Art Exhibition Class

Exhibition Planning &
Gallery Management




ART 460 / 560: Gallery Exhibitions


Fall & Spring Course: 3 Credit Hours

Instructor: Dr. Grant Vetter

Meeting Time: Friday: 10:30–12:30 & 3:00–4:45 Stauff B103 and Tempe ART 120 (Harry Wood Gallery and Gallery 100)

Office Hours: Tempe at Gallery 100: Tu: 11:30a.m.-1:30pm.


Course T.A.: Lily Montgomery


Office Hours: noon-12-2pm at Gallery 100



My primary office space is in the office inside Gallery 100 on the Tempe Campus. I am your instructor as well as a resource for information. If you have any questions relative to the course, please feel free to e-mail me and the T.A. or schedule an appointment to discuss these issues. If you have a time conflict with the scheduled office hours, a meeting time can be made that is mutually convenient. 


When you email, please use complete sentences and copy the course TA. This is important so I will say it again. Use complete sentences and copy the course TA. If it’s a crisis, include your phone number. If the crisis has been averted, email again to let us know. I reserve a 72-hour response time to email inquiries. Please plan accordingly if a response is required. 


Important Dates 

First day of class: January 9th

Add/Drop deadline: January 15th

100% Refund deadline: January 22nd

Course withdrawal deadline: April 2nd

Complete withdrawal deadline: April 28th

Final Grades due: May 1st


Always DOUBLE CHECK dates and Times with the ASU Academic Calendar:


Course Description 

Gallery Exhibitions is a lecture and practicum course, which provides practical experience in all phases of art gallery operations and exhibition development. Students will learn professional art gallery practices through hands on experience in the School of Art Student Galleries including Harry Wood Gallery, Step Gallery, Gallery 100 and the Display Cases. Class members assist BFA and MFA candidates in many phases of exhibition preparation and execution. Furthermore, class members will assist in designing show proposals for exhibitions that they propose as well as writing review of exhibitions around town. 

Materials covered in this class will build proficiencies in the following areas: Writing press and reviews, working on promotions and publicity; curating and executing exhibits; gallery administration and record keeping; gallery maintenance, preparation and installation. The class will participate in related field trips and may host guest lecturers relative to course materials. 



This course will utilize the University provided Blackboard site as a primary method of communicating essential information to students. If you are unfamiliar with this program it is recommended that you look at instructions here: can be accessed through myASU or at: 

Students must have access to the Internet to successfully complete this course. 


Course Website

In addition to Blackboard this course also has a website with all the course information on it:


Teaching Assistant Gallery Technician 

This course is fully equipped with a knowledgeable team. The teaching assistant is qualified to run the course in the absence of the instructor. They deserve an equal level of respect. 


Gallery Technician

The Gallery Technician is responsible for lighting and gallery maintenance. They may attend classes regularly, but they are not enrolled as a student in the course. Please be respectful of their position and feel free to ask them if you have a question about general gallery maintenance. 



There is no standard text for the course although A Short Guide to Writing About Art, By Sylvan Barnet and The Methodologies of Art: An Introduction, By Laurie Schneider Adams are strongly recommended. They are available on Amazon. 


This class does require research so you should be familiar with the internet and comfortable looking up information using search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Please don’t email me with a question that you could have easily answered yourself with a google search. 


Course Requirements 

Throughout the entire semester, each student will be expected to participate in all aspects of this course. In addition to the completion of assigned projects on time, students are expected to attend all classes, conduct themselves with good etiquette, and participate in class discussions and lectures. Assignments will be graded on understanding and successful use of concepts discussed in class. Creative solutions and personal expressions are strongly encouraged as long as the conceptual and technical objectives of each assignment are addressed. Since many of the assignments are writing based, this includes proper spelling, grammar and syntax.



The introduction of each assignment will be accompanied by a written description of the problem/project and all relevant details. An organized notebook or digital folder will be invaluable to each student due to the fact that information will need to be reviewed when completing assignments outside of class. Every student is accountable for all the information presented in each class, whether or not you attend. It is strongly recommended you exchange telephone numbers with other responsible students, who can be relied upon to take notes, and with whom you can share information and insights, should it be necessary to be absent. 


Timeliness and Responsibility

Unless otherwise instructed, all assignments are due at the beginning of class the day of the specified due date. The assignment due dates will be listed on the assignment descriptions posted to Blackboard. Unless Blackboard goes down for the entire time between when the assignment is given and when it is due, late assignments will not be accepted. 



Attendance is mandatory and extremely important. Absent students will miss information that will prove vital to their professional development. Therefore: 


You are permitted 2.5 absences before attendance will affect your grade.

3 absences = 5% drop on your final grade.

4 absences = 10% drop.

5 absences = 15% drop.

6 or more unexcused absences will result in failing the class


Tardies on days when assignments are due will count as a full absence

Missing your gallery sitting times and installation duties will count as an absence if you have not arranged a replacement.


2 partial attendances (arriving 5 minutes or later after class starts and/or departing 15 minutes or more from when class ends) = 1 absence 


It is expected that students will stay for the entirety of class. If a student is missing for a significant amount of class time, the student may be marked absent (at the instructor’s discretion). If for some reason you cannot attend a class, contact the instructor and TA via e-mail prior to class to make arrangements for making up what you have missed. Contacting us in advance does not excuse the absence in terms of grading. 


For an absence to be excused, it MUST be accompanied by a dated note from a doctor, student services, or other evidence that demonstrates the need to miss class. The note must be turned in to the instructor the week following the absence. It is NOT the instructor’s responsibility to remind you. Even if your absence is excused, you must make up the work. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange a meeting with the instructor to figure out how best to make up for missing the class.


Late Work 

Turn work in on time. If you do not, you will receive a failing grade on the assignment. The fastest way for you to lower your grade is by not turning in your assignments. 


Extra Credit 

There is no extra credit offered for this course. Do your assignments. Turn them in on time






Gallery Sitting: 20 Possible days sitting/Install/de-install: 20 Points

Gallery experience: 20 points. 

20 Possible 1 hour shifts (may be less, but we still give you full points)

You lose one point the first time you don't show up, 2 points the second time, 3 points the 3rd time, 4 points the 4th, etc.

1 Missed shift = 1 point lost

2 missed shifts = 3 points lost total

3 missed shifts = 5 points lost total

4 missed shifts = 10 points total

5 missed shifts = 15 points total

6 missed shifts = 0 points for gallery sitting

If you know you have to miss a shift see if you can swap with someone in the class or e-amil the T.A. to see if swapping shifts is possible. If something unexpected comes up contact the gallery T.A. immediately, we can usually find someone to cover but we have to know about it! 

Failure to switch or contact the course T.A. will result in a loss of points and be counted as an absence!


Homework: 10 Homework assignments total: 50 points

10 Exhibition Reviews: Every art review is worth 5 points. 


10 Poster proposals: Every show poster proposal is worth 5 points.


Any mix of Reviews or Poster Proposals that adds up to 10 assignments total. 

Homework = 50 point

No, you cannot do more than 10 for extra points!


Mid-Term / Final: 30 Points

Mid-term Install: 15 points (Fall: New Graduate Show Install / Spring: Nathan Cummings Travel Grant Award Show)


Final Install: 15 points (Fall: Undergraduate Winter Juried Show / Spring: Graduate Summer Juried Show)


Final show proposal poster with press release: 15 points

No, you cannot do both installs and skip the final proposal. 


Grading Rubric

Points = Percentages

A+ = 97-100pts A = 93-96pts A- = 90-93pts

B+ = 87-89pts B = 83-76pts B- = 80-83pts

C+ = 77-79pts C = 73-76pts C- = 70-73pts

D+ = 67-69pts D= 63-66pts D- = 60-63pts

F/E = Below 59 points

If you have any questions about your grade at any time, please contact the instructor or TA.





WEEKLY ASSIGNMENTS : Art Review and/or Show Proposal Poster Schedule

Dropdown menu for homework:


1. Formalist art review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is often use to described formal innovations in an “Emerging Artist Show” or a “New Turn in an Artist’s Work”.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite new artists” or “Dramatic departure in the work”. 


2. Iconography art review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing often describes a Greatest Hits Show of canonized pieces or seminal figures in art.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite well known artists” or “Favorite well known pieces”.


3. Biographical/Psychological review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing often describes an artist’s life and personal struggles.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Retrospective Show” or a “Favorite single artist”. 


4. Gender Studies review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is usually used to describe supposedly ‘normative’, biased, and prejudicial cultural assumption about gender, race and sexuality.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite artist or artists that are critical of cultural norms”. 


5. Social history review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is usually used to describe the social influence of living in a certain time and place on art production.


Write a Show Proposal about:  “Favorite period of art” or “Favorite place where art was made”. 


6. Semiotic/Structuralist art review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is usually used to describe a genre or art and its conventions.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite genre of art” or “Favorite style of art”. 


7. Deconstructionist / Post-Structuralist art review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of art writing is usually used to describe experimental or exploratory works.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite type pf art that you don’t know what it means”. 


8. Comparative art Review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is usually used to describe a Two Person Show or comparative works from two different schools, times, or places.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Two favorite artists that you’d like to see in a show together” or “Two schools or movements of art that you’d like to see together in a show”. 


9. Art Historical Review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing is usually used to describe a big survey show or a big topic show.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Favorite ‘topic’ you’d like to see a show about”.


10. Gallery or Museum Review and/or Poster Proposal for an Exhibition (5 points)

This method of writing mixes all the modes of analysis together to critique an exhibition or museum show.


Write a Show Proposal about: “Counterproposal to an already existing show” or a “Counterproposal to one of you your own past proposals”.






Every assignment is due the week after it is assigned. Make sure to check blackboard weekly!!!

You should be ready to present it in class and receive feedback!!!




Dropdown menu:


Midterms and Finals: Consist of 1 Complete Installation and 1 Complete Show Proposal with open call, press release, etc.




Each term the Exhibitions Class has two shows that they help to install which makes up 50% their mid-terms and finals.



One extended session of install is the Mid-Term, one is the Final, you will only sign up for one.




In Fall these dates are whenever the New Graduate Show and the Undergraduate Winter Juried Exhibition are scheduled.

In Spring these dates are whenever the Nathan Cummings Exhibition and the Graduate Summer Juried Exhibition are scheduled.

The dates for the extended installs are posted both in our Blackboard sign up shaeet and here:


NOTE: Mid-Terms may or may not fall around mid-term days assigned in other classes and the Final will typically be the week before finals. Both will be scheduled as long sessions on Fridays from 3pm-9pm with one hour off for dinner.


3 Things Each Student Must Do in Order to Pass the Install Final:


  1. Each student in the Gallery Exhibitions Class must make a poster or a postcard to help advertise the two shows that we help to promote on campus each term. The class will vote on the winning submissions and these will be used to promote the shows. (5 Points)
  2. Each student will participate in helping to advertise the show, whether by putting up posters around campus, promoting it on social media, or working on a promotional campaign through e-mail and other media outlets. (5 points) 
  3. In addition to developing the look and image of these shows, Mid-terms and/or Finals also consist of two long shifts that begin at 3pm and go until 9pm with time for a 1 hour break for dinner at 5pm. Sometimes the class may finish early if everything is completely installed. (5 points)


15 Points Total




Each term every student must complete one full show proposal.


3 Things Each Student Must do in Order to Pass the Show Proposal Final.


1. Make a poster for the exhibition (5 Points)

2. Write a press release for the exhibition (5 Points)

3. Write an open call for participation (5 Points)


15 Points Total





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