4.12 Art Exhibition Policy


The Traverse Area District Library strives to encourage education, celebrate culture, deliver entertainment, and inspire community.

To that end, the Library, with the support of the Library Board, does provide a rotating art exhibit program featuring local or regional artists as well as occasionally sponsors online art exhibitions as well as themed art contests or competitions. The programs are designed to encourage community involvement in order to support the arts in the Traverse District Library’s service area.

The public Library may choose to display materials from its own collection or accept applications from individuals to provide items for exhibition in a variety of mediums, reflecting an array of topics and interests, appealing to the diverse interests and concerns of the community.

A Library Arts Committee composed of the Library Director and designees have the sole discretion regarding selection, exhibition period, and in what manner any art at the Library or on the Library’s website is to be exhibited. This committee retains the right to deny or refuse any exhibit proposal and also has the right to cancel an exhibit in its discretion.

Guidelines and Procedures

Selection Criteria for Art Exhibits

The following are general selection criteria, a particular exhibition, contest, or competition may have additional selection criteria as determined appropriate and applicable by the Library Director:

Aesthetics: Exhibit is pleasing to the perceived public and in keeping with the exhibition space design or the theme, topic or purpose of the exhibition, display, competition or contest.

Quality of Exhibit: Art should be in good condition and capable of display in the intended display location.

Suitability of Exhibit: Exhibit must be suitable for the Library’s physical and online limitations. Art to be displayed at the Library or any of its branches should not require climate control, physical security, or other special handling. Art must be available for a period of no less than the number of days the Library desires to hold the art for exhibition.

Compliance: All displays must meet existing State and Federal laws on obscenity, libel, defamation of character, and invasion of privacy. Displays may not promote or represent any activity or purpose that is in violation of local, state, or federal ordinances or laws, including copyright and public performance laws. 

A display shall not be for a commercial purpose, for the solicitation of business, for profit or for fundraising by an outside agency, for religious proselytizing, or to support or oppose a candidate or ballot question.

Granting of permission to display materials does not imply Library endorsement of content; nor will the library accept responsibility for the accuracy or inaccuracy of statements made in such materials.

Art Exhibit Proposal Process

Art submittals will be assessed for approval by the Library Arts Committee. To submit a proposal, please complete and return any application or other submission required in connection with the exhibit, competition or contest. 

Prospective exhibitors should keep in mind that the display space is located in a very open and prominent area of the Library or the Library’s website; as such, it will be viewable by patrons of all ages. Accordingly, the library discourages proposed exhibitions that include significant elements of sexually explicit imagery, nudity, or graphic depictions of violence.

The name of the artist/group responsible for the display must be included in any submission.

Terms Applicable to the Submission of Art to the Library

Grant of License

If you submit your work for consideration, you grant to the Library (and its subsidiaries, successors, and assigns) a non-exclusive, perpetual, world-wide, unlimited, transferable, irrevocable, royalty-free license to: (a) use and publish your work, whether in whole or in part, for any Library related purposes, including but not limited to Library or Library event(s) promotional materials, in any form of media as selected by the Library; and (b) use and publish your name (including any professional name currently used or later adopted by you), likeness, and biographical information in connection with the Work for Library related purposes (collectively, “License”).

Representations and Warranties

By submitting your work to the Library, you make the following representations and warranties to Library: (a) the work is an entirely original work, or original reproduction or adaptation of preexisting works in the public domain; (b) the work has never been published; (c) you have full power and authority to grant the License; (d) the Library’s License will not infringe upon any rights of any third party; (e) at the time of submitting the work, you are the sole and exclusive owner of the work and any rights to the work; and (f) you have not previously assigned or otherwise transferred the work or any rights in the work to any third party that would be infringed upon by your submission of the work and the grant of License to the Library.   


By submitting your work and in consideration of the Library reviewing or displaying your work, you agree to indemnify, defend, and hold TADL harmless from and against any and all Claims  that arise out of or are in connection with any claim of infringement by a third-party with respect to the work.  For purposes of this paragraph, “Claims” means any request for payment for copyright infringement, liability, damage, expense, judgment, settlement, lawsuit, cause of action, proceeding, decree, costs, expense, or fees (including attorney fees).

Artist’s Responsibilities

The artist will meet with a designated Library representative to review guidelines and procedures for coordinating the logistical details of the exhibit.

The artist will complete and sign any submission required by the Library in connection with the exhibition, competition, or contents.  

The artist will supply items that are consistent in form, quality, and content with the original proposal.

The artist assumes all responsibility for transporting exhibit items. For physical installations, receiving, installation and removal dates and times must be coordinated with designated library staff.

The artist will supply titles and desired descriptions for items and provide biographical or historical information as requested.

It is the responsibility of the Artist to insure any art loaned to the Library.

Sale of Art

Sales in conjunction with the exhibit are allowed; however, transactions may not be conducted on Library property and it is the sole responsibility of the artist or organization to maintain a current sales tax license, collect, report and submit the appropriate forms and collected taxes to any taxing entities.

Request for Reconsideration

Persons who object to material exhibited at the Library may file a Request for Reconsideration with the Traverse Area District Library Board.  Following a hearing, the Board shall determine whether the material complies with the Selection Criteria as set forth herein.  The Board will provide notice of the hearing to the Committee and artist(s) affected and provide an opportunity for the objector, the Committee, and the artist(s) affected to be heard regarding whether the material complies with the Selection Criteria. Any request shall be filed at least 15 days prior to the next regular Board Meeting at which the hearing will be conducted.  The Board’s decision will be final.

Care, Preservation and Exhibition

The Library will exercise the same care with respect to physical art exhibitions as it does in the safekeeping of comparable property of its own. Precautions will be taken to protect the exhibition from fire, theft, mishandling, insects and extremes of light, temperature and humidity while in the Library’s custody. 

The Library shall not be responsible for any damage or injury to any art exhibit.   And the artist expressly releases and holds the Library, its officers, employees or agents harmless from any claims due to loss or damage to or theft of an art exhibit while in the Library’s care and custody.

Evidence of damage at the time of receipt of the art or while in the Library’s custody will be reported to the Artist immediately. It is understood that art which in the opinion of the Library show evidence of infestation, may be treated at the discretion of the Library.

The Library has the right to determine which written and interpretive materials will accompany the exhibit.

Delivery and Removal of Art Objects

Arrangements for delivery of all art loaned will be the responsibility of the Artist. The Library cannot accept delivery and will not repack the art. Upon delivery, the Artist and designated Library representative will jointly complete an initial Inventory and Condition Report. The Artist will promptly remove a physical the art exhibit at the end of the exhibition period at a time agreed upon by both parties and the Library and the Artist will jointly complete a final Inventory and Condition Report.

Reproduction and Credit

Unless notified in writing to the contrary, it is understood that the art on exhibit at the Library may be photographed by the general public. Also, the Library may photograph or reproduce the art for educational, catalog, and publicity purposes. Unless otherwise notified in writing, the Library will give credit to the Artist in any publications.

Change in Ownership or Address

It is the responsibility of the Artist or their agent to notify the Library in writing, promptly, if there is any change in ownership of the object(s) or if there is a change in the identity or address of the Artist. The Library assumes no responsibility to search for an artist or owner who cannot be reached at the address of record.


New Policy Adopted on September 17, 2020