Exhibit Guidelines

These guidelines apply to the two primary gallery spaces within the library, located on level 2. The first, known as the Mezzanine Gallery, is located at the top of the center staircase, and is available for faculty, staff, and community/ other non-student artists' exhibits. The second, the Beyond Words gallery, is located on the outside wall of the Collection Management offices, and is available for current Amherst College students' exhibits. Other exhibit space in the library is maintained by Archives and Special Collections for the display of items from its collections. After reviewing these guidelines, interested parties should submit a proposal using our online form to have their work considered for use of exhibit space. These guidelines are informed by the “ALA Statement on Exhibit Spaces and Bulletin Boards: An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights.”

If you have trouble with the form or questions about the space and exhibition possibilities, please contact Blake Doherty, Chair of the Library's Program Committee.

Criteria for Selection

Requests to exhibit will be reviewed and approved at the discretion of the Library Program Committee. Exhibits are chosen that, broadly speaking, support the mission and vision of the library and the college. Criteria for selection include the following:

  • Relevance of subject matter to the library’s mission and values, collections and resources, and promotion of the library as a place of learning and scholarship. Relevance of subject matter to the broader mission of Amherst College
  • Potential for community engagement through education on particular topics
  • Relation to other exhibits, programs, or events in the community
  • Popular appeal to wide audiences and diverse community interests
  • Quality of exhibit design, implementation, and artistic merit
  • Willingness on the part of exhibitors to prepare and hang art for display
  • Suitability to and availability of exhibit spaces
  • Preference for the Mezzanine Gallery will be given to exhibitors willing to display work for the duration of a school semester
  • Preference will be given to exhibitors affiliated with the college (e.g., students, faculty, or staff)

Exhibit Spaces

Note: No security or anti-theft devices are available for Frost gallery spaces.

Mezzanine Gallery

The Mezzanine Gallery encompasses one wall on the North side of the mezzanine (2nd floor, Frost), with a total of nine floor-to-ceiling panels). The Mezzanine Gallery is a non-student exhibit space (open to Amherst College faculty, staff, community members, and other non-student artists).

  • Seven 46” wide panels, one 76” panel, and one 82” panel
  • Recessed spotlights in the ceiling
  • Wall track, rod-and-cable hanging system

Beyond Words Gallery

The Beyond Words Gallery encompasses two walls on the 2nd floor of Frost (outside of Technical Services offices). The Beyond Words Gallery is a student exhibit space, available to Amherst College student artists.

  • East wall: one 192” section, one 230” section
  • No dedicated spot lighting
  • Wall track, rod-and-cable hanging system

Potential exhibitors are encouraged to visit the space in person to judge its suitability for the display of their work.


An announcement of the exhibit will be posted on the library website and submitted to the Amherst College event calendar. Exhibitors are responsible for publicity beyond that provided by the library.

For exhibits, an artist’s talk and opening reception may be arranged. Talks and receptions are typically held in the Friendly Reading Room, Room 211, or around the Mezzanine/ Beyond Words gallery spaces. Library events are generally held from 4:30-6:00 pm, Monday-Thursday.

Responsibilities of Artist/Exhibit Organizer

Artists and/or exhibit organizers must be prepared to:

  • Provide an inventory of works to be included in exhibit
  • Have all works prepared and ready to hang in the gallery by the date specified by the library
  • Transport all works to and from the library
  • Install and remove exhibit. A member of the Program Committee or library personnel must be present.
  • Provide any exhibit labels (including title cards, artist statements, etc.) mounted and ready-to-hang
  • Remove the exhibit by the date specified by the library

Security & Insurance

Both exhibit spaces are in high traffic areas where visibility reduces the likelihood of damage or theft of materials; however, outside of business hours, the Beyond Words Gallery is not within sight of library staff. The library will not provide any security for the works exhibited. The library takes no responsibility for the security or welfare of the exhibited works at any time, including during installation, dismantling or removal. The library will not be responsible for any theft, vandalism or other damage to the works. Insurance coverage for the works is the sole responsibility of the exhibitor. Exhibitors whose proposals are accepted must sign a contract that releases Amherst College, its trustees, officers, employees, students, volunteers and representatives from any and all liability for theft, vandalism and other damage to the exhibited works.

Submit a Proposal

If you are interested in exhibiting work in one of the galleries, please submit a proposal. Your proposal should include images of the work and a short paragraph describing the work, keeping in mind the selection criteria detailed above. The Library Program Committee reserves the right to decide, in its sole discretion, whether or not to accept your proposal and display your works. The Library will inform you, in writing, if your proposal has been accepted.