Organization of Juried Group Exhibitions

Meilleures pratiques

The Maritimes Canada Best Practices project identifies Industry Standards for the Visual Arts, Media and Crafts Sector. These guidelines serve as a model for practical and ethical practices within these sectors. As a result, this project facilitates fair and equitable dealings between creators and presenters across the region.

It is the ultimate aim of this project to develop a uniformity of standards and a common understanding of industry standards in the Maritime Provinces that are in agreement with Best Practices projects currently either established or in development across Canada. In turn, this will facilitate the ability of Maritime-Canadian artists to entertain business both within the Maritimes and across the country.

Juried group exhibitions are exhibitions to which artists are invited to submit artwork, with the stipulation that the suitability of the work for exhibition will be decided by a one or multiple person jury. They may be organized by galleries of all types, as well as by any art-oriented organization. By the nature of juried group exhibitions, exhibition in them is usually competitive. Responsibility for successful involvement with juried exhibitions lies with both the artist and the organizer. This document sets out best practices intended to create conditions likely to lead to successful involvement.

Artists are responsible for ensuring the conditions of juried exhibitions meet the artist’s expectation for professionalism, expertise, and satisfactory exhibition opportunity, and for carrying out participation in a professional manner.

Organizers are responsible for ensuring all necessary information is available to potential exhibitors, that artists do not bear unusual costs for exhibiting, and that artists’ copyright is protected and exhibition fees are paid.

Payment of entry fees is considered inappropriate to the exhibition of works by professional artists.

Payment of exhibition fees in accordance with the CARFAC Minimum Exhibition Fee Schedule is required.

This document outlines artists’ and organizers’ rights and responsibilities with regard to juried exhibitions.


1.1 Payment of entry fees is considered inappropriate to the exhibition of works by professional artists.


2.1 According to Canadian copyright legislation, artists in Canada are entitled to be paid exhibition fees for use of their work by public exhibition spaces, when the exhibition is not for purposes of sale or hire and when the work was produced after June 8, 1988. Practice dictates that artists are also paid exhibition fees for work produced before that date.


3.1 Written contracts should be used.


4.1 Where the artist may be required to bear the expense of shipping works over long distances or difficult routes, the use of digital image files or other appropriate documentation is considered the preferred submission format.


5.1 Artists should bear only those costs normally associated with exhibiting in a public venue. These include framing (where appropriate), a sturdy, re-usable container for shipping, and insured shipping.

5.2 Costs of mounting the exhibition lie solely with the organizers.

5.3 Organizers’ administrative costs include prospectuses, promotion including expenses for any receptions, costs of notification of the jury’s decisions, etc.

5.4 Organizers’ jurying costs may include jurying expenses, including juror’s fee and per diem.

5.5 Organizers’ insurance costs include insurance for artists’ work at all times it is in the organizers’ possession.


6.1 Artists should make sure that conditions for exhibition meet the artist’s expectations. These may include organizer and venue professionalism and jury expertise. The artist is the only person who can judge whether each exhibition meets his/her requirements for a satisfactory exhibition opportunity at the time the opportunity is available.

6.2 Artists are responsible for shipment of insured work(s) and/or visual documentation of works to the location of the jurying, properly packed in a sturdy, easily reusable container. Exhibition organizer(s) may also request that artists bear costs for return shipping of juried work. While this is not ideal, it is common. Hand deliveries and pickup of artwork are acceptable.

6.3 Artists are responsible for providing all information about submitted work that is requested in the exhibition prospectus and on entry forms.

6.4 Artists are responsible for making all insurance claims on works lost or damaged while under care of insurers contracted by the artist, including while in transit both to and from the location of jurying.


7.1 Organizers should send out and/or make available Calls for Submission and forms well in advance of submission deadlines. Recommended notice for national and inter-regional exhibitions or for major regional exhibitions (i.e. province-wide or large geographic regions) is at least 3 months; for local exhibitions at least 2 months notice should be given.

7.2 Prospectuses should include complete information such as: names of jurors, fees paid to exhibiting artists, restrictions as to media, format, and eligibility; policy on insurance including for artwork that is damaged, lost, or destroyed while in the organizers’ possession; awards if any and criteria for same; itinerary if exhibition is travelling, and return dates of works to the artist.

7.3 Organizers should provide entry forms to artists whose work is submitted. Entry forms should include information identifying the artist and the work, plus declared value of the work, normally fair market value.

7.4 Organizers should insure works at full declared value from the time of receipt until they are returned to the artist.

7.5 Organizers should professionally unpack and repack works in their original containers unless other arrangements were made, or as required by the organizer’s insurers.

7.6 Organizers are responsible for maintaining an arm’s length relationship with the jury, and should not exercise any influence over the jury’s decisions.

7.7 Organizers should notify artists promptly about the jury’s decision on submitted works.

7.8 Organizers are responsible for protection of artists’ copyright on all submitted and exhibited works. Any use of the artist’s copyright should be arranged with the artist in advance, in writing. The terms of any artist’s affiliation with a copyright collective must be considered when contracts are being developed. All artists/collaborators must be credited for their work.

7.9 Organizers should pay the entire exhibition fee to the artist, ideally within 30 days of the opening date of the exhibition. For touring exhibitions, the originating gallery is responsible for payment of the fee.

7.10 Organizers should pay any and all awards to artists, ideally within 30 days of the award. Where artwork is for sale in the juried exhibition, the organizer is responsible for payment to the artist of all monies owing on sales, ideally within 30 days of the date of sale.

7.11 Organizers should consider providing directly to the artist copies of all printed promotion (invitations, catalogue, poster, press releases) as well as any exhibition reviews, etc.

7.12 If artwork is to be sold, the guide Industry Standards/ Best Practices for Maritime Provinces Commercial Galleries and Artists should be used.


8.1 Works should be inspected upon arrival for damages with a written condition report made.

8.2 The artist or organizer should be notified immediately if work is received in damaged condition. If shipped work is received in damaged containers, such damaged items should be returned pending claims on the insurer, or the receiver may, with the sender’s permission, unpack the damaged container with the understanding that no claims for damage to the work will be made against the receiver for the unpacking.

8.3 The organizer should maintain the artwork in the condition received.

8.4 Where artwork is damaged, lost, or destroyed while in the organizer’s care, the organizer’s policy on insurance, as outlined in the exhibition prospectus, will apply.

For more information, see References section.