40 Questions You Must Ask Before Renting Exhibit Space

40 Questions You Must Ask Before Renting Exhibit Space

Renting out a wall or display space during art shows is a great option for artists who can’t afford an expensive studio, or just want display space outside their home studio.

I recently began checking for display wall spaces and realized I had a ton of questions. Below is my list I bring with me when I am looking at a display wall or small space.

Let me know if you would add anything to this list!

Lease and Contract Questions

  1. Is there a contract or lease you need to sign to rent the wall or display space?
  2. Is this a sublease?
  3. Can you read a copy of the lease/contract/agreement?
  4. What is the duration of the lease?
  5. What is the cost of rent?
  6. How do you pay rent? (By mail, in-person, online)
  7. How do you prefer rent being paid? (cash, credit, check)
  8. When is rent due?
  9. Do you get an invoice or receipt for rent payment?

Insurance and Safety Questions

  1. Is there an insurance policy that covers the rented space?
  2. Is your work or use of that space also covered by that policy?
  3. Do you need your own additional insurance policy?
  4. How safe is the rented space?
  5. Have there been any problems in the past? (theft, leaks, damage, etc)
  6. How is the space you are renting secured when you are not around?
  7. Who has access to the space?
  8. Does the building have security or cameras on-premise?
  9. Is there shared Wifi and is it public or private?

Space & Usage Questions

  1. Who do you contact for questions or issues related to the space your renting?
  2. Is there storage space you can use?
  3. Are there additional charges for storage space?
  4. What are the display space access hours?
  5. What type of activities are allowed in the display space? (making art, displaying art, teaching workshops, private events, gallery visits)
  6. Is there electrical or data jack access available?
  7. Are you also required to cover any utilities or additional bills?

Building & Utility Questions

  1. Where is the closest loading dock?
  2. Where is parking?
  3. Are there additional costs for parking?
  4. What are the building access hours?
  5. Where are the closest bathrooms?

Social and Traffic Questions

  1. Are there social or additional group obligations when renting this display space? (Meetings, or group promotions)
  2. What are the average traffic rates of guests and visitors?
  3. What are the average sales of the other artists using the space?

Display Questions

  1. Are there any visual standards for the space or type of artwork they are looking to exhibit?
  2. Is there any type of work not allowed on display in the space? (nudity, political, profanity)
  3. What happens if there is an open studio event and you are not able to attend?
  4. Are you able to alter the space you are renting? (paint walls, add shelves, change lighting etc.)

Final Questions

  1. How many other people are looking at this space right now?
  2. When do you need a decision by if I choose to rent this space?
  3. How should I get in contact with you when I decide?

Head on over to the Free Resources Tab to get the free downloadable Day Show Packing List and never forget items you need for short term pop-up shops and art shows.


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