HOW TO EFFECTIVELY DISPLAY YOUR ART
You have landed a location to show your art (other than a gallery that hangs their own) and you aren't sure what is the best way to hang it. Of course, you want to show as many paintings as possible in the allotted space but you need to keep in mind that the objective is to sell your artwork!
The important factors to keep in mind are:
1. DON'T OVERCROWD - Try to keep at least 6 - 8" between each piece of artwork, but definitely no closer than 4" even for groupings.
2. APPROPRIATE HEIGHT - If possible, hang the artwork so that the center of the piece is 60" off the floor, right at the average "eye" height.
3. VIEWING SPACE - If possible, give the viewer enough room to back up 5' to get a good look at the piece of art.
4. LIGHTING - Hopefully where you are hanging or placing your work has good lighting. If not try to display the art piece where it will receive the most light. If not, hang the brightest piece in the lowest light.
If you follow these factors as closely as possible then your artwork will shine, especially if there are other artists close by who do not follow these rules. Your work will show very well by comparison, and, needless to say, you will be the one who gets the sales!
One of the restaurants where I show my art is in an 1890"s house. It is very eclectic with multiple rooms for seating. I was given two wall spaces in the front room which also happens to have the most light. For that I am very grateful and I make sure that my artwork is hung carefully and well arranged so as to show at it's best. The problem is that the walls are plaster and they DO NOT cooperate at all!
Getting nails into plaster can be a nightmare and once there they don't always hold well. It can take quite a long time to arrange and hang paintings so they will stay put and show well. Plus, when I move things around, which I do from time to time, I must fill all holes not reused. This is time consuming but worth it. Thankfully we are allowed to go in early in the morning before they open so as to make sure everything is hung and ready to go at opening time. As a result, I have sold more art than anyone else there. In the past six months, I have sold six pieces of art at just this one location. That, my friend, is a good record! (There are at least six artists at this location)
In return, I painted a picture of the old house with their sign as a gift for the owners. They proudly hung it there for all to see. Good PR I say! It is always a good idea to get on the owner's good side if you will. A good working relationship is invaluable!
The second restaurant is an actual storefront in a strip mall. It is at the beach so everything is "beachy" in decor. It has a large wall space for art but only three artists which is nice. We each have good space to hang our work and the artwork is good, so everything shows well. As a result we get good sales. This location has only been open a few months but I have sold six pieces, two of which are very large and expensive! For this location (same owners) I did a painting of their restaurant names on an old sign post on the beach. They loved it and it too hangs on the wall.
Below I have pictures of each location and the gift paintings. Think about what you can do for your hosts to let them know you appreciate their letting you hang your work. It doesn't have to be expensive, but DO put thought into it so it will something they can appreciate!
This is one of the restaurants where I show my work. (1890's house) Now that I look at it, the six in the middle need to be raised so as to be closer to the height of the other groupings. People sit very close to these so they can be touched thus moving them off level. That can be a problem so every now and then I go by to straighten them up. You can buy small tabs that stick to the back of the frame that help keep them in place called "SCOTCH removable mounting squares." I am going to put one on each of these. Nothing looks worse to me than a picture that is off "kilter."
This is the painting of the 1890's house that became the restaurant. People love the atmosphere and it is very popular among locals and tourists alike, thus good for my business! It looks small, but they can seat a lot of people here.
This is the second restaurant. There is more wall space here and so the paintings (large) are more spaced out. As you can see the late afternoon sun is coming through the window and shining on the left painting. Perhaps that is why the two larger paintings sold(?) It certainly didn't hurt.
I have changed out the artwork since the two paintings above sold. This is the new arrangement. Plus the following photos.
These are across the room from the ones in the picture above. They are a little higher than 60" but the owner wanted them to be safe. There are tables instead of booths so paintings can be jostled more. This restaurant is becoming a hot spot on the beach because they specialize in healthy food in an area where fried foods are common. I apologize that this isn't the best picture, there were people eating so I couldn't stand where I wanted.
These are more of the paintings on separate walls. The tall on the left is on a narrow space between the door and a window. They fit perfectly and are in a conspicuous location. One has already sold.
I also bought the AVERY card system and now print out the info/price tags on my computer. It looks more professional than my previous method. I bought the cards at Walmart and the program download is free. Can't beat that! They are blank business cards, that fit into your printer.
This was my gift to the owners for the new restaurant. They really liked it and it hangs in a prominent spot for all to see. As I said before, good public relations can go a long way!