I thought I'd show you how plan the layout for how I'll hang my art in a limited wall-space gallery.
The first thing I do is find out what the dimensions are of the wall space where I will be hanging my work. Sometimes the gallery director can give me an exact description. More often I make a trip to the gallery to measure and photogragh the area. This also gives me a feeling for what else is in the vicinity which might effect the look of my work ( like windows).
Then I ask the gallery director what their rules are for hanging in the space that will be assigned to me. e.g. how many pieces may I hang, outer dimension limitations, space between each piece of art, labeling requirements etc.
Armed with that information, I measure our the exact dimensions of the wall-space on a area of my living room floor and run painters tape around each edge to denote the edges of usable wall.
|Layout for the SAG Gallery at Applewoods|
If the assigned space is a small sometimes I can get away with using the floor and furnishings inside my house to help with the layout without tape. For example in the photo above, the lower carpet is exactly 6' long wide, and the distance between the two carpets is 4 which was perfect for laying out the artwork which will be going into the SAG Gallery at Applewoods. Trust me, I'll take a few hours of clutter in my living room in exchange for being able to work in the comfort of a climate controlled space during the summer months. (See Photo at top of post)
If the assigned wall space is too large to measure off on the floorspace inside my house, I put down large piece of cardboard on the garage floor and measure it off with painters tape.
Once the usable space is resolved I begin putting down the artwork within it. That is usually a matter of finding a satisfactory visual arrangement between the various sizes and colors of the artwork. There are no fixed rules for how to do this. As a generality I start by put the largest and heaviest and the darkest in values near the bottom, and the smallest and lightest near the top of the space. Then move the paintings around until I find a pleasing arrangement. My husband often has a lot of input into this process and the final arrangement may or may not look like the starting point. It is purely a matter of personal taste.
Once I have the paintings arranged to my satisfaction, I document the layout with a photo of the arrangement on the floor. I then diagram it out onto a sheet of 8.5" x 11" white paper. The outer dimensions of the wallspace are noted along with any required inset, then squares are put in for each painting with their title /price and notes on how far apart they are from each othe,r and measurements to easily identifiable points on the wall. For example the large rectangular painting going into The SAG Gallery at Applewoods was to be centered in the space and its bottom edge was to be 2 inches above the lower edge of the wall-space. The top edge bottom two paintings on either side were to line up with the top of the long rectangular painting and their respective left/right side were to line up with the left/right outsides of the wall space. This diagram and the photo become my guide for hanging the artwork at the gallery.
|Final Arrangement at The Seacoast Artists Gallery at The Market Common|
What sort of assistance the gallery provides, varies with each organization. In Charleston four push pins are temporarily placed on the outer corner limits of one's space for the artist to use as a guide, and a professional hanging system makes alignment easy. At Applewood's small lines on the wood moulding below the space shows exhibitors where one wall space stops and another begins. At the Seacoast Gallery at The Market Common, the Volunteer Staff puts temporary strips of painter's tape on the walls to separate the space for artists on Change out Day. In all cases it is best to plan ahead and document well if you want to insure a pleasing layout.