Studio Sixty Six

How to Hang Your Art Like a Pro

Posted on April 04, 2019

Painting by Studio Sixty Six artist Florence Yee, framing by Wallacks Framing

Art Collections are built with passion and selected based on personal taste and interest. More often than not it results in an ever-growing collection but your walls aren’t growing with it. So how do we mitigate this problem while also presenting the work in its best light? Whether you are hanging your first piece in your home, adding to a growing collection, or rehanging a well-developed collection it is beneficial to know the standard rules of hanging, when to break them, and how to arrange work in a polished and focused display. 

Art galleries such as Studio Sixty Six are well-versed in the practice of hanging art and while we do offer advice and services, such as hanging work and curating collections in homes and offices, we want to help you learn about hanging practices and how to do it yourself. We’ve collected our March hanging art tips and compiled them into a handy blog post.
 
WHERE TO HANG
 
Painting by Studio Sixty Six artist Natalie Bruvels

The ‘where’ of hanging work involves more than just choosing the room and wall where it will be placed. There are many decisions that need to be made for an artworks placement. We have provided you with a couple of starting points that will take the guesswork out of your hanging placement. 
 
Height Standard and Mid Points: 
The basis for hanging work is finding the middle point of the work and knowing the standards. The general standard for hanging height is 56-60 inches. (Roughly the eye level of your average person.) What this means is that you want the middle point (in height) of the artwork to hit 56-60 inches high on your wall. Here’s a list to use as a quick guide for this:
1. Where 56-60 inches from the floor up is on your wall.
2. Measure the total height of the piece you are hanging.
3. Divide this in half and measure that amount up from your original mark.
4. Find out where the hanging hardware sits in relation to the top of the frame. (ie: hang ing wire, hold as though it were being hung and measure the distance between the top, middle of the wire and the top of the frame.)
5. Measure this distance down from the last mark.
6. Install so that your hanging hook’s bottom sits at this mark. 
 
Exceptions: When to Break the Rules? When Hanging Above Furniture!

Painting by Studio Sixty Six artist Yvonne Wiegers

In cases where the work is being hung above the furniture the height standards will be different. Instead, position the work so that the bottom of the frame is 8 to 10 inches above the furniture piece. You want the artwork to be visually connected instead of floating high above. 
 
Printmaking on fabric by Studio Sixty Six artist Guillermo Trejo

HANGING ARTWORK GROUPINGS

If you’re struggling to decide where to hang multiple works and which of them to hang, the good news is that you don’t have to choose just a single one. Create groupings instead to present dynamic displays. This can be done by working with colour schemes, styles, themes, and more. Below we outline a few different ways to do this with examples. 
 
Example 1: Colour, Material, and Style
This example focuses on colour, material, and style. These pieces have similar colours as well as similar formal elements. While these similarities allow the work to coexist, the textural and material differences produce a subtle contrast that adds visual interest to this grouping.
 
Painting by Studio Sixty Six artists Gabriela Avila Yiptong and fabric artist Allyson Rousseau

Example 2: Monochromatic Colour Schemes


In this second grouping, you can see that the works play well together because of their similar monochromatic colour schemes. Visual interest is added through the differences. In this case, it is added through complimentary framing.

Example 3: Colour
 
Photo by Yannis Sourris, Collage by Studio Sixty Six artist Amy Thompson

Grouping artwork together by colour can produce a variety of moods. This can be done by focusing on a shared colour between the pieces themselves or working with an overall colour scheme between the works in your collection and your wall/decor colours. Shared colours in decor can emphasize the colours in the work and the mood in the room. This example utilizes the shared blue of these photo-based works along with the wall colour to create a serene and calming atmosphere.

Example 4: Group Artworks on a Shelving Unit or Bookcase


Deep 
bookshelves give you the luxury to play with layers. Lean artwork along the back of the shelves, and anchor them by placing a few small pieces of art near the front of the shelves to give them depth. Here we have a combination of monochromatic artworks and small paintings that compliment the back of the shelving unit.  

Photo by Studio Sixty Six artists Troy Moth, sculpture Susan Roston, paintings Gabriela Avila Yiptong, Custom Shelving Unit by Janise Saikaley


We hope this was helpful. Now go enjoy hanging and putting your art on display! If you'd like more information, call
Studio Sixty Six' director and designer Carrie Colton, at 613 355 0359 or email her  carrie@studiosixtysix.ca

About

Studio Sixty Six is a contemporary art gallery devoted to showcasing unique, thought-provoking Canadian art located at 858 Bank Street, Suite 101, in the Glebe. This is our official blog, where we share what's happening at the gallery, as well as in the broader fine art and design communities of Ottawa.

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