ArtId Art Blog
Excerpted from Art Marketing 101 by Constance Smith
Hanging artwork in a home or at an exhibition is not easy. It takes time, effort and a bit of knowledge to do a professional-looking job. Study outdoor art exhibits, large art expos, museums and galleries. Note the variety in approaches to exhibiting and hanging. Which ones do you like best? Why? Study the space you will be using before you begin to hang. What color are the walls? What size? Where will you hang what? Artworks should be both a part of the environment and separate from it. Don__™t make an art piece an afterthought. Choose the correct size piece for the space. It should be the most important item in a room.
___ White surfaces are best for hanging. Some galleries and museums hang on blue or other colors. Brickwork can tone down the piece quite a bit. ___ Hang artwork at eye-level, about 6'6" above floor to the top of piece. The average-height person will then look up at the work. Consider whether people will be sitting or standing while viewing the piece. ___ A painting should be no more than a foot above furnishings so that you see them as a unit. ___ Do not touch the surface of paintings; oil marks from fingers are difficult to remove. ___ Do not carry a painting by the top of the frame. Carry with one hand underneath, the other at the side to support the structure. ___ If you are hanging a large painting, share the task of lifting with a second person. ___ When resting a painting on a floor, be careful that there are no abrasive surfaces. ___ You should wear clean, old, white, cotton gloves when working with certain frames and delicate pieces, so as not to get marks on glass or frames. ___ Don__™t hang in excessively cold or damp locations. ___ No crowding or wall-to-wall art. It generally demeans pieces. Quality over quantity. ___ If you can__™t put holes in the wall, try using gallery rods hanging from extruded aluminum ceiling moldings. Transparent fishing line can be used instead of unsightly wire. ___ If you plan to group works together in an exhibition, the bottom edges of frames should remain on the same line. Place the strongest pieces at either end. There should be a flow and variety about the grouping. ___ Lighting is an essential ingredient. Watch for glare on artworks framed under glass.
Study labeling, whether it be at an art fair or a solo-exhibit in a gallery.
___ Labels should all be the same. Use paper that will complement the wall. Some fancy paper can be very inexpensive and add a nice touch. You can lay out 10 labels per sheet. Use a computer laser printer to print labels__"or use nice, legible calligraphy__"no typewriters. ___ When doing an art fair or show, post the price of your work. Yes, I know galleries most often don__™t, but you__™re not a gallery. Many people will think a piece is too expensive if the price is not noted and won__™t even ask about it. If they saw $600 posted on it, they might actually become more interested. ___ Don__™t put a date on your label. For some mysterious reason, buyers think that a five-year-old painting has something wrong with it. They think you haven__™t been able to sell it to date, i.e., you__™re trying to ___dump___ it. Actually, they might be getting one of the artist__™s favorite pieces, which, up until now, you__™ve not been able to part with! ___ A label should include the title, price, name of artist, medium.
LABEL PLACEMENT FOR an EXHIBIT
Place the labels on the same side of all individual pieces. It doesn__™t matter if labels are on the top right side, bottom left side, under the painting, but never above a painting. Have all labels be in the same position, as in the layout below.
The author, Constance Smith, has devoted the last eighteen years to publishing art marketing information__"researching and networking with art world professionals nationwide. Previous to that she represented fine artists in the San Francisco area. Art Marketing 101 is available at bookstores nationwide or you can order directly from the publisher. __The most current edition was published in 2000; 8×10" format, 336 pages, $24.95 + $4 shipping, ISBN: 0-940899-32-9. ArtNetwork, PO Box 1360, Nevada City, 95959 800/383-0677 530/470-0862 530/470-0256 Fax