The selection and presentation of exhibitions for the Cannon Art Gallery and the Carlsbad Sculpture Garden are guided and carried out by the curator of exhibitions.
The curator of exhibitions searches out and gathers together exhibition ideas and proposals from a variety of sources including other art institutions, traveling exhibition organizations, gallery committee members, arts commissioners, regional artists and curators and staff. Proposals from any source are welcomed and considered. The curator of exhibitions then puts together a proposed schedule of exhibitions that strives to carry out the gallery’s artistic vision, while also taking into consideration the additional variables listed above. The proposed exhibitions, as well as other potential exhibitions, are presented to the gallery committee and to the arts commission for their review and input. If additional expertise is needed to help gauge the quality or effectiveness of an exhibition proposal, the curator of exhibitions proceeds to find the appropriate experts for their input as well.
With these various responses in hand, the curator of exhibitions reviews the proposals with the arts manager, and upon approval from the arts manager, proceeds to book the exhibition schedule.
The gallery strives to be booked two years in advance, with the third year in process.
In addition to being guided by the artistic vision, the selection of an exhibition for the gallery is impacted by a number of other variables, including but not limited to:
- Budget issues, including the cost of organizing and presenting an individual exhibition
- Scheduling issues, including availability of artworks or availability of a touring exhibition
- Impact on the installation schedule and staff time
- Consideration of the artistic vision goals over a two- to three-year period
- On-staff curatorial expertise
- Availability and cost of possible consulting curators
- Awareness of other exhibitions presented/planned in the region
The gallery committee is an advisory committee of up to 15 members, representing various interest groups such as the Carlsbad Friends of the Arts, arts commission, the library, the Carlsbad Library and Arts Foundation, regional artists and arts administrators, and the community. Members representing organizations are selected by their respective groups; at-large community members are selected by the arts manager in consultation with the chair of the gallery committee and the curator of exhibitions. The committee advises the Cultural Arts Office on policies, procedures and exhibitions for the William D. Cannon Art Gallery and meets at least four times a year.