Framing and Presenting Artwork for Art Exhibits

10th Oct 2016

Showcase your artwork in the best light! Great works of art deserve a great presentation. Poor framing and presentation will weaken the artwork’s impact, even make it look horrible. On the other hand, a well-framed and creatively presented work of art will shine even more and become your definitive work yet.

Here are some guidelines when framing and preparing art for exhibits:

  • The focus is on the artwork. The picture frame should simply do its job – to draw the viewers’ eye to the artwork. Having an ornate antique picture frame with wide and elaborate edges may end up overpowering the display, when used on a medium-sized artwork. However, the same frame can result in a magnificent display when used with the right artwork.
  • Choose picture frames with an eye for color, texture and style. When choosing a picture frame, select one that will complement the artwork in terms of its color and design. The color of the picture frame does not necessarily have to match the dominant colors of the artwork, you can also use frames with a complementary color or a natural wood finish. You can also consider frames in gold, silver or black finish. Gold or silver picture frames can work very well with classic and traditional artwork but a black picture frame is usually be the perfect foil for contemporary artwork. You can also look into whether you can use round picture frames or vintage oval frames rather than the standard rectangular picture frames, just to provide a unique look for your artwork.
  • The treatment of artwork must be marked with respect and professionalism. As an artist who desires to show the world his art, the passion for your work should be there. However, remember that you are also professional and must treat the artwork as a professional. This includes carefully choosing the materials that you will use for the artwork, as well as how you will hang it and place it over lighting. Any metallic elements (such as the hanging hardware) should be made of stainless or rust-resistant. The same goes for workmanship. Do not settle for haphazard finishing or uneven work.
  • Consider the use of archival materials. This is to ensure that your patrons enjoy your work longer. Non-archival paper and adhesive can cause the fibers of the canvas to weaken and deteriorate. This is due to the presence of acid on these non-archival materials. Over time, the acids will seep into the artwork and result in some deterioration and damage.
  • The finished frames should come equipped with the right hanging mechanism. It is best to make an ocular visit of the site to see their hanging equipment. Generally, you will need some wire securely attached at the back, ready for hanging. Check that the hanging hardware is strong enough to support the entire weight of the picture frame.
  • Consider float mounting. This is a technique where the artwork is framed in such a way that it looks suspended within the frame. The edges of the canvas are visible. This kind of framing technique works very well with watercolors.
  • Prepare the inventory. List down the titles, dimensions and medium used of your framed work that you have for display. You can also list down how much you want to price each work, as well as the additional cost of the frame. When you sell a piece, you can include your client’s information to your records.
  • Prepare the artwork for transport. Protect your artwork by wrapping them securely with bubble wrap and cardboard corners. These will protect the artwork from damage that may occur during transit.
  • Put on your best face. Now, after all the hard work of preparing your pieces, set some time to prepare yourself. Take a deep breath, become comfortable and confident and reflect the passion and artistry that you poured out into your pieces.