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Art Page

Apply to Exhibit Your Art

Thank you for your interest in our art galleries. The Newton Free Library mounts twenty-three exhibits per year in our two exhibit spaces (Gallery and Main Hall). As one of the busiest public library buildings in Massachusetts, we are a state-of-the-art facility with over 45,000 visitors each month. A jury of professional artists meets twice each year to select shows for the following year.

Eligibility: Two dimensional works by New England region artists.

Proposals are currently being accepted for January-June 2021 exhibit slots.

Rules and Guidelines for Applying and Showing – please follow these instructions:

  • Applicants must be from the New England region.
  • All work presented must be original and produced within the last three years.
  • Giclée reproductions of original work will not be accepted. We do accept giclée printed photographs.
  • We use the Walker System; your work must have a wire across the back to accommodate this system. (We do not show free-standing sculptural pieces.)
  • Artists are responsible for hanging their work using the Walker Rods.
  • If selected please avoid adhering or applying anything directly to our walls.
  • Please refrain from submitting material that is obscene, offensive or otherwise inappropriate for the library environment.
  • One packet per artist, please.
  • If you are applying for a group show, submit one combined packet (see below for more details).
  • If you have shown here before you are welcome to apply again in two years.
  • You must be available to show for at least 4 out of the 6 months in the current round.
  • If you are accepted, the library will determine when your show will take place and in which space. The assignments are fixed and cannot be changed. Please do not request a specific month or gallery space.
  • Incomplete or incorrect submissions will not be considered.

Due Date for Submissions and Posting of Results:

  • All submissions must be received by the Programs and Communications office by Friday, July 10, 2020, 11:59 pm.
  • The committee’s selections will be posted on the About page of our website by Friday, September 11, 2020.
  • If selected we will mail you a packet with further instructions. If not selected you won’t be notified.

Preparing a Packet:
We encourage artists to apply via email. Please send the following as a zip file (preferred method) to (If you are using the Google Drive please name your folder as follows: Last Name_First Name):

  • 12 digital images of recent 2-dimensional, original work in 1200 pixels minimum dimension on the shortest side (4" on the shortest side at 300 dpi), jpg format.
  • Note: It generally takes more than 12 pieces to fill our gallery spaces. If you are accepted please plan accordingly and be prepared to show sufficient pieces to fill the space to which you are assigned, keeping to the same body of work as shown in your submission.
  • The jpgs must be named as follows: Image number_Artist’s last name_dimensions indicating inches or feet_ Name of Piece_Medium_year produced.
  • Please use underscores on the jpgs as seen in this example: 1_Chen_24x23inches_PortraitofRose­_oilacrylicandcharcoaloncanvas_2012
  • A Word document with a numbered list noting image number, artist’s last name, dimensions indicating inches or feet, name of piece, medium, year produced
  • A one-page art-related resumé, 12 point font minimum with the artist name and contact information including an email address, snail mail address and phone number. Indicate if you have shown here before and if so, specify the date.
  • In 50 words or less, a Word document with a brief description of your work. In addition to the 50-word description, any limitations on your ability to show in a given month (due travel plans or other extraordinary circumstances) should be specified here. Again, you must be available to show for at least 4 out of the 6 months in the current round.
  • If you are preparing a group application, send only 12 jpgs (for example for a 3-person show, 4 images per artist), one resumé per artist and one 50-word or less combined description of the works.
  • If you are unable to apply electronically, a flash drive with your images and supporting documents (see above for specifics on the Word docs and naming protocol for images) can be mailed or dropped off  to Newton Free Library, Attn: Ellen Meyers, 330 Homer St., Newton, MA 02459. 

Planning a reception:

  • Once an artist's work is accepted and a show is scheduled, an opening reception may also be planned.
  • The artist is responsible for all refreshments at the reception and for sending out invitational postcards.
  • Serving of alcoholic beverages is prohibited. We will guide you through the process of planning a reception as needed.


  • All publicity is handled by the Programs and Communications Office including a press release, an article in the library newsletter and any signs that are needed for the show.
  • Any promotional materials produced by the artist need to be pre-approved by the Programs and Communications office including invitational postcards.                                                          


  • The Newton Free Library takes no commission for work sold.
  • Price lists are made available to library patrons in the exhibit spaces.


  • The Newton Free Library does not hold insurance for art work on exhibit and is not responsible for loss or damage of the artist's work.
  • Exhibiting artists will be asked to sign a waiver the day the show is hung.

Please contact Ellen Meyers, Programs and Communications Director, 617-796-1410 or email if you have any other questions.