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The Community Gallery

The Ringling Community Gallery is a free public exhibition space dedicated to displaying works of art produced by local community-based, nonprofit or student groups. Exhibitions rotate on a regular basis and allow artists of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to share their work with The Ringling’s visitors. The Community Gallery is generously funded by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County and is an important component of The Ringling’s commitment to being a museum that is accessible to and inclusive of all.

We are currently scheduling about four exhibitions per year. Applications for 2021 are due by October 1, 2020. To apply, please review the guidelines, download and complete the application and email it to with the subject line “Community Gallery Application.” 

Which groups can exhibit in the gallery? 

The gallery is used to highlight the work of the museum’s non-profit partners, as well as other community-based groups who align with The Ringling’s mission to inspire and educate through arts and culture, creative ideas, innovative thinking, open dialogue, and meaningful exchange. 

How long will each show be on display in the Community Gallery? 

The typical length per exhibition will be approximately 2-3 months, but the exact display schedule will be determined by working with the Head of Educational Programs. Exhibitions run throughout the year and are scheduled many months in advance of the display dates. Duration of each exhibition is subject to the overall museum schedule. 

What kind of work can be displayed in the Community Gallery?

Due to the setup of the Gallery, only 2-D artworks can be easily displayed in the cases. Media and/or video work cannot be displayed. 

What are the exhibition display dimensions?

The Community Gallery has 3 cases. Case 1 is a long horizontal case that is 50.5 inches high and 180 inches wide. Cases 2 and 3 are both 50 inches by 52 inches. All work must fit within the cases.

How will my work be secured?

The display cases will be locked. The Ringling is not responsible for any accidental damage or loss of works on display in the Community Gallery.

What signage do I need to submit along with my artwork?

All object label information must be submitted via email to the Head of Educational Programs at least 4 weeks prior to the exhibition opening. All submitted text will be edited and formatted in accordance with The Ringling style standards. The Museum will print and install the signage in the exhibition space.

Object labels should include the following pieces of information, in this order:

• Artist name and date/place of birth
• Title of work, date
• Medium
• Any additional content/artist statement – limit of 100 words.

The exhibiting group should also write a general description of the exhibition that is no more than 150 words. 

Do I have to install the exhibition myself? 

No, but one group representative must be present during the installation to provide curatorial input. The Museum will install and deinstall each exhibition. All artwork must be delivered to the museum by the agreed-upon date so that it is available for installation by staff. Any works delivered after the agreed-upon date may not be included in the exhibition. After the exhibition is deinstalled, works must be picked up within 3 business days from the museum.

Can I host a reception for my exhibition? 

Yes, this is encouraged! The reception must be scheduled in conjunction with the Head of Educational Programs to ensure it does not conflict with any previously-scheduled museum events. The Museum can provide a podium, sound system, tables, and chairs, but all event needs must be agreed upon in advance. Additional reception costs may be incurred by the exhibiting group. How will it be publicized? The Ringling maintains the right to use photos of the exhibitions in its print and e-newsletters, on its website, or in other marketing materials unless otherwise specified in writing from the exhibiting group. Any press releases or media contacts made by the exhibiting group must be approved in advance by The Ringling.

Can I sell the work displayed in the gallery? 

No. The Ringling is not allowed to raise funds on behalf of another organization. The work displayed in the gallery cannot be for sale. 

How can I propose an exhibition for the gallery? 

We are currently scheduling about four exhibitions per year. Applications for 2021 are due by October 1, 2020.

To apply, please download and complete the application and email it to with the subject line “Community Gallery Application.”   Community Gallery Application

When will I hear back if I was accepted?

Applicants will be notified of their status by early November. Due to the high volume of applications, not all groups will be accepted. If accepted for exhibition in the 2021 year, we will try to accommodate your date preferences but cannot guarantee them. Exhibitions will be scheduled around the Museum’s calendar. 

Contact information:

If you have additional questions, please contact: Laura Steefel-Moore Head of Educational Programs Office: (941) 359-5700 x3702 Cell: (941) 259-7380

Community Gallery Application