Reason for Policy

As an educational institution dedicated to nurturing the highest level of creativity both inside the classroom and out, College for Creative Studies (CCS) wholeheartedly supports the ability of students, faculty, staff, and invited guests to display their work on campus and other venues as may be appropriate. This policy provides guidelines for review, display, oversight, and other considerations of work exhibited under the College’s auspices to ensure, among other things, safety, security, suitability, and the right to freedom of expression.


The CCS Exhibition Policy is administered by the Faculty Advisory Committee of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in consultation with the College administration. It is guided by the College’s Statement on Freedom of Expression, which holds that the free exploration, display, and exchange of ideas is fundamental to a democratic society, even, and perhaps especially, those that are considered controversial. At the same time, it recognizes that the right to free expression requires an ethical responsibility on the part of those who create these works, and their educators (as applicable), to consider where they may be displayed and with respect for the audiences who may encounter them. This exhibition policy specifically addresses those venues dedicated for the display of creative work, both on campus and off, sanctioned by the College. It does not bind CCS to sanction expressions carried out in situations beyond its control.

Guiding Principles

The presentation of creative work is fundamental to the educational mission of the College in fostering and promoting research, development, creation, and promulgation of knowledge in the arts and culture among its various and diverse audiences. The specific method and process by which work comes to be displayed under the auspices of College may differ, depending on the venue and the function. However, all work presented to the public under the College’s auspices is curated, which is to say that it undergoes a process overseen by the appropriate staff (i.e., full-time faculty, gallery directors, and/or other staff with the requisite authority) to ensure its suitability for display. The specific procedures and responsibilities for the various exhibition spaces and presentation activities are detailed in the “Venues” section that follows. The College retains the authority to make the final determination on which works are displayed, how they are displayed, and where they are displayed at College-sanctioned venues and special exhibitions.

Venues and Programs

The College has many spaces where creative work may be displayed. These include formally curated spaces as well as those that are improvised, temporary, or less deliberate. In each case, the purpose of the work being displayed and the audience that may encounter it must be taken into account.

Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs

CCS has a number of venues and programs organized under the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs. Below are the specific spaces and programs administered by the Office, as well as the procedures and responsibilities for each:

  • CCS Center Galleries: A curated space that presents a range of changing, high-quality exhibitions of local, regional, and international contemporary art and design, as well as public programs. The gallery accepts proposals from the CCS community and other constituents. Exhibitions are selected and scheduled by the Director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee. Located in the Manoogian Visual Resources Center.
  • Alumni and Faculty Hall: Devoted to exhibitions featuring CCS alumni, faculty, and staff, who may propose them or be invited by the Director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs. Exhibitions are selected and scheduled by the Director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee. Located in the MVRC in the hallway next to CCS Center Galleries.
  • Permanent Collection Gallery (also known as the Student Showcase): Dedicated to exhibitions of the College’s permanent collection. Located in the hallway off the rear entrance to MVRC.
  • Permanent Student Exhibition: Rotating exhibition of work by current CCS students from all undergraduate departments. Work is selected by the Department Chairs. Located in the MVRC near the front entrance.
  • U245 Student Gallery: A student-run exhibition space dedicated to the display of current CCS student work from all departments. Work is selected from a call for proposals by the student gallery manager in consultation with the U245 Faculty Advisor. Located on the first floor of the Art Centre Building.
  • The Valade Family Gallery: A venue for art in all of its multitudinous forms intended to foster dialogue among students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the community at large on a variety of issues of contemporary art and design. This space is particularly dedicated to supporting the educational mission of the College’s academic departments and offers a combination of curated and proposed exhibitions as determined by the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in consultation with the Faculty Advisory Committee. Located on the first floor of the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education (TC)
  • Garfield Windows: Highlights a range of work by CCS students and alumni in reproduction form for the benefit of the public to help raise awareness of the College and promote its activities. Installation of work is overseen by the Director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs and the Marketing Department. The windows are located on the first floor of the Garfield Building on Woodward Avenue.
  • Woodward Lecture Series: This visiting speaker series has attracted over 100 renowned artists, critics, and scholars to Detroit since 1998. In addition to public lectures, Woodward Lecturers directly engage with CCS students through critiques and round-table discussions, fostering a greater understanding of and appreciation for contemporary art and culture. Lecturers are curated by the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in collaboration with the Faculty Advisory Committee.

Office of Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs oversees a number of activities to support its pedagogical mission for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, and, where appropriate, the public.

  • Classrooms/Studios: The College recognizes classrooms and studios as laboratories for investigation of a broad range of issues to further students’ creative development. Ideas presented in these spaces may be in the process of formation and subject to critique by peers, faculty, and other advisors. As such, work in process may find expression in these spaces that might need to be refined or discussed prior to being presented to the broader public. The College recognizes the right and the need for students to conduct investigations that may make some uncomfortable. At the same time, the College calls upon all concerned to exhibit respect for one another in their presentation and discussion of this work.
  • Hubs/Hallways: CCS has a number of spaces outside of classrooms that are thresholds between areas devoted to instruction and experimentation and those where the public has access and therefore may encounter the work of students in progress. The chair and faculty of each department select the work that is displayed in these areas. Judgment should be used on what to display in these areas for any period of time.
  • Toyota Lecture Series: Established through an endowment gift from Toyota Motor Company, the series brings prominent designers, critics, entrepreneurs, and scholars in all fields of design to speak at CCS. In addition to public lectures, the Toyota Lecture Series directly engages with CCS students through critiques, roundtable discussions, and workshops. Speakers are selected through a call for nominations, which are reviewed and approved by the Office of Academic Affairs.
  • Special lectures, workshops, and residencies: From time to time, special lectures and workshops presented by visiting artists and designers and other onsite activities may take place where work is presented and discussed. These activities may be in a single department or include multiple departments and may or may not be open to the public depending on the specific circumstance. These activities are approved by the Department Chair(s).

Special Exhibitions

The College regularly presents a variety of special exhibitions of student work in support of its educational mission, as well to showcase that work for the benefit of the public. Faculty and staff also exhibit their work at various venues on campus and off as part of their professional practice.

  • Annual CCS Student Exhibition: Opening the day after Spring Commencement, the Annual Student Exhibition showcases work by undergraduate and graduate students in all majors, including Foundation and Liberal Arts. The chair and faculty of each department are responsible for determining all work that is to be included in the Student Exhibition in that department’s section and overseeing its installation. See the Appendix: CCS Annual Student Exhibition Jury Procedures by Department for specific department guidelines. The exhibition is located at the Taubman Center, floors 8-11.
  • Winter Commencement Student Exhibition: All students graduating in December are given the opportunity to exhibit in the Annual CCS Student Exhibition. However, they are also given an opportunity to exhibit a more limited sampling of their work on the evening of December Commencement. Seniors wishing to exhibit in the Winter Commencement Exhibition must apply to the Department Chair by the due date and follow the procedures as set forth in the Appendix. The exhibition is located at the Taubman Center, Knight Gallery.
  • North American International Auto Show: Each January, CCS sponsors a booth at the North American International Auto Show to showcase the work of students in the Transportation Design Department and raise awareness among industry peers, the general public, and prospective students of the College as a global leader in design education. Work for the display is chosen by the Department Chair, the Provost, and the President. Location: Cobo Hall.
  • Other (student, faculty, staff): From time to time, students, faculty, and staff participate in exhibitions, presentations, and other activities at a wide range of venues, including museums, galleries, symposia, and more. Some, such as the Art Practice Department “One Night Stand,” are done under the College’s auspices whereas others, such as participation in a juried exhibition at a commercial gallery, are not. Presentations undertaken to represent the College are covered by this Exhibition Policy and the College’s Statement on the Freedom of Expression. Those undertaken independently are not. The College respects the right of students, faculty, and staff to put their creative expressions in the public domain, with the understanding that they may not reflect the views of the College, and CCS will not be held liable for their reception.

Environmental Concerns at CCS Venues

  • Traffic Flow: No artwork is allowed to block access to exits or entrances in any way.
  • Physical Hazard: Any installation must be secured in such a way that no one can be injured. Nothing must be allowed to fall down, tip over, or spill. No work is allowed to hang from water or electrical pipes.
  • Air Quality: To protect members of the public have allergies, asthma, or are otherwise chemically sensitive. Displays should not give off dust, fumes, vapors, scents, etc., that maybe toxic or an irritant.
  • Electrical: Electrical wiring needs to be of an appropriate gauge. Equipment must be protected from overheating. Use only heavy duty extension cords, and do not string extension cords together.
  • Technology: Exhibitions incorporating technology must be approved by the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs in consultation with the CCS Department of Information Technology Services. In the case of the CCS Annual Student Exhibition, all requests for technological support must be submitted through the respective department and approved by the Office of Information Technology Services. Student are not allowed to provide their own technology without prior written approval.
  • Perishable Items, live plants, live animals, body fluids: Some items (perishable or not) may only be used within limited constraints and must be approved by the proper College authorities. Situations that breed disease, foul odors, or insects will not be allowed.
  • Fire Hazards: Flammable or combustible material must be protect from ignition.
  • Graffiti/Vandalism: CCS supports a broad range of opportunities for expression for students, faculty, and staff to express their creative vision through exhibitions, performances, and other programs that may engage the broader community on and off campus. While some forms of graffiti have gained recognition as a viable form of creative expression, the College considers defacement of public or private property to be vandalism, not artwork. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to seek the appropriate permission to create works of art in the public realm. Those who commit vandalism on or off campus are subject to disciplinary action, which can range from remediation of the site and/or paying for damages up to dismissal. In addition to discipline by the College, individuals committing acts of vandalism may be subject to civil legal action by property owners and criminal prosecution for their actions.


The College assumes no responsibility for student work displayed in College venues or special exhibitions. Special exhibitions at CCS Center Galleries and the Valade Family Gallery and the CCS Permanent Collection may be covered by the College’s liability insurance policy. See the Director of the Office of Exhibitions and Public Programs for conditions that may apply.

Departmental Policies

Each department at CCS has established procedures for the display of work under their individual auspices. These procedures must be consistent with the principles and procedures detailed in this document. See the Appendix: CCS Annual Student Exhibition Jury Procedures by Department for specific department guidelines. The College retains the right to supersede departmental policies if it is deemed to be in its best interest to do so.