River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation

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Preparing Your Exhibit

Preparing your exhibit at RRUUC

If your art work is accepted for an exhibit at RRUUC, a period will be scheduled for your exhibit and a curator from the Fine Arts Committee will be assigned to help you with your exhibit.

You will then need to contact the RRUUC office (301-229-0400) to reserve the Fellowship Hall for dates and times during your assigned period when you will hang your work and when you will take it down. Coordinate these dates with your curator. In addition, we recommend that you schedule time for a reception, for the first or second weekend that the exhibit is up.

The agreement

You will fill out an agreement form that lays out the responsibilities of the artist and of RRUUC. A Fine Arts Committee co-chair will send you a form to be completed. It sets the dates for the hanging, reception, and taking down of the exhibit. Sign and return the agreement to the Fine Arts Committee co-chair.


RRUUC does not charge a fee for exhibiting your art. RRUUC receives 20% of the sales total.

Subject matter and presentation

Although the subject matter of the work is up to you, artists should remember that this is a religious institution and works should be appropriate for a wide range of ages and audiences, including young children and people of various religions.

Works of art should be framed as appropriate to the medium (please see the note about gallery wrapping on the page of Becoming an Exhibitor) and must use wire for hanging. RRUUC supplies hanging rods with hooks.

Hanging and taking down the exhibit

The Fine Arts curator assigned to your exhibit will be present to assist you when you hang and take down your exhibit. Allow a minimum of two hours for hanging and for taking down your art.

A pleasantly hung exhibit will add to the appeal of your art work and hopefully increase sales, while overcrowding of your art work on the walls can detract from your exhibit. Allow sufficient space around your work so each piece can be individually seen, more space for larger pieces. Diptychs or triptychs are best hung close together. Double hung pieces (on the same rod) can be pleasing by breaking up a horizontal line, but can also add to crowding if you are not careful. Your curator can help you with these aesthetic decisions.

It is your responsibility to provide and attach labels to art work that link art to a price list, and it is your responsibility to make sure that price lists are available throughout the duration of your exhibit. Removable labels may be attached to the front of glass or acrylic. The Fine Arts Committee will provide Uhu Tac Removable Adhesive Putty for your use if labels are to be attached to the walls; no other material may be used to attach labels to the walls.  In addition to the required price lists, you are encouraged, optionally, to make copies of a statement about yourself and/or the exhibit.  The copies of price lists, any statements, and purchase orders (provided by your curator) will be set up in the Hall for distribution.

If there is more than one artist participating in the exhibit you need to present to the curator at the time the exhibit is hung a list of all the artists, titles of their art works, and their contact information (addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers).

Exhibits are held in the congregation's Fellowship Hall; one small piece of art may also be hung in the foyer above the "Exhibit This Way" sign to help advertise the exhibit.


Artists are encouraged to hold a reception, as this is the occasion in which most sales take place. The reception ó including invitations, refreshments, dishes and utensils, and servers ó is your responsibility as the artist, and date and time should be scheduled well in advance with the RRUUC office. For receptions, artists have use of the foyer and the Fellowship Hall. Note: if you want to use the kitchen, it needs to be reserved separately from the Fellowship Hall. The Fellowship Hall has tables that may be arranged as needed for the reception. Sunday afternoons are strongly recommended as the most suitable and available times. The curator assigned to your exhibit will assist with sales at the reception.

Although the reception is announced in RRUUC publications, members of RRUUC tend to view each exhibit during the social hour after each service, not at a reception scheduled separate from regular services. This has at least two implications: First, as you plan for your reception (refreshments and so forth), do not count on the attendance of many RRUUC members. Second, you may wish to have a presence at a regular Sunday social hour while your exhibit is on the walls. If you want to have a badge or table identifying you as artist(s), discuss arrangements with your curator.


No later than the time of the reception (and preferably before the first Sunday of your exhibit), you must make a list of each piece of art displayed and its price, for the Fine Arts Committee with copies available for those viewing the exhibit.

All sales must be accompanied by a purchase order form and a check made out to RRUUC, not to the artist. (RRUUC will issue you a check for 80% of this amount after your exhibit closes.) The purchase order forms include the name of the artist, name of artwork, price, and purchaser. These can also be used for those sending in checks apart from the reception. The Fine Arts Committee curator will notify the office of the works sold.

Any sales resulting from the exhibit at RRUUC (even if occurring after the exhibit closes) require paying 20% to RRUUC.

Although sales are not the only indication of the success of an exhibit, RRUUC encourages the sale of works. There are no hard and fast rules for prompting sales, but consider these observations:
(1) Most sales at RRUUC occur at the reception. Do not stint in publicizing your reception through mailings and getting into the media.
(2) It helps if there is a connection between the artist and the potential purchaser. Get family, friends, and neighbors to the exhibit. Keep a record of sales in your previous shows, and announce your exhibit to previous purchasers.
(3) The right price is important. Go to exhibits of other artists using your medium and observe market prices. Your own costs in preparing and presenting your art are not an adequate guide to the right price.
(4) Effective display helps sales. Purchasers often try to image how a piece will fit into their home, and few homes crowd art into a limited space. So hang your show with adequate spacing between pieces.


Publicity is a shared responsibility between the artist and the RRUUC Fine Arts Committee.

You are encouraged to produce a professional invitation that you can circulate widely to promote your exhibit and assure participation in your reception. In addition, the curator for your exhibit can provide you with a list of media sources and contact information should you wish to publicize your exhibit beyond RRUUC and your personal contacts.

RRUUC will publish notice of your exhibit and reception in the River Road eWeekly, in the RRUUC Sunday bulletin, and in the Art Exhibits area of the RRUUC website.

In announcing your exhibit on your own website, by postcard, or otherwise, we encourage you to list the RRUUC website, www.rruuc.org/finearts. This link has the advantage to you of giving information on location and directions. Also, indicate times: The RRUUC building is open 9am - 6pm, Monday - Saturday but persons planning to view your exhibit at a time other than during the reception or social hour should assure that there is no conflicting use of the Fellowship Hall by calling the RRUUC office, 301-229-0400.

Two months before the beginning of your exhibit, you need to provide the following three types of information to the curator for your exhibit:
(1) A brief (40-50 words) statement about your exhibit and art experience so that this information can be included in the River Road eWeekly and in the RRUUC Sunday bulletin.
(2) A longer (one page) statement about your exhibit and art experience for use in the Art Exhibit section of the RRUUC website.

The statement for the website should refer to you in the third person and should start with your name (e.g., "Jane Artist received her first camera . . ."). We prefer that you use your first name throughout the rest of the statement, but in any case all statements of artists in a group show should use the same convention. The statement should be about your exhibit and your art in general. Do not describe the specific sample of your art that is on the page; it is there to illustrate your style and to entice website visitors to come see your exhibit. If you have a website for your art, please include its URL in your statement.

Please send both of your statements in Microsoft Word format, Microsoft's Rich Text Format (rtf), WordPerfect format (wpd), or plain text (txt). Please do not use any styles in your statement, including bold, italics, underlining, justification/alignment, headings, or all-caps; and do use standard fonts.

(3) A digital image of one art work that will appear in your exhibit at RRUUC (for use in the Art Exhibit section of the RRUUC website).

In preparing digital images to represent your work, you will need to consider the quality of the photography and the quality of the digital images. If your art was not created digitally, we recommend that you enlist someone who is familiar with photographing artwork and who knows how to light it to its best advantage. It is best not to use a single on-camera flash as it's likely to create bright spots or reflections. The photograph should not include any part of the frame or the wall, and the artwork should not be obscured by anything in the environment. Snapshots of your art will not be usable for the website.

Save the JPEG image with high or highest quality. If using a Lightroom export, set the quality between 80 and 90. In any case, the size of the resulting image should be under 1 Megabyte. If you donít know how to downsize an image, you may send it in Photoshop (psd) or TIFF format; please donít use any other format.

Include your surname and the title of the image within the file name of each image that you send us. Please do not include spaces, slashes, colons, commas, or capital letters in the file names. It's also a good idea to separate words with underscores. For example, if Jane Artist were going to use her image called "Courtyard View," she would give it a file name of artist_courtyard_view.jpg.

Payment for works sold

Once the exhibit has been completed and all checks or payments have been received, a committee co-chairman will prepare a voucher and RRUUC will send a check for 80% of the total sales to the artist. Checks to artists are generally processed within 7 to 10 days of receipt of the Voucher. If you have questions on payment, contact the office (301-229-0400).

Good luck with your exhibit!

Checklist for artists exhibiting at RRUUC

After being contacted by Fine Arts Committee representative with acceptance

 Agree with your curator on dates for your exhibit
 Reserve the dates and times for your hanging, reception, and take-down; then
sign and send agreement to Fine Arts Committee representative

Two months ahead of the opening

 Have invitations prepared

 Send brief and longer statements about your exhibit and artistic experience (in electronic form) to Fine Arts curator

 Send a digital photo of your work to Fine Arts curator

One month ahead of the opening

 Send out invitations

 Make plans for your reception

At the beginning of your exhibit period

 Hang the exhibit

 Buy food for the reception

At the reception

 Arrive early to set up food, tables, etc.

 Enjoy yourself!

At the end of your exhibit

 Take down your exhibit

Following the exhibit

 Contact the office if you have questions about payment