The Guidelines to Hanging Artwork

I know you probably think hanging artwork is not that difficult. Just grab some nails, a hammer, and get to hanging. You may even suggest using a leveler but every good artist knows there's more to it than that. You may even think that I have it down packed by now but with each fair, exhibition, and art related event conditions are always different so I'm always learning something new. This also means I’ve learned quite a lot of techniques and tips over the years between the limitations for hanging art in gallery spaces (similar to many apartments) to the non existent walls of a popup tent. Not only have I developed a knack for creatively hanging works of art but also how to do it on a budget and making the display look great!

Either way you hang it, you have to consider the selection of works that suit the space best in color, size, and in some cases shape. One technique that I personally use in the selection process is picking pieces that tell a story and/ or have a similar color scheme. Once you have selected your pieces, that is when you decide where it goes. Are you hanging just a few pieces around the room or a whole wall full of art, or just a few in a row, gallery style? To determine your style, the first thing is to figure out how much space you actually have to hang the works of art. Depending on the space available you can get as creative as you like but always consider what is happening below the artwork too. It would suck to hang something perfectly just to notice that you have something underneath that sits a bit too close and even worse if it is something that can damage the artwork. To prevent this one tip I always use for any show, fair, or exhibition is to spread the works out on the floor or table like I would on the wall within the measured parameters. This especially comes in handy visually because things sometimes do not always look as we envision. So laying them out this way allows you to play around and organize them until the story makes sense or the colors scheme works.

Now that you’ve got your layout, next up is how you hang it! There are so many different techniques I have learned over the years from showcasing both indoor and outside; with some methods interchangeable. One of my favorite versatile ways of hanging artwork is with hanging wire fastened at two points or more to create a reverse arch. It’s great for a fun, quirky look with works for same size poster prints or small canvas works. Another favorite which any apartment owners with strict landlords will love is the thumbtack method. It leaves a needle size hold that can be barely seen and is easy to patch, if needed. In some cases you will need to use two or three thumbtacks in a row for the heavier works but it works just as well as a screw or nail.

Your home, studio, or display is a representation of you so either way you hang it be sure that it is works of art that you like. It doesn’t have to be from someone who is famous and definitely not your most popular work that you personally feel eh about. It’s important to surround yourself with art that speaks to your mind and heart, and works that bring you joy. So dust off those works or art and get to hanging!

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