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Silvia Nikolov - Masquerade, woman looking through water droplet reflections

The People's Gallery

Exhibition Guidelines    Submit to People's Gallery

In 2005, City Council approved the mission statement and guidelines of what is now known as The People’s Gallery, located within Austin City Hall.  This free, annual show, which highlights local artists, is currently in its 17th exhibition year.  In 2024, the Austin Public Library, by declaration of City Council, will take on the project of curating the display of the ongoing exhibition series at Austin City Hall and the public plaza to showcase and promote the local art community, highlight the unique architecture and dynamic public space of the Austin City Hall, and to encourage public dialogue, understanding and enjoyment of visual art. The People’s Gallery receives over 200, 000 visitors per year, resulting in a unique and high profile venue for the visual arts in Austin.

The People’s Gallery has represented about 1,800 artists over the past seventeen years and averages approximately 50% new artists exhibiting each season. Every two years, Austin Public Library will host a free, open call to artists, who can submit up to five pieces of their artwork.  At the end of the open call period, three panelists, who change each year, jury the works, which can be in excess of 1,250 pieces submitted.  The process of laying out the show begins after the panelists vote, and then a rigorous process for final approval of chosen artworks and their proposed locations. Artists are then given notice of their artwork’s acceptance into the exhibition.

Submissions of works in all mediums, including sculpture, painting, mixed media, photography, drawing, and digital media will be accepted.


  • At least 18 years of age.
  • You must live or have a studio out of one of the following TX counties: Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, or Williamson.
  • Visual arts organizations in any of the counties listed.

Please email for additional information about the People’s Gallery.


Completed in 2005, Austin’s City Hall is a distinctive Green Building. Designed by New Mexico architect Antoine Predock, to reflect its natural surroundings, the four-story 118,000-sq-ft structure incorporates local limestone, a cascading waterfall and asymmetrical shapes, all of which reflect the waterways and canyons of Austin’s surroundings. Recycled copper clads the building’s interior, roof and its balcony, called the “stinger,” which projects 50 feet over Second street. The building’s unique and somewhat controversial design is anchored by a number of very practical and meaningful features designed to meet the goal of portraying transparent government while providing a meeting space for the continual benefit of the city of Austin.  In keeping with being “Green”, the building earned a LEED gold rating, at a time where gold was the highest rating available. More than 50% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills, with appropriate pieces of ceramic tiles, wood and concrete going to local artists and schools. The designers provided for recycling the condensate generated by the air

conditioning to water all landscaping on City Hall block. Many of the materials used throughout the project, including copper, steel, drywall and concrete masonry have high levels of recycled content.

City of Austin People's Gallery

Image: Silvia Nikolov - Masquerade, People's Gallery 2018 Exhibition