Monday, February 15, 2010

Presenting Two-Dimensional Artwork Presentably

So, you finish that painting, drawing, photograph, or print. You are ready to show it to the world. Somehow you have to figure out how you need to prepare the work to go between the studio and the gallery (or, yes, in a buyer’s home). Usually, your work needs to be framed. This is your job as the artist—to make sure it can be presented well.

Framing well doesn’t have to be expensive. Artist Ryan Pack suggests: “Some good places to find cheap frames are Ross, TJ Maxx, and even thrift stores. Also sometimes Hobby Lobby has sales on their frames.”

There are tomes available online about framing artwork, so I will just make a few points.

1. Keep it simple: framing should not distract from the artwork and. Unless your artwork is purposely commenting on framing or art world garishness, you don’t want people to think about the frame or hardware.

2. Frames should be sound: Frames keep artwork safe when being handled and hung. This goes for strip frames abound canvases and frames that hold glazing (glass or Plexiglas). Do not use the same frames you used for hanging posters on your wall in high school as they are flimsy, unsafe to hang, and look like an afterthought. I’ve seen better framing solutions made out of two thick pieces of Plexiglas with c-clamps holding it together.
3. Consider matting: Do you want viewers to see the edges of your artwork? If so, float the piece on a neutral-colored backing. If not, consider a window mat that will cover the edges or frame the work so it takes up the whole frame.

4. Hanging: Your work will need a way to be hung on the wall. Perhaps this sounds obvious to you, but I assure you we have received many submissions that have no wire, d-rings, or option to mount the piece. Most galleries will not tape, tack or lean a piece on the wall.

If you wire the work (the most universally accepted method to hang and also easiest for possible buyers), be sure you get strong enough wire and tie it off carefully. Other good choices for hanging hardware are d-rings (museums & high end galleries prefer) and gravity bars. See illustrations.

5. Cleanliness makes a big difference: that stray hair, finger smudge, or cracked corner is distracting. Take your time.

The deadline to submit art to Momentum is February 20. Artwork submissions must be framed or ready to install. See the full
call for artists here.

View, Purchase and Experience Artwork from Oklahoma’s Emerging Young Artists at
Momentum OKC on March 5 & 6, 2010 at 410 SW 3rd in Oklahoma City.

Illustrations: Poster frames not recommended, back of piece with no hanging hardware by Ryan Pack, how to tie a wire on your artwork and d-rings by Trent Lawson.

No comments: