Art Show at Midtown Carnegie Branch Library

When we first moved back to Springfield in June last year, I approached the reference librarian at Midtown Carnegie Branch Library, who also happened to book the art shows. I sent her the usual and appropriate materials via email and she liked what I sent. We booked a show for September 2017. I went and took pictures of the space to decide what show and sizes would work well.

I decided that the “Family Life Illustration” series at 11×14″ in 16×20″ frames would work well in this community space visually and conceptually. M helped me carry in all of the work and art hanging supplies. I set the pieces against the wall to decide on placement.

Gallery Gal showed up to help me hang the work.

We measured, hammered, and hung. When finished hanging, we leveled, placed the exhibition labels next to each piece, and put up the artist statement. I have a “The Process of Hanging an Art Show” post to reference of more specific show hanging details.



The “Family Life Illustrations” exhibit will be at the Midtown Carnegie Branch Library through the end of November 2017.

 

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The Process of Hanging an Art Show

This is an informative post about the general process that I use to hang an art show. Of course, different spaces require different solutions, but this is basically what I do when approaching hanging an art show.

This is my process of how I hang an art show:
#1 Once the paintings are in the space I organize them – leaning them against the wall. This way I can get a pretty good idea of how they will look in the space and with each other.

#2 I unload the contents of my show-hanging bag which includes: hammer, picture hangers (50 lbs), blue painters tape, white artist tape, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, art labels (in a recycled stationary box), notebook (with secret formula), tape measure, ruler, level, writing pen, and micron ink pens. It’s also practical to bring a step ladder to these kind of things.

#3 I measure the space between the wall edges and the paintings, so that they are all even.

#4 I work out the eye level for each piece by using the secret formula. Because the whole reason I have made this blog was to share with you my artist process, I am going to share the secret formula! Make sure to include the frame for all measurements. Also, if you are getting numbers like “.185” just round up to quarters (.25, .5, .75).

THE SECRET FORMULA FOR HANGING ART
Measure the Length (up and down) and divide it by 2 = x
Measure the Length (up and down) from the highest point of the picture hanger (when pulling up on it) and the top of the painting = y
Subtract x from y and add 56. x-y+56=z (The standard eye level is 56-58, but I’m a bit on the short side, so I favor the 56.)
Place the tape measure on the floor in the center of the painting and pull up all the way to whatever number z was and mark a dot in pencil on the wall. That is where you will put your picture hanger.
Example: 50.5 ÷ 2 = 25.25 (x) – 10.5 (y) + 56 = 70.75 (z)

#5 Hang work and use the level tool (a level is a tool to make sure the painting is not hanging crooked). Place piece of painters tape or artist tape on the back of the art labels and place next to the piece wherever it looks good – usually on the bottom right about an inch or so from the artwork. I also use tape to mount my artist statement.

Art Show at Bookmarx

In December 2016, I went into Bookmarx – this little locally owned bookstore on Walnut Street – with a friend. I noticed they had a gallery space in the back that was surprisingly large. I started talking with the owner Aubrey. She told me to send her an email with some samples of my work. I did send her some samples and she liked them. She said an artist had backed out for March, and I said that would be great to show then.

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I went by about a month before set up and measured the space. I like to know which pieces will fit in the space in advance. I drew up a diagram of the space and was able to fit almost the entire show in it.

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I took the unframed pieces to Gallery Gal. I really wanted the frames to match and knew they could get the job done! Matthew was able to match the exact wood (soft maple).

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In the meantime, I sent Aubrey info  (including a picture of the exhibition postcard, artist bio and the artist statement) for the Springfield Regional Arts Council promotional information for the First Friday Art Walk.

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As is always the case, time flew by and it was already time to go set up the show. M offered to take the paintings to Bookmarx for me and as he’s been pretty active at Royal Barbell these days, he had no problem loading and unloading all 13 pieces for me. Then after calling Gallery Gal for some help with hanging the artwork I put my show-hanging bag together and my work boots on and headed out.

This is my process of how I hang an art show:
#1 Once the paintings are in the space I organize them – leaning them against the wall. This way I can get a pretty good idea of how they will look in the space and with each other.

#2 I unload the contents of my show-hanging bag which includes: hammer, picture hangers (50 lbs), blue painters tape, white artist tape, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, art labels (in a recycled stationary box), notebook (with secret formula), tape measure, ruler, level, writing pen, and micron ink pens. It’s also practical to bring a step ladder to these kind of things.

#3 I measure the space between the wall edges and the paintings, so that they are all even.

img_8031

#4 I work out the eye level for each piece by using the secret formula. Because the whole reason I have made this blog was to share with you my artist process, I am going to share the secret formula! Make sure to include the frame for all measurements. Also, if you are getting numbers like “.185” just round up to quarters (.25, .5, .75).

THE SECRET FORMULA FOR HANGING ART
Measure the Length (up and down) and divide it by 2 = x
Measure the Length (up and down) from the highest point of the picture hanger (when pulling up on it) and the top of the painting = y
Subtract x from y and add 56. x-y+56=z (The standard eye level is 56-58, but I’m a bit on the short side, so I favor the 56.)
Place the tape measure on the floor in the center of the painting and pull up all the way to whatever number z was and mark a dot in pencil on the wall. That is where you will put your picture hanger.
Example: 50.5 ÷ 2 = 25.25 (x)10.5 (y) + 56 = 70.75 (z)

#5 Hang work and use the level tool (a level is a tool to make sure the painting is not hanging crooked). Place piece of painters tape or artist tape on the back of the art labels and place next to the piece wherever it looks good – usually on the bottom right about an inch or so from the artwork. I also use tape to mount my artist statement, which I have printed on large, shiny foam board.


 

The art opening was the next day. The art opening is typically when the artist is present at their show. It may be a time for them to meet and maybe make some fans too.


 

There was a pretty good turnout – a lot of my friends came out. Thanks friends!


Hanging Art with Kelsey

Kelsey texted me to come to Grace Church and bring some art to hang. M and Ein came along to help. We looked through each others work and started placing our work against the walls to see what would look good where. The wall was such a dark brown that only certain pieces worked in the space.

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We shifted and looked, shifted and looked and so on until we were satisfied of what piece we wanted where.

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We pulled out the hammer and nails and just eyeballed it. We didn’t use a tape measure or a level…basically a big “hanging art no no.” Why didn’t we call Ephraim!

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All of the work went well together in the end!

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Kelsey was a lot of fun to hang art with. She was just really relaxed and open to many different options. It made things very easy.

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Thanks to M for driving, carrying art, taking pictures, and general advice. Thanks to Ein for sniffing everything and being cute.

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Hanging Art with Ephraim

When the wall is bare, and you have lovely and thought provoking  art. Why not hang your lovely and thought provoking art piece in this bare wall space?

This WAS the bare wall.

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The following post is about my friend Ephraim McNair hanging lovely and though provoking art.

Ephraim is a graphic and collage artist who worked in a gallery for a stint. He worked in the exhibitions offices of University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR), and his alma mater, Western Michigan University. At UALR he enjoyed helping Nathan Larson manage and install pieces from the permanent collection in offices across campus. At Western, his favorite job was lighting exhibits from 30′ up on the air on the scissor lift.

We met through his wife Marita, whom I worked with at UALR. He initially hung the lovely and thought provoking art piece  “Orthodoxy” by artist Curt Bozif, in our home office.

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“Orthodoxy” by Curt Bozif

This was when my art studio took over the entire front room.

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Once we moved my studio, we wanted to move  “Orthodoxy” as well – so it wouldn’t get any paint splatters on it. Ephraim so graciously worked with us again – by hanging “Orthodoxy” as well as wrote for Paper Opera about this experience. The following is by Ephraim McNair:

Art hanging, June 1, 2014

The piece of art is 48″ tall x 96″ wide x 4“ deep canvas on masonite. It is solidly built, with vertical bracing on the back reinforcing the masonite, and perimeter framing to which the canvas is attached.

There are many ways this piece could be hung but the artist did not attach any wires or D rings to the back. Instead of installing our own, we took advantage of the structural soundness of the piece and hung it on some vertical rails mounted to the wall.

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I brought a pretty basic tool box with me for the installation. Here is what we ended up using:
Drill bits
3″ drywall screws
Power drill with 2-headed apex (a phillips and slotted head on the same bit, these are super useful)
Tape measure
36″ Level
Pencil
Stud finder
Masking tape

The first thing to do was determine position. We knew it should go behind the couch but how high above it? Micah took a seat and we measured a comfortable distance above his head from the floor. To that measurement we added the height of the painting, extended the tape measure and held it against the wall.

Waaay too high. From the ceiling there was only a few inches to where the top of the painting would be. While it made room to sit on the couch comfortably, the resulting proportion above and below the piece would have been rather unbalanced. Instead we opted to set the piece about level with the top of the piano and put enough room between the couch and art so sitters wouldn’t feel like they should lean their head on the painting.

There was a good deal more measuring that went on which informed the final decision but I won’t bore you with the details. Personally, I rather enjoy examining a space numerically before working it and discovering spatial relationships.

Once we knew where we wanted the painting, I got out the stud finder and ran some masking tape along the width of the area where the painting would end up. The tape provides a surface for the stud finder to run on without marring the paint as well as a medium for marking the location of found studs.

After we found the studs, we prepared the rails for installation. Micah drilled pilot holes several inches from both ends and drilled in the screws so that the points of each were just poking through. The rails are 1-by-2’s and in order to maximize support for the depth of the painting, we put the screws in so the 2″ length would be perpendicular to the wall. Then we marked one L(eft), the other R(ight) and indicated which end we intended to use as the top.

Once the rails were prepped we marked the location of the top of the rails on the wall at our chosen support studs. This is the most important step in regards to the levelness of the painting; “Measure once cut twice” definitely applies here.

Calculating the location of the top of the rails was very straightforward. We simply measured the height of the (p)iano, added to that the (h)eight of the painting and then removed 1″ from the total for the width of the wood forming the painting’s structure. This can be expressed with the equation p + h – 1″ = measure for top of rail.

L.K. and Micah’s carpet is the comfortable squishy residential kind so I measured from the top of the toe board, which wasn’t that high, to eliminate any variance in rug density. On the wall, I penciled a T with the top bar at the measure, and, after re-measuring both marks, asked for the level.

Holding the level and the rail together, we put the top of the rail at the top of the T and plumbed the rail before pushing the screw points into the the wall. We circled the resulting marks and drilled pilot holes at those points.

At one of the marks the drill went right into the wall with no resistance after the first quarter inch of drywall. A clear indication that we had missed the stud! We checked the stud position and adjusted our rail, re-measured and re-marked its top, plumbed it and then tried again. Resistance all the way through! We had hit the stud.

With the pilot holes drilled, we screwed the rails to the wall,  lifted the painting into place and stepped back to admire our handiwork. Since we were confident in the position of our rails we didn’t even bother checking that the painting was level.

With the painting up, the finishing touches revolved around organizing the room and justifying it to established focal points and the wonderful painting which had finally found its home.

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“It makes a certain kind of sense to put the largest painting in ones collection in the largest room of the house,” Micah said.