No matter your artistic vision, preferred subject matter and style, when it comes to hanging your art in a booth at an art show, less is more.
Conventional wisdom might suggest that the more artwork you display, the more likely you are to make a sale; however, the opposite can be true. Hanging too many pieces on the walls or stacking art against the walls on the floor isn’t pleasing to the eye and doesn’t give viewers a visual break before they are confronted with your next work of art. The less-is-more philosophy can go a long way in creating a cohesive exhibition that shows your work to its best advantage.
Here are seven design tips and suggestions for hanging artwork.
Hang Art at Eye Level
The rule of thumb most art museums follow for hanging artwork is 58 inches on center. This means that the center of each piece or grouping is 58 inches from the floor. Not only is this where art can be most easily seen and most thoroughly enjoyed, but using a standard height will also give your booth a professional look and help the viewer go seamlessly from one piece to the next.
Give Pieces Breathing Room
To create a modern art gallery, feel give each piece ample breathing room. Aim to have at least 30 percent of the blank wall exposed.
Create Your Own Drama
Most art shows will require that all your displayed artwork is matted, framed, gallery wrapped, or otherwise mounted. With oversized matting and exaggerated proportions, you can transform a small piece of art into a dramatic decorating statement.
Group Pieces Together
If you have certain pieces that belong together or enhance one another, tightly group an even number of pieces together to make a statement or create a focal point that will grab the attention of the viewer. Cluster arrangements work on either large or small wall spaces, depending on the look you want.
Place Pieces in a Row
Continuity is important. Consider placing an odd number of pieces in a horizontal line to provide balance and a sense of space. This works especially well in narrow passageways within your booth space.
Define Private Space
Use art to create a sitting area, such as a reading corner, within your booth. Build your arrangement around a chair and lamp, and hang the art at sitting eye level or even lower.
Light Your Work
Generally, you’ll have a limited number of spotlights available, so make strategic decisions to give your most important pieces the best light. Try cross-lighting to spread the light well and allow for better coverage and more pleasing lighting.
In the most successful booths at art shows, you’ll see pieces hung in a clean, simple arrangement, making it easy to view each piece separately when close or as a cohesive grouping from farther away. Remember, less is more. And if you hang your art right, less might actually mean more sales.