hanging-artIt’s a fact of life, first impressions matter.  In the art world, galleries only have a few minutes to capture the attention of a prospective client.  Most all successful galleries know this fact and use it to their advantage by professionally hanging and lighting their works of art.

Don’t forget, a gallery’s job is to display our artwork in a pleasing and approachable manner in order to sell…and that is one of the reasons why they get paid the big bucks!

Hanging artwork and photographs baffles many, but there is a simple industry rule that you can learn to hang your art like a pro.  Whether you are preparing for a show in a coffee shop, your studio or hanging art in your home, these simple guidelines will help you look professional.

Tips for hanging art:

In general, artwork should be hung so that the center point of the painting is at about eye level for the ‘average’ height person.  Of course there are exceptions and breaking the rules in art can be allowed – but, only once you know the ‘rules’ of course.   Make sure your artwork is ready to hang with appropriate wire for the weight of your artwork or with D-rings for heavier works.  Then you will be ready to install your art…

Tools you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Wall hooks

Important General Information:

  • Always use brackets or picture hooks – don’t just hammer nails into the wall.
  • Use hardware that will support your artwork.
  • Check the manufacturer’s recommendation on the package to make sure it will support more weight, never less than your artwork weighs.
  • Always check the hardware to make sure it is firmly secured with screws to the back of the frame/artwork
  • If the artwork is heavy, use two D-ring hangers – one on each side of painting to hang the art
  • When hanging a frame from a wire, use to hooks in the wall for added stability.

Installation Instructions:

  • Find and mark the center point from left to right, of the space in which you are displaying your art.
  • If using D-ring hangers without a wire, measure the art from top to bottom and mark the center of the piece under one of the hangers.
  • d-ring-hanger
  • If using D-ring hangers measure from the center mark to the top of the picture hanger and add 60” to that measurement for a standard height.  This will put the center of your art at eye level.
  • If using a wire, measure from the center mark to the top of the tightened wire and add 60” to that measurement for a standard height.
  • wire-hangers
  • This will put the center of your art at eye level.
  • Measure and mark that distance up from the floor near your center mark on the wall.  Align the marks with a level.
  • This will be your center height mark.
  • Measure the distance between the centers of the picture hangers on the back of the art.  Divide that measurement in half.
  • You will use this measurement in the next step.
  • Using this measurement, hold that number on your tape to the center height mark on the wall and mark the distance between the hangers.  For example: Let’s say your hangers are 20” apart, set the 10” mark in the center height mark.  Mark the wall at the end of your tape measure and at the 20” mark.
  • Use the level to align these marks with the center height mark.
  • Position the bottom of the wall hooks on your marks and hammer in place.
  • picture-hooks-ready-for-d-ring-hangers
  • If hanging from a wire, makes sure the wire on the back of the artwork is tight enough to hide the hanger when the artwork is hanging on the wall.
  • Lift the art onto the wall hooks.  Use the level to check that the art is level.

Once you learn where the appealing ‘eye level’ is for your art, you can then hang your art without all the above measuring.  But, the above guidelines will insure a professional look whether in your home or for an art show.

Hang in there!  Lori 🙂

You might enjoy these other helpful articles:

Commissioned Art – Tips to Make it a Success!
How to Jumpstart Your Art Career
The Right Gallery – How to Find One
Should Artists Work with Galleries, Go Direct to Collectors or Both?
3 Tips for Artists to Promote themselves and Their Galleries
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