First Unitarian’s Arts and Aesthetics Committee oversees the Social Hall Art Gallery, which serves as a visual art ministry by offering a space for spiritual contemplation adjacent to the Sanctuary.
The Social Hall Art Gallery reopened in 2022 after a two-year closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. During the closure, the Arts & Aesthetics Committee displayed the images from the 2020 All-Member Art Show, an exhibit of artworks by church members. That exhibit, renamed “Virtual Art Gallery,” may be refreshed with the images of artworks from exhibits planned for 2022 and beyond. Onsite exhibits are to resume in June 2022.
The committee seeks a diversity of shows in a variety of media, with content appropriate to the church. We include two-person and group shows, an end-of-year show with church members’ work, and an occasional juried theme show. We schedule our shows about a year ahead with 7-8 exhibits, each lasting 6-7 weeks. Besides enriching our Social Hall setting, the art provides income for the church, with 30 percent of sales going to the church budget.
Our selection process typically began in January with an invitation to artists to submit images for a screening. That schedule may change to accommodate a shortened exhibit schedule for 2022.
From the screening, the committee chooses the artists who will then be invited to bring actual work for committee review. Each spring we schedule exhibitions for all of the following calendar year.
Artists may sell their work, and mark pieces with prices in the gallery. On Sundays the Arts and Aesthetics Committee handles the sales of any pieces currently hung. The church retains a 30 percent commission on all sales from the gallery, with 70 percent going to the artist.
Artists must complete an Artist Exhibit Agreement and follow our guidelines to exhibit with us. Links to these documents, along with an exhibit space schematic, are provided below.