Gallery Show Layout Question
I have a few questions regarding a layout plan for a gallery show I have coming up in late April in St. Paul MN. This is a 3 day event. The St. Paul Art Crawl to be exact. There will be 30 artists in the building and there will be only one other photographer to date (some digital guy they tell me …hee…hee)
I will have a very nice secured room with brand new walls to hang my prints on which will total 20 – 25; possibly more depending on how many more I can get framed.
I have had shows in the past however never to this scale. I am debating on how I should lay it out. Should hang prints to have some sort of theme or lay it out by the size of prints ranging from 29x 36 (frame) to 5 x 7. All the same height? There are a lot of landscape prints and some that are more abstract type of images.
Any pointers/tips would be greatly appreciated.
Last edited by ishutteratthethought; 02-27-2009 at 10:54 AM. Click to view previous post history.
You'll get as many answers as there are posters, I think, but here are my guidelines (Free and worth every penny.)
I hang by visual connections, not theoretical of mechanical ones. In other words, I hang things next to one another that work - so that the visual momentum of a stroll down the lane of images isn't broken up. Try to get the balance of dark/light, busy/spare, positive/negative space set so that there is a rhythm. Hang with the visual center of each image at about 60 to 63 inches from the floor. Space the images so that there is at least half a picture width between pictures unless a few pieces demand a closer relationship. This last can depend heavily on the size of the mat in relation to the image, of course. Sometimes, much closer spacing works well.
There. Vague and maybe sorta helpful. Be prepared to have the next poster tell you very different things. Hanging shows is a dance. Good luck and keep smiling. Don't let the drudgery of the work, or the hassle of hanging overshadow the magic of the show. Glory in the fact that you have so much work up there and that folks are going to get to see it all.
Thanks for suggestions & comments Whitey, I am excited to put this thing together. It is a great opportunity for me to display my images on the larger scale than I am used to. There is suppose to be a large number of viewers and potential buyers coming by so of course I want to make it flow for sure. Since December I have had a few photos’ showing in another show in downtown Minneapolis that will be ending soon however that was just a couple of images and they were hung by a professional service.
I have started to jot down notes to get some type of a layout by putting them in my mini gallery in the basement to see what works together and what doesn’t.
Thanks again for the info.
Last edited by ishutteratthethought; 02-27-2009 at 04:03 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Just my 2cents worth, so take it for just another opinion. I would give extremely serious thought to exactly what you're going to hang. As a general rule, the strongest presentation will have a unifying theme through all the images, beyond 'my favorite 25 images from my inventory'. Since none of us are Richard Avedon or Ruth Bernhard, we're not in a position to have a life's retrospective that will justify 25 images on different topics. I think you would be far better served adhering to "less is more" and showing a single coherent, consistent body of work (consistent in size, subject matter, and/or presentation) than having a scattershot blasting of color, black-and-white, large, small, enlargement and contact print. You would be better off having 15 prints up that are all about a single topic, regardless of size, or all presented the same way even if they are of disparate subjects, than you will otherwise. You'll stand out from the crowd that way too. Far too often in group shows that I've participated in, I have seen people try to fill every square inch of wallspace they are alloted, only to have their good work drowned out in the cacophony on the wall. So my suggestion would be to edit, re-edit, and re-edit again before you hang the show. If you have the chance, go to the exhibit space beforehand, sketch out a plan of the space, and then try to envision how you would hang the work. This may help you with your editing process. Other than that, previous advice offered is good- aim for eye level, and a reasonable distance between images so that your viewer can take in each image without being distracted by the next, losing focus and ultimately forgetting the image.