Western Libraries Art Exhibits

Western Libraries Art Exhibits

On this page: Goals | Criteria for Selection | Security and InsuranceBest PracticesPublicityReception | Safety | Dispute Resolution | Gallery Sites | Forms | Art Exhibits Calendar


  • Nourish intellectual, aesthetic, and creative growth
  • Encourage individuals to contribute to the expansion of public art
  • Promote university and community relations      

Criteria for selection

Exhibit spaces are made available, in accordance with these Guidelines, to all members of the WWU community and also to off-campus exhibitors.

The following criteria apply as exhibit proposals are considered, with the understanding that not all exhibits will meet all criteria. The Libraries reserves the right to approve or disapprove all exhibit requests, to have final approval for the layout of the exhibit, and to make all decisions regarding length of exhibit duration and the placement of the exhibit within the library.

  • Broadness of appeal
  • Relation to events or exhibits in the community
  • Does not promote the partisan political, religious, or social doctrines of any single person or group
  • Reflects vitality, originality, artistic expression, and experimentation
  • Does not promote the financial profit of any individual, organization, or commercial enterprise
  • Satisfies public safety considerations
  • Exhibitor agrees to sign an exhibit proposal with the Libraries

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Security and Insurance

Exhibits are located in high traffic areas whose visibility reduces the likelihood of damage or theft of materials; however, the Libraries takes no responsibility for the security or welfare of exhibits at any time, including during transport, installation, or dismantling. However, if you are interested in obtaining insurance for your exhibit through WWU, please contact either Michelle Becker or Leslie Hall and they will explain the process to you.

Best practices

Exhibits must be well prepared and organized. Coordinating a group show can be particularly challenging, so please allow plenty of time for preparation and installation.

Please be aware of library hours when planning your exhibit installation/deinstallation. Call (360) 650-3049 for updates and information on special hours during holidays, finals week and intersession. Regular hours are posted on the Libraries home page.

Exhibits will have a specific start and end date, although the end date may be extended if scheduling allows. As a general rule, exhibits will be on display for two months, although shorter exhibit times are permissible.

The Libraries reserves the right to use gallery space for library sponsored exhibits.

Tips and tools for hanging your show:

  • Gallery walls should be kept as clean as possible and will remain free of holes.
  • At exhibit installation, the Libraries will provide rods of varying lengths to hang the art work and removable Scotch Wall Mounting tabs, for mounting labels and artists’ statements on the wall(s).
  • Labels for each work should be 3”x5” or smaller, legible, and provide the title, date and name of artist or artists.
  • An artist’s statement is encouraged, and  should provide an overview, be legible and no larger than 8 1/2” x 11”
  • Deinstallation will include removing all labels, statements and mounting tabs from the wall (s) and returning the rods to an Exhibits Committee member or appropriate service desk.
  • Please contact the Exhibits Committee when you have firmed up the time and date for deinstallation.

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Each gallery will be linked to the Western Libraries website. Photos and the artist’s statement will be posted for the duration of the exhibit and then moved to the Art Exhibit Archives. Additionally, exhibit information will be added to Library news posts, Library and campus Facebook posts and posts to the Bellingham Herald. An article, based on the artist’s statement and including exhibit photos, will be sent to Western Today and the AS Review and exhibit dates will be sent to the AS Calendar.

The Libraries may, at their discretion, photograph exhibits for reproduction in the Libraries’ publications or web pages.


Please note: if you are considering a reception in the Libraries, please contact Connie Mallison in the administration office - (360) 650-4447 - for details. You will need to complete and turn in a Library Event (External) Request Form. It is recommended that events be approved at least 30 days in advance. No events are scheduled during the last 2 weeks of the quarter.


Exhibits must be placed so as to accommodate physical safety considerations and disability access.

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Dispute Resolution

Western Libraries subscribes to the American Library Association’s Library Bill of Rights as it applies to exhibit spaces, specifically:

The library should not censor or remove an exhibit because some members of the community may disagree with its content. Those who object to the content of any exhibit held at the library should be able to submit their complaint and/or their own exhibit proposal to be judged according to the policies established by the library.

Challenges of an exhibit may be sent in writing to the Exhibits Committee. The Libraries will respond to written statements as follows:

  • The individual will be notified that the Libraries has received his/her written statement of concern.
  • A copy of the statement is to be forwarded through the supervisory chain.
  • A review process will be conducted in a timely manner by the Libraries administration in response to an individual’s statement of concern.
  • While a concern is being considered, there will be no change in the status of the exhibit.
  • Upon completion of the review process, the appropriate administrator will notify the individual of the Libraries’ decision.
  • The individual may appeal the decision to the Provost.

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Gallery sites

The Libraries currently has three sites available for hanging art, all on the Wilson side. We encourage you to visit the gallery spaces prior to selecting one for your exhibit.

  • Gallery 1 (Skybridge Gallery) - 2nd floor, adjacent to the Daylight Lounge and Skybridge stairs - see the space: gallery1 | gallery1_alt
  • Gallery 2 - 3rd floor, balcony area overlooking the Skybridge - see the space: gallery2
  • Gallery 3 - 3rd floor, East hallway near Childrens Collection - see the space: gallery3 | gallery3_alt

Required Form

Please complete and send the form below. We must receive it in order to move forward with your exhibit plans.

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