The Library will be closed on Saturday, May 25th and Monday, May 27th in observance of Memorial Day. We will reopen Tuesday morning at 9:30am. 

Gale Free Library

  Catalog     Website  
Gale Free Library

  Catalog     Website  

A Word of Gratitude

Many thanks to the Friends of the Gale Free Library for sponsoring Art Exhibits in the Program Room. We are grateful for your support!

Exhibit at the Gale Free

We welcome artists and local community organizations to exhibit in the Program Room and in the Upstairs Lobby at the beautiful Gale Free Library in Holden, Massachusetts.

We are currently OPEN to exhibit applications for August through December 2024 in the Upstairs Lobby.

Our 2024 Exhibit Season in the Program Room is now fully booked.

See our Open Calls, including Community Art Shows when they occur, here.

Reach out to Alana at for information about exhibiting opportunities in the Upstairs Lobby.

Shows in the Program Room rotate monthly from January through September, with October through December reserved for spectacular (and spooktacular!) exhibits put on by our Children's Department.

Shows in the Upstairs Lobby rotate monthly year-round. The Upstairs Lobby is also home to Community Art Shows once or twice a year.

There is no fee to exhibit at the library, but an application and subsequent signed agreement are required. Before requesting exhibit dates, please be prepared to hang your show in the first 1-3 days of the month, and to remove it in the last 1-3 days of the month you are assigned. No storage is available.

Scroll down for more information about exhibit policies, applications, and spaces. 

To set up an appointment to see the space and ask questions, contact Alana at, stop by the Reference Desk Thursdays between 1-5 p.m., or call the Reference Desk at (508)210-5569.

Exhibit Policies

Please review our current Exhibit Policies prior to filling out an application.

Local groups are eligible to exhibit annually. Individual artists and solo shows are eligible to exhibit every other year.

Note that a generous donor has offered to provide refreshments and event support for receptions through the 2024 season, provided the time and date scheduled for the reception are made well in advance. 

View Exhibit Policies online.

Download the PDF version of our Exhibit Policies here.

Please be advised the Gale Free Library does not insure artwork, and the library is not responsible for loss or damage. You may wish to consider purchasing your own insurance if you are concerned.

Exhibit Application

Please review the Policies and familiarize yourself with the Room Plan prior to filling out an application.

On your application, please indicate dates desired/available . We will review your images, bio, and show statement, as well as the dates you are available, and get in touch with you.

Once an application has been accepted and a date has been agreed upon, the Gale Free will send you a contract. We kindly request 3-5 images of work that will be in the show, and a show statement and artist bio at least four weeks prior to your exhibit.

A friendly reminder: To ensure equitable access to our facility, organizations are eligible to exhibit annually. Individuals and solo artists are eligible to exhibit every other year. 

Once you are ready, you are welcome to fill out an Application Online. The application can also be completed directly in Google Forms. A copy of your application will be sent directly to your email.

Alternatively, you may download a Paper Application and drop it off at the Reference Desk, scan and email it to, or mail it to Gale Free Library, Attn: Reference Desk (Art Exhibits), 23 Highland Street, Holden, MA 01520.

About our Installation Hardware

We use the Walker Display Hanging System. You can learn more about that system here.

  • Program Room: 20 Fiberglass Rods available for exhibitors
  • Upstairs Lobby: 24 Fiberglass Rods available for exhibitors

Each Fiberglass Rod can hold multiple pieces of small artwork. Large artwork may require multiple Fiberglass Rods for safe hanging.

For a detailed count of hooks and holders, contact Alana at after you have submitted your application. We recommend no more than 25 artworks in the Program Room and 30 artworks in the Upstairs Lobby to fit the spaces comfortably.

Artists are welcome to include a bio, show statement, and contact information either framed, clipped, or adhered to the wall using mounting putty (provided). Titles and descriptions are welcome using putty. Please be sure to clean all putty from the walls after use.

No holes, nails, screws, or permanent adhesion are permitted. No prices or red dots shall be displayed.

About the Program Room


images from Harmony in Duality: Bridging Realism and Abstraction (March 2024) by artist Dena Hengst | click here for more about the artist

Exhibits in our second floor Program Room are located in a corner room overseeing the greens and Town Hall. The room is accessible by elevator and stairs, and open to the public. The room doubles as an art exhibit and gathering space, so during library programs, room access will be limited to those attending events.

Each side of the room has one wall available for hanging. Dimensions (by width) are:

  • Side A: 1 ft., 7 in.
  • Side B: 8 ft., 8 in. (Side B has two walls spaces, but one houses a permanent photography collection.)
  • Side C: 6 ft., 8 in.
  • Side D: 13 ft., 5 in.
  • Total: 30 ft., 4 in. of linear wall space

[shown in images: Side B (top photo), Sides C, D (bottom photo)]

The height of the wall from the bottom of the picture rail to the top of the chair rail measures 50" (4 ft., 2 in.), so including frames, pictures should measure no taller than 4 ft. 

Windowsills may also be used for small free-standing artwork.

About the Upstairs Lobby

images from "Here and There," a photography exhibit by John Gaumond (March 2024)

Exhibits in our second floor Upstairs Lobby wrap around the walls outside of the stairs and elevator. The lobby is accessible by elevator and stairs, and open to the public until 15 minutes before the library closes.

There are a total of four areas of wall to hang imagery in a galley style, with one wall just outside of the Program Room, two walls facing each other in a study area, and a fourth which wraps around the elevator, facing staff offices.

  • Wall 1: 6 ft., 2 in. (adjacent to Program Room)
  • Wall 2: 11 ft., 10 in. (above study cubicles)
  • Wall 3: 6 ft., 11 in. (facing wall 2, above study cubicles)
  • Wall 4: approx. 12 ft. (adjacent to wall 3)
  • Total: approx 36 ft. of linear wall space

[shown in images: Wall 1 (top photo); Walls 3 {near} and 2: {distance} (middle photo); Wall 4 (bottom photo)]

Due to cubicles in some areas and space between chair rails and picture rails, we recommend that artwork in the Lobby area measure no taller than 3 ft., 6 in, including the frame. You are welcome to measure the space for accurate wall height prior to hanging your show if you would like to include larger artwork. 

Past Exhibits

Curious about exhibits we've hosted in the past? Here's a look back:


April: "Spring Fling" Senior Center Group Exhibit and "Learning: Birds, Fruit and Landscapes" by Dena Hengst

March: "Harmony in Duality: Bridging Realism and Abstraction" by Dena Hengst and "Here and There" Photography by John Gaumond

February: "Rhapsody in Eggshell" by William Holmes and Community Art Show

January: "Reciprocity: Paintings and Poems" by Judith Ferrara


September: Refugee Artists of Worcester (RAW) Group Exhibit and Demonstration

August: "Seasonal Changes" a Holden Senior Center Group Exhibit

July: "Watercolor and Cartoons" a posthumous exhibit of George Ludway's work

June: "Endangered Animals" by Anne Tisdell

Current Exhibits

Program Room

Mountview Middle School Student Exhibit

Mountview Artist Reception May 6, 4-5 pm

Join us in the Program Room for a Reception to celebrate the young artists. Free and Open to All.

The Program Room is elevator accessible and open to the public. Please note that the Program Room is used for library programming, so if you are coming from afar, please check the calendar for timing, or be prepared to peruse our shelves or enjoy the Reading Room while you wait. 

Upstairs Lobby

"The Mother Cycle," a Massachusetts Women's Caucus for Art Group Exhibit

The Upstairs Lobby is elevator accessible and open to the public all hours that the library is open.

Upcoming Exhibits

Coming in June
Program Room

"Windows, Real and Imagined" photography by June Derosier

Artist Reception

Saturday, June 8, 11 am-12 noon

Upstairs Lobby

"CYRK: The Follies of Frolicking" by Marta Szemiot

Linocut Art Workshop

Thursday, June 13, 6-7:30 pm

Permanent Exhibits

Stop by the library to pick up our brochure: Your Guide to Art at the Gale Free.

Included in the brochure is a scavenger hunt that is fun for all ages!

See black and white framed photographs of Holden by Ron Rosenstock throughout the Reference department on the first floor. The exhibit was commissioned by the Holden Arts Lottery Council in 1985.

Also on permanent display: see photos of early school children from when the Gale Free was both a library and a high school in the corner stairway nearest Highland Street, and peek over the shoulders of the Circulation Desk for a peek at our very first librarian. Visit the reading room and the lost and found section for sculptures in our permanent collection.

Exhibit Hours

Rotating Art Exhibits are on display in the Library Program Room and in the Upstairs Lobby, both located on the second floor.

Patrons and guests are welcome to visit during library hours:

Monday/Friday 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Tuesday-Thursday 9:30 am - 8 pm
Saturday 9 am - 4 pm (Summer: 9-1)


Both the Program Room and the Upstairs Lobby are accessible by elevator or stairs. 

Please note: the Program Room may be closed to the public during adult and children's library programs. Please check the Library Calendar or call the Reference Desk at 508-210-5569 to check room access if visiting from out of town.