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!


Mural at Hoover

I created a jazz ensemble mural for Hoover Music Company in Springfield, MO in 2006. When we moved back to Springfield in June, I noticed the mural was looking a little faded. I stopped in and left a note letting them know I was back in town and would be happy to touch up the mural for them. They responded the next day and hired me on.

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I worked on it for a couple of hours each day to let the paint dry. I packed an old suitcase with acrylic paint (Winsor & Newton Galleria: Burnt Umber, Yellow Ochre, Mars Black, Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue, and Pale Umber. Golden: Cadmium Red Medium Hue and Burnt Sienna. Liquitex Basics: Raw Sienna. Liquitex: Raw Umber. Grumbacher Academy: Titanium White and Burnt Sienna), Golden Heavy Gel medium, brushes, soap, latex gloves, paper towels, palette knife, apron, hat, slippers, plastic cups, double sided tape, baking pans, palette paper, painters tape, sunscreen, Dr. Bronner’s Soap, wash cloths, and one shot sealer. I also brought a tarp, step ladder, and jug of water.

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Day 1: I washed the mural with Dr. Bronner’s soap and water and rinsed with water. I went over all of the figures outlines with a dark gray – almost black. I painted the woman’s dress a bright red straight from the tube, but ran out of paint at the bottom.

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Day 2: I covered the red dress again to make the color a bit brighter and richer. I repainted the microphone and stand and the saxophone. I repainted the upright bass using a flat burnt sienna for the bass body.

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Day 3: I repainted the guitar and put a second coat of flat burnt sienna on the upright bass.

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Day 4: I reworked the dark gray – almost black outline.

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Day 5: I created a medium gray and doubled the outline next to the dark gray – almost black outline. I created some shadows and curves to the red dress. I added some shading and highlights to the upright bass.

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One of the best things about being a freelance artist is that I never know where I’ll be or what sort of project I will be working on next.