Art Exhibition Checklist

Prepared by Max Darby in June 2009

This file contains information about planning a student Art Exhibition.

The Art staff should work through the following points to determine the nature and planning details of the exhibition.

Some points are directly related to others and there will be some cross-over.

A decision needs to be made early about who is to have an input to making decisions about the exhibition – for example, Staff/ Students/Parent body/Administration etc.

An exhibition needs to be decided on the year before if it is to be placed in a school diary or a school calendar. The Principal needs to be informed.

In some schools application might need to be made for funding for the exhibition and careful planning will assist this to be successful.

This checklist could also be used to plan for long term displays of work.

Notes or minutes should be kept in all meetings to record decisions made and responsibilities allocated to avoid later confusion.

Discussion and planning needs to be done for four different time frames

–  Before the Exhibition

–  Setting up the Exhibition

–  During the Exhibition

–  After the Exhibition.

Before the Exhibition

1 The intentions and expectations of the exhibition

To promote the Art Department

To celebrate student achievements

To share ideas about a topic (e.g. to save Whales or the Environment etc.)

To share with other Arts subjects in a combined Festival

To support an ‘all school’ initiative


2 The particular students the exhibition is for

Senior years

Middle years

Primary years

Mixed levels

Whole school

A year level or levels

Combined with other school(s)

Combined with work of Art Staff


3 The best possible time for the exhibition

Mid year

End of year

To correspond with a school function (parent teacher nights/Speech night/school play/ etc)


4 The length of time the exhibition should be left up

Long term

Short term


5 The best place for the exhibition to be held

A formal school gallery space

Central administration area

School hall or auditorium

The Art rooms

The school Chapel

The school library

A venue outside the school


6 Booking the venue – if required

The venue needs to be booked to avoid clashes of use

Additional days need to be booked for setting up and dismantling the exhibition

7 The scale of the exhibition

Large with many works

Small with fewer works

One work per student or multiple works

Displays or demonstrations of students at work


8 The selection criteria for inclusion

Selected by students/staff/other

– Any or all work

– Selections based on artistic quality (technique/skill/style/use of materials etc)

– Selections based on interest quality (meanings/messages/values/opinions etc)

– Other

9 Allocation of areas of responsibility in organizing the exhibition


Gaining support

Display and set up


Recording the exhibition

Food and beverages


10 Supervision of the exhibition when it’s open

Art staff




11 The nature of the opening

Formal with invited guests and speakers, food and drinks


No opening


Potential speakers at the exhibition opening

School Principal

President of School Council


Art Gallery owner

Art Gallery Director (National/State/Regional/Local/Private)

Art Auctioneer

Art Historian

Art Critic

Art Consultant

Art Examiner

Art Curators

Art Restorers

Education Officer

Tertiary Art School Lecturer

Past Art students


12 Support equipment required (other than for display)

Tables for food and drinks

Tables for workbooks/journals or diaries

Cooling and heating facilities (ice buckets, access to a kitchen)

Speaker lectern and microphone

Pedestal for flowers

Special lighting (e.g. stage lights, spot lights

Music facility and equipment – live or recorded


13 Gaining help and assistance in running the exhibition

School administration to cover classes and time release

Students whose work is in the exhibition

Other students of different levels or non-Art students

Parents (school parent bodies/parents of students exhibiting

Other staff

Music staff/drama staff/PE staff if they need to vacate the hall

Maintenance staff


14 Advertising the exhibition

Reporting by the media/local newspaper

Word of mouth

Talking at school assemblies and level meeting (students can do this)

Designing and printing of Posters/Invitations/brochures/signs etc, around the school (these need to be good quality)

School publications

Advertising in local media and shop windows

Local schools

Official invitations

Personal invitations – staff and students

Parents and friends

Determine when and where these need to be installed, displayed or sent out


Information that needs to be included

Art Exhibition/Date/Time/Location/Venue of Formal Opening/Other opening dates and times/contact name and number/photograph or student artwork

15 Display boards and equipment

Determine whether to build or hire display boards and equipment

Enquire about display board availability and costs for hire

Determine size and number of boards and stands required

Determine and order display boxes, mannequins  etc.

Display boards need to be ordered very early due to needs elsewhere


16 Food and drinks

Determine whether the school or an outside agency will provide food and drinks

Determine food requirements and costs

Determine what drinks are required – alcoholic/soft/water/tea/coffee etc.

Place orders when appropriate

17 Setting up and mounting equipment

Staples and staple guns

Hammers and nails, hooks, pins

Velcro dots

Sticky labels



Mount boards and mats

Cutting blades or mount cutting tools

Mounting boards masking tape

Marking pens and pencils



18 Recording the exhibition

Allocating a student to take photographs or video

Allocating an Art teacher to take photographs or video

Using the school photographer

Employing a professional photographer or video producer

Making the recording of the exhibition a class project for another year level

Providing cameras, lights, tripods, stands etc.

19 Art staff meeting to check all arrangements

All is ordered, booked and prepared

Art works are finished and dry

Artworks are mounted or framed if needed

Publicity has occurred

Whole school knows and is reminded about the event

Supervision of space during set up is organized (other staff and students need to be kept out of the venue)

Delivery date and time is confirmed

20 Devising a floor plan for the exhibition

Layout to consider viewing, access and movement

Display boards (some suppliers will put boards in place)

Supervision of delivery and set up is essential

Small tables for workbooks

Food and drinks tables

Lectern and microphone



Rubbish bins

Students to hand out food

21 Deciding on appropriate thank-you gifts

Purchasing and wrapping (wine or other)

Storing until opening

Delivering to the venue on opening night

Organizing someone to thank speakers and to make presentations.

22 Deciding on prizes, awards and/or certificates (if desired)

Some schools have extensive prizes or awards

Some schools have no prizes or awards but provide a school certificate of contribution

Some schools have special memorial awards

Some schools have category awards

Some schools have awards for special qualities such as ‘pushing boundaries’ or taking artistic risks

Decide who will make decisions on prizes, awards, prizes etc.

Setting up the Exhibition

23 Organizing a nearby storage area for Art works and equipment

To avoid damage

To make Art works quickly and easily accessible

To keep out of the way of other activities

24 Moving artworks to exhibition space

Coordinating people to carry works from the Art rooms to venue such as



Maintenance staff


25 Hanging artworks

Teachers work in teams of at least 2

Art works first laid out on floor and spaced under display boards

Heavy or large works hung first using nails, hooks, hanging systems

Lighter works pinned, stapled, velcro-dotted to boards

Captions on pre-cut card attached

26 Cleaning and preparing exhibition space prior to Opening

Floor swept

Display equipment removed but held nearby for emergencies

All Art works checked

Drinks placed in ice containers

Glasses put out on tables

Food prepared for heating and serving (school or outside agency)

Flowers delivered and set in place

Bins in place

During the Exhibition

27 Exhibition Opening

All Art staff and art students expected to be present

Staff and Art students encouraged to dress up

Staff and students with specified tasks arrive early

Special lighting turned on

Recorded music turned on (check sound level before opening)

Live musicians set up and playing prior to opening (unless they will just perform a special item only)

Visitors arrive and are welcomed

Catalogues (if produced handed out or sold on entry)

Food and drinks taken around by pre-organized students (other than those in the exhibition)

Alcohol must only be handled by adults – perhaps parents

Time allocated for the Art works to be viewed

Formal opening talks and speeches delivered (short). Visiting speaker/Principal welcome/Head of Art

Thanks to visiting speakers and presenting of gifts

Time for works to be viewed

Closing and securing of venue

After the Exhibition

28 Outside access to the venue is closed to outsiders

For efficiency and safety only people working on dismantling the exhibition should be inside the venue

Art works need to be protected

Moving of boards and equipment should no be hampered

29 Art works are carefully removed from boards

People need to be allocated to this task

Art works need to be moved immediately to a safe place

30 All Art works returned to Art rooms

People need to be allocated to this task

Art works should not be left in the venue

31 All equipment returned to Art rooms

32 Display boards and hired equipment removed and/or picked up

33 Venue cleaned and checked

34 Debriefing by staff and selected students

To determine the level of success

To determine direction for future exhibitions and for future staff

To prepare a report for Art Department records and for the school

To assist in writing the exhibition up for school publications

To provide a list of people to thank for assisting in the exhibition.

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29 Responses to “Art Exhibition Checklist”

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