artist has been commissioned to create public art pieces; (III) the number of reviews published about the artist; (IV) whether or not the artist is still producing works or produced works during her/his entire life.
- Comply with all federal state, and local laws including those pertaining to libel, copyright, and pornography. If the Art Committee is unable to determine whether a particular work complies with applicable laws, it will seek advice form the Metro Law Department.
Responsibility for Exhibitions
At the Main Library, exhibition proposals should be directed to the Library’s Arts Coordinator. At each of the branches they should be submitted to the Branch Manager. They are subject to review by an Art Committee that shall include, but is not limited to: a Library Board member; the Library’s Director; the Arts Coordinator; and a member of the professional art community. The Art Committee will review the proposals in order to determine if the proposed exhibit meets with the standards set out in this policy.
Criteria for Exhibitions
The Library will present exhibitions that meet its policy, priorities, and criteria for exhibitions as described herein. The Library’s Art Committee is responsible for reviewing individual exhibitions in order to determine if the proposed exhibition meets the standards set out in this policy, including but not limited to a determination that the proposed exhibition complies with the Library’s mission.
- Particular relevance to the Library’s collections
- Relevance of the work to the community of Nashville as a whole
- Importance as a document of the times
- Artistic merit
- Particular relevance of work or artists to our local area
- Suitability of the format to the Library’s physical limitations
- The renown of the artist(s) whose work will be on exhibit
- Compliance with all federal state, and local laws including those pertaining to libel, copyright, and pornography. If the Art Committee is unable to determine whether a particular work complies with applicable laws, it will seek advice from the Metro Law Department.
The Main Library will only present professionally curated exhibitions in its galleries.
Proposal Stipulations and Requirement
- At the Main Library, all exhibition proposals must be submitted to the Library’s Arts Coordinator and require approval of the Library Art Committee. At each of the Branches they should be submitted to the Branch Manager or designated staff member.
- All proposals must be accompanied by images of representative work, installation images (if available,) resumes of responsible parties, and a record of any other exhibitions for the proposed show.
- Applicants will be notified regarding acceptance or rejection of proposals.
- All publicity for exhibitions must be approved by the Library.
- All exhibitions must conform to the installation specifications of the Library’s designated exhibition spaces. Space for free standing cases or other structures as part of an exhibition is limited and must comply with Fire Department regulation.
- All terms of agreement between the Library and Exhibitors must be stated in a written signed Agreement before the exhibition opens at the Main Library.
- Exhibitions at the Main Library will be installed by the Library’s exhibitions installer unless other arrangements are made. Branch exhibition installation is the responsibility of the exhibitor.
- Reasonable insurance coverage will be provided by the Library. Exhibitors at the Main Library will receive insurance coverage based on the estimated market value stated on the exhibitions checklist. Any loss related to an Exhibition is limited to the terms of the insurance coverage provided.
- In general, the Library cannot be involved in the sale of works on display, and prices for works may not be posted. Inquiries about exhibits will be referred directly to the exhibiting artist or group who may then contact the potential buyer.
Approved by Library Board, effective May 17, 2016.
Exhibition Policy (pdf)