The May Salon is organised by the Union of Slovene Fine Arts Associations (ZDSLU), its origins going back to the Slovene artists exhibition in 1909 that took place in the Jakopič Pavillion. The May Salon annually gives the possibility to its 700 members to exhibit their recent production. The exhibition is usually organised in the spring and as a rule has a classic character: it features predominantly works created in classic media (painting and sculpture). In recent years the May Salon has been organised in different venues, as well as in cities other than Ljubljana since 2005. The works displayed at the May Salon exhibition are usually for sale. The exhibition culminates with the announcement of the awarded artist.
Through the 1980s and 1990s the May Salon usually took place at the City Art Gallery Ljubljana and at Jakopič Gallery. In 2005 it was hosted for the first time by four galleries on the Slovene coast, and co-organised by Insula-Obala Visual Artists Association. Since then the May Salon has been the guest of different institutions around Slovenia: in Grad Gallery in Slovenska Bistrica (2006), in Murska Sobota Gallery (2007), in Lendava-Lendva Gallery and Museum (2008), in Gorenjska Museum (2009), etc.
In 2012 this traditional exhibition found a place within the new Muse Festival at the Gospodarsko razstavišče, Ljubljana Exhibition and Convention Centre.
For years the May Salon exhibited the ZDSLU members' works without a thematic or conceptual focus. In the 1990s it became a curated exhibition, based on a theme or medium. Between 1997 and 1999 the focus was based on the type of media: new media (1997), sculpture (1998), painting (1999). In 2000 the theme was Primordial Touch [Prvinski dotik]. In 2003 all 110 works were again shown unselected. The 2004 May Salon presented the work of 130 artists from all of the Slovene regions under the name POP; with "P" for Pomembno ("Interesting") or Prešerno ("Merry"); "O" for Odlično ("Excellent") or Odvisno ("Dependent") and "P" for Prezrto ("Overlooked") and Pozabljeno ("Forgotten"). The edition of 2008 in Lendava featured 121 artists and was again more free (entitled Freedom of Creation [Svoboda ustvarjanja]). In 2009 the May Salon exhibited works of 137 artist and again offered the theme: My Image [Moja podoba].