Thursday, November 13, 2008

How to Hang Your Artwork (Unconventionally)

Jennifer Phillips opening night at Dry Soda, Seattle, WA

This month has been a whirl wind art showing extravaganza! Three or more shows in one month is an awesome feat - and I have learned a few new things that I wanted to share...

With every new place I show my work brings on a new set of challenges. Each venue is so different that I have now learned a couple key things to remember when I venture out to hang in local cafes, businesses, and retail establishments.

For example, know what the venue prefers in terms of how you physically hang your art. Prepare AHEAD of time and talk with someone in charge to find out more information like: Is is actually OK to hammer into their wall? Is there a hanging system already there for you to use? If so, what other materials will you need to successfully hang your work? Is there a ladder and am I comfortable climbing it?

Dry Soda Co. was a great learning experience for me. They have an amazing space that really shows off the artwork great. Some of their main walls are made out of nicely finished birch wood. So naturally, they did not want to have a bunch of nail holes all over them. Being that they left the hanging up to the artist's, I had to get creative.

I had one advantage. The walls didn't go all the way up to the ceiling, so I had an edge to work with... After climbing a very tall ladder and checking out the top of the wall, I decided I needed to make a trip to Home Depot for some help. While I should have prepared for this in advance, I was lucky because HD was just down the street. So one hour and $100 later, I had a solution (see below).

Bathroom door towel hooks. Yes folks, towel hooks. They were nice and wide to hang over the wall edge, a nice silver finish to match the decor, and very strong and sturdy to hold my heavier oil pastels that were framed under glass. 

I also bought "swivel eye snap hooks" (pictured above) that clipped over the hook and attached picture wire through the loop end and then to my picture. I have found these very useful for a couple of shows I have done this year. So I keep them on hand.

The other thing I have learned from doing these venues, is to always always always bring my artist tool box and everything in it. My artist tool box consists of things like: tape, hammer, nails, glue, black touch up marker, compressed air, glass cleaner, picture wire, wire cutters, scissors, screw driver, drill, anything picture hanging related, anything touch up related, and picture hanging hardware. It is always those times when walking out the door saying "ooooh I won't need that this time", and then I do, and I am cursing myself. 

My husband and brother came to support me on my opening night. But the weather was sooo awful, that most others stayed away... sniff sniff, oh well. 

And then there was hope! A few people came in to taste some soda and take in the art, so I captured the moment...

My spread of impulse buys, matted prints, mini paintings and lil stuff! The show is up until the end of the month, if you are local, please pay a visit and taste their soda! It's really good!


michelle said...

Hi Jennifer,
Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm excited to see you have one also. Looks like you have been very busy, the paintings are gorgeous. I'll enjoy checking in to see what you're up to.

Jennifer Phillips said...

Sweet! Nice to hear from you Michelle... I have bookmarked your blog as well!

Casey Klahn said...

Congrats on the show(s)!

I want to add that lighting is a jsut about must, huh? I want to hang in a coffee shop now, but lighting...

Looks great in this cafe, esp. w the cool carpet and the lighting seems good.