Exhibition Rules (2023)
The Council of Europe Arts Club is an unofficial body, run by its committee and coordinators. Membership is open to serving or retired staff (and their spouses) of the Council of Europe (CE), and to staff of Permanent Representations (PR). As volunteers, all of the above freely devote their time and energy to organising the exhibitions.
CE or PR members of staff may submit their own work for exhibitions or sponsor outside artists at the Arts Club (AC).
Proposed artworks undergo a selection procedure. The Selection Committee, established each year at the Annual General Meeting of the AC, is composed of 5 members and the AC President. The decision of the AC Selection Committee is final.
The areas available to AC are, in the Palais, the corridors around the Control Centre and the showcases in the bar area leading to the restaurant and, in the Agora building, the long wall (26.4 m) at level 0. These areas together constitute the Council of Europe Art Galleries.
Access to exhibitions is controlled by badges issued by the security services.
Following the online call for applications, an artist and his/her sponsor should submit an application on the AC website in spring for an exhibition the following year. A sponsor may put forward only 1 or 2 artists per year. Artists who have already exhibited may not resubmit an application for the next 2 years. Applications placed on the reserve list can be re-entered in the selection process for the following year.
Before each summer, an invitation to staff members of the CE to vote on all the artists’ online applications is posted on the CE intranet. This vote is indicative only and the Selection Committee has the final say. During the summer, the Committee finalises the selection of artists and draws up a reserve list.
The programme for the following year is announced in the autumn, with the proposed dates and places and the coordinators.
An outside artist must be sponsored by a member of the CE or of a PR who has authorised access to the CE buildings. The sponsor is responsible for all contact between the artist and the AC.
The sponsor registers the artist on the AC website and provides assistance throughout the selection proceedings. The sponsor must be available throughout the exhibition. If absent (on mission, holiday, medical leave, end of duty etc.), the sponsor must name a replacement colleague. Failure to do this may lead to cancellation of the artist’s exhibition.
The sponsor is responsible for keeping the artist’s page on the Club’s website up to date: registration, presentation, timetable, the details of those helping the artist and the external guest list (10 days before setting up the exhibition and before the private viewing). These time-limits are mandatory as the AC must comply with the requirements of the CE security service.
Access to the CE is strictly controlled and all external visitors need a badge. The sponsor must be familiar with the activities of the CE and its security requirements and must ensure that badges are issued in advance for the artist, accompanying persons and, above all, the external guests at private viewings. The artist’s badge will allow him/her access to the exhibition throughout the event, whereas badges for accompanying persons are time-limited.
As a rule, for security reasons, persons from outside the CE are not allowed to visit exhibitions at times than private viewings. The sponsor or a member of staff delegated by the sponsor must accompany any visitors authorised to attend at other times.
The sponsor is also responsible for returning any hooks and wires used, in good condition, to the AC at the end of the exhibition.
Artists from outside the CE must be sponsored by a staff member of the CE or of a PR, who will be responsible for all subsequent contact with the AC.
The artist and the sponsor register an application on the AC site by creating an account with a password. They must give the proposed exhibition a title, supply a short biography of the artist and provide information on the artist’s work, upload 4 photographs (in .jpeg format) showing recent work, and provide the artist’s website address. Once an artist has been selected to give an exhibition and the dates of the exhibition have been agreed upon, the artist will be asked to agree to a liability waiver absolving the CE and the AC of liability for any loss or damage.
The exhibition fee is a flat rate of 50 euros for each exhibition area. If the exhibition space is shared between artists, the fee is reduced accordingly. The fee is payable by cheque or bank transfer to the AC. The proceeds from sales of artwork go entirely to the artist.
Any artist wishing to withdraw must notify the coordinator at least 2 months in advance, so that AC may contact un artist from the reserve list to replace him/her. Otherwise, the exhibition fee will not be returned.
The artist and any persons helping with the exhibition should observe CE security rules particularly regarding access to the buildings. A coordinator is designated by the AC to advise on all subsequent procedure relating to the exhibition.
The artist and the sponsor are responsible for putting up and taking down the exhibition and should agree with the coordinator when this will be done (ideally on the first Monday and the last Friday of the exhibition). Artworks are transported, delivered and received at Strasbourg entirely at the expense and risk of the artist and/or sponsor. The Arts Club has no reception service and no storage space in the CE buildings. Artists from outside France may obtain advice from their country’s Embassy or Permanent Representation in France on customs requirements for transporting and importing artworks. Access to CE buildings is forbidden to non-staff members at weekends, during holidays and outside working hours (8 am – 7 pm).
All artworks must be delivered with installed hanging material or ready to be exhibited. The hanging of pictures or fixing of stickers or labels directly on the walls is strictly forbidden. The AC provides the exhibition area where wires and hooks for pictures are supplied on the walls and pedestals available for sculptures. Artworks heavier than 10 kg/metre cannot be hung from the rails but should be placed on supports. These items must not be damaged (the wires may not be cut) nor removed. At the end of the exhibition they must be handed to the coordinator, who will check them.
The artist’s biography and information on his/her work, as well as a list of the works on show, will be displayed in the exhibition area. Any price list must not bear the AC logo and must refer only to the artist and sponsor.
The artist may organise a private viewing (vernissage), with the sponsor’s assistance.
Private viewings (vernissages)
The artist and the sponsor may organise a private viewing to which external guests are invited. Since the exhibition areas are not open to the public, the CE security regulations must be complied with.
Private viewings are normally held at the beginning of the exhibition, on a Monday or Tuesday, from 5.00 to 7.00 pm. For the Palais gallery, artists exhibiting at the same time should ideally share the event.
The viewing date is decided at the preparatory meeting and should be indicated in the artist’s online account. The artist or the sponsor will also upload the invitation to that account so that the external guests can register. The invitation should carry the AC logo and the wording:
This invitation is strictly personal and is not an entry pass. Please confirm your attendance by … [10 days before the event] to … [e-mail or phone number], otherwise you will not be allowed access to the building. On the private viewing day, please bring a valid identity document, which you will be required to show at the entrance to the Council of Europe.
For practical and security reasons, no more than 200 external guests (50 per artist when 4 artists share an event) may be invited to any private viewing. There is no restriction on the number of invitations to CE staff. It is appropriate for the sponsor to invite the AC and the Amicale to private viewings.
The external guest list must be submitted to the coordinator 10 days before the private viewing takes place and must be registered on the artist’s online account. Only persons on this list will receive badges for admission to the CE building (on presentation of ID). These badges will be delivered at the main entrances to the relevant CE buildings: the Palais (for exhibitions in the Palais) or the Agora (for exhibitions in the Agora).
The sponsor must provide the Front Desk with a mobile number so that he/she can be contacted if there are any issues with the arrival of guests.
The coordinator will arrange for 2 or 3 tables to be available. Plates, glasses, flowers, tablecloths, drinks, cocktail snacks, rubbish bags etc. are to be supplied by the sponsor and/or artist, who may approach CE catering if needed.
At the end of the private view, all items must be removed from the exhibition area. Since the main entrances close at 7 pm, no external guests can enter after that time and all guests must leave via the rear of the buildings thereafter.
The work of a coordinator consists in ensuring that the exhibition takes place to the satisfaction of all concerned. As the representative of the AC, the coordinator reminds sponsors of the administrative procedures and helps at all key moments of the exhibitions.
The coordinator should organise a preparatory meeting with all the sponsors for the same exhibition period, at the latest 1 month before the exhibition, to inform them about the rules on access to the buildings, exhibitions and the organisation of private viewings. Artists are welcome to attend this meeting.
At this meeting, the event’s agenda is decided: dates for putting the exhibition up and taking it down, and for the private viewing. The sponsor enters this information in the artist’s online page and uploads the information required for the AC to ensure access: the names of anyone helping the artist, their vehicle registration numbers, the invitation to the private viewing and the external guest list.
The coordinator must ensure that rules and timetables are followed and, in general, that the exhibition is properly conducted.