First I get some shameless self-promotion.
I am excited to have a solo exhibition of my New England photography at the Jaffrey Civic Center from July 11th through August 16th. The Center is one of my favorite places to show my work. The downstairs Auditorium Gallery is spacious, well lit, and has an excellent hanging system. Most importantly, the director, Dion Owens , is a delight to work with and has a tireless commitment to supporting the arts in our region. The only challenge of showing at the Civic Center is that the galleries are enormous. Exhibitions in Jaffery are easily the biggest that I have had the opportunity to stage. Thank goodness I framed 13 new pieces for the show, since I ended up hanging all 30 of the pictures that I jammed into my car. Jaffrey is a bit out of the way but the Center is one of the best places to enjoy art in the region and the getting there from Keene leads you down Route 124, which is my favorite scenic road around Mount Monadnock. Come by if you are in the area. The Civic Center is open Tuesdays 10 to 6, Wednesday through. Friday from 1 to 5 and Saturday from 10 to 2 . It is located on Route 124 just west of the town center and almost across the street from Sunflowers Restaurant, an excellent place for lunch or dinner. For more information and directions check out the Jaffrey Civic Center web site, you may even notice some of my pictures scattered through the pages.
Enough advertising! As I Assembled the Jaffrey show, I realized that in my long stated effort to "show the work", I have displayed my photographs in nearly 50 solo shows and group exhibitions. Hanging a show requires considerable effort and care both to display the work to best advantage and to protect the pictures from damage. Over the years I have dropped, bumped and scraped pictures leading to broken glass and scratched frames as well as dislodging dust to float in the frame. Through painful experience I have developed a system to simplify the process and reduce the risk of damage to the work. This includes a simplified approach to packing and transporting the images as well as a tool box of resources that make the hanging easier and more precise.
|Life-Time Supply of Corrugated|
How's It Hanging?
Over the years I have assembled a collection of tools that make the hanging process much simpler, but he greatest difficulty is that
|Wire Hanging System|
My Hanging Toolbox
The contents of my hanging toolbox has expanded over the years as I have attempted to be prepared for all the possible challenges of different venues. Given all the possible scenarios, I recently had to get a bigger box.
What's in the Box
|It will NEVER be this clean again|
Other key elements include a level and measuring implements. I have a tape measure to evenly position the pictures, but for final alignment and especially to adjust the height of the frames, I find it is easier to use a rigid yard stick. A small foot stool occasionally comes in handy when hooks are especially high. When I have the flexibility, " I like to arrange the pictures at average eye level and with their bases all at the same height. This is almost impossible to do when I must pound hangers into the walls and in those situations I will often purposefully stagger the picture at different heights. It looks better than having the pictures all slightly out of alignment. Finally, before I level the pictures I do a detailed inspection and clean smudged glass with ammonia free glass cleaner on a lint free cloth. I never spray the cleaner directly on the glass since it has a tendency to flow into the frame and contaminate the mat.
For a few early years, I attached separate labels to the wall next to each image, but this proved to be a hassle with labels falling off and stripping the paint or wall paper. Now I wait until the show is hung and then prepare a single, ordered list of the works to post with the exhibition. I identify the pictures with numbers placed on a lower corner with small white adhesive dots. In addition to the list of works, including titles, locations and prices, I add basic information about my interests and process. The list also provides me an easy way to keep track of the work in each show.
Once the show is hung, plumbed and labeled my last step is to photograph each wall as a further record of the exhibition. Finally, I grab a picture of the outside of the venue to use in my inevitable, self promoting Facebook and blog posts.
Sit Back and Enjoy the Show
I hope you get a chance to visit my show at the Jaffrey Civic Center. Let me know what you think of the images. There are great places all around to "show the work", so get started on your own hanging tool box. If you have already assembled your box, I would be interested to hear what you feel is the most essential part of your kit? I still have a little room in my tool box.