Currated Show Guidance to Exhibitors

GUIDANCE TO EXHIBITORS IN CURATED EXHIBITIONS

Introduction – The VCAC programs the Atrium Gallery to bring lively and accessible art of a high caliber to a large number of people from all walks of life, many of who would not otherwise be exposed to such art.   We do so with the aid of regional artists and organizations.  Curated exhibits in the Atrium Gallery are in addition to regularly scheduled competitive shows on the lower two floors of the Gallery.  Curated exhibits are often designed to educate the public about different art forms and techniques, address topical issues, or highlight the individuals and organizations that create and promote the visual arts in the region.  Solo shows by individual artists are not encouraged.

ABOUT THE ATRIUM GALLERY- Hours, Locations, Exhibits

Limitations on Artwork Content – The Gallery is located in a working public building.  It is NOT a dedicated art gallery.  As such there are limitations on the content of artwork exhibited. Nudity and violent images are not acceptable, nor is overt partisan political content.  Check with the Gallery Coordinator when a question arises.  Objectionable work will be removed when requested by County administrators.  When in doubt about a piece of work check with the Gallery Coordinator.

Gallery CoordinatorCLICK HERE to contact the Gallery Coordinator by email.

Available Exhibit Space – Depending on the size of the artwork to be exhibited, 40 to 50 pieces can be accommodated.  The lengths of the various wall segments are listed below.  Unless cleared with the Gallery Coordinator, there is no provision for 3-dimensional artwork.

4th Floor (150’) (All walls cream-colored grainy vinyl covering)

Elevator Alcove: 12’, 12’

North Wall: 10’

East Wall: 25’, 7’

South Wall: 15’

West Wall: 10’, 54’, 5’

Mounting Limitations – There can be NO holes in the walls, therefore, no nails or similar mounting techniques can be use to mount a show.  An overhead track with cables and sliding hooks are used to hang work.  “Museum putty” can be used to stabilize work, but it will not hold work to the walls.  Double-side spongy 3-M tab will hold some light work to the walls, but other adhesives seldom work.  Listed below are the capacities of the available hanging gear:

  • Wall-mounted Track – 300lbs across 6’ length of track
  • Steel cables – 124; Load capacity: 45lbs per cable
  • Nylon cables – approx. 24; Load capacity: 15lbs per cable
  • Barrel hooks – 118; Load capacity: 33lbs per hook on steel cable; 15lbs on nylon cable
  • Smart Spring Hooks – approx 40 (not recommended on nylon cable) Load capacity: 8.8lbs per hook
  • Spreader bars for work suspended from double cables – 10
  • Wire “feet” to stand work off the wall – 2
  • Foam insulation strips to stabilize double hung work on one cable

Lighting of the Gallery Space – Workplace lighting, augmented by large skylights provide the lighting.  The amount and quality of the light changes during the day.  The lighting is not good during the evening hours, but this is an issue only during evening winter-time receptions.  Lighting is good during work hours when the gallery is open.

Security – Private security officers are on duty 24/7, but their job is not to guard the artwork.  They nevertheless do monitor the artwork and call the Gallery Coordinator when there is a problem.  To our knowledge no work has been stolen from the Gallery.  Some work has been damaged, but this was because the artist had not adequately prepare the work for display.  The employees are very careful with all the artwork and take an “ownership” interest in the Gallery.

ROLE OF VCAC IN CURATED EXHIBITS

Hanging Materials and Equipment – The VCAC provides hanging cables and hooks that slide on the cables to adjust the height of the artwork.  A ladder and other handy tools for hanging artwork are also available.

Entry/Release Forms – Like most galleries, the artist bears the loss or damage to his work.  This arrangement is formalized by having the artists sign an Entry/Release form provided by VCAC.

Temporary Information Labels – The VCAC provides temporary paper labels that should be filled out and attached to front and back of each displayed piece.

Reception – A reception is held in conjunction with each exhibition and concurrent competitive show.  There are no awards for work in the curated exhibits as there is for the winners in the competitive shows.

Press Coverage – The Arts Council distributes to the press schedules of our shows and exhibits.  Additional press releases are also sent out, time permitting.  Regardless of our efforts, press coverage is limited.  Therefore, exhibitors are invited to engage the press and social media to advertise the exhibit.

ROLE OF CURATOR & EXHIBITORS

Supply Work Ready to Install – A surprising number of art pieces arrive in the gallery with no means of mounting them.  Most work should have a cross wire on the back of the work (no more than a ¼ of the way down from the top of the work).  Unusual pieces must still be suspended from one or more cables/hooks.  Call the Gallery Coordinator if there are questions about how a given piece can be installed.

Installs Temporary Labels on Back of ALL Artwork – The rear label is installed to guarantee the Curator and VCAC have ready contact information about the artist.  This information label is frequently needed to prompt artists to pick up their work. The front label is handy for identifying work and is optional for the Curator.  It should be removed once the permanent label is mounted on the wall by the piece.

Furnish and Install Permanent Labels – The curating party prepares and installs permanent labels for each art piece.  Card stock no larger than 3” x 5” is recommended.  The labels can be attached to the walls with tiny squares of 2-sided spongy 3-M tape. The following minimum information should be on each label: Name of the Artist, (Student or Faculty, where applicable), Title of the piece, Medium.  DO NOT INCLUDE PRICES.  If a particular arts organization or institution (e.g. college or university) is mounting the exhibit, its logo and/or name should also appear on the label.

Provide Info Sign – If you have a small sign (e.g. approx. letter-size) that identifies and describes the exhibit, you are encouraged to mount in an appropriate location.

Provide List of Exhibitors – Send to Margaret Travers (vcarts@pacbell.net) a listing of the exhibiting artists, the titles of their work, the medium, and sales price (or NFS) so Margaret can finalize a master price list that is posted on the Main Floor of the Gallery with other price information.  The list should be a WORD table, or an Excel Spreadsheet.

Provide Artist Statements – An exhibition catalog is assembled for each competitive show and curated exhibit.  It is composed of statements by the artists participating in the current shows/exhibits.  These statements normally include general discussions about the artists’ history and approach to his/her art, and more detailed discussions about the work on display.  The materials are not returned to the artists, unless they pick them up.  Statements should be submitted to the Arts Council the day the exhibited is installed.

Secure and Provide to VCAC Release Forms – The Curator distributes and secures  signed release forms from each exhibiting artist, or have all the participating artists sign one form.

Limit Content of Artwork – The curator should screen artwork to be sure it al meets workplace standards – see page 1. “Limitations on Artwork Content”.  Work on display has been removed in the past.  When in doubt about some artwork contact the Gallery Coordinator.

Related Forms and Materials

  1. Judges General Instructions
  2. Individual & Group Entry Forms
  3. Release forms
  4. Temporary Labels
  5. Map to Atrium Gallery and parking