Join Konrad Eek for an in-depth discussion in this video Hanging the exhibition, part of Exploring Photography: Planning and Staging an Exhibition.
So now that we've finished sequencing the show it's time to go ahead and hang the work. I start with a simple formula to determine the height that we want the work to hang. Typically, eye level for an American is around 62 inches, say 5'2". What I'll do, then, is take the height of the frame, in this case, 16 inches, and divide that by 2, giving me 8 inches, and then add that do the 62 inches for a height of 70 inches. This will basically center the image in the viewer's field of vision.
Once we've established that kind of concept to start with, we then adapt that to this particular wall. In this case we've got an interesting obstacle. Here is the alarm keypad, and I'm just going to treat that as a wall. I'm going to look at that as a stopping place. I think it will help work with the entryway position and so on as far as positioning the work. So I'm going to measure from the left wall over to the wall I've created here with the alarm pad, and I get a measurement of 64 inches.
I'm going to halve that to 32 inches. And I'm going to take a pencil and make a very light pencil mark 32 inches away from the inner wall. Okay, that pencil mark determines my center line. The next thing I need to know is the drop on the frame piece This are wired, in this case rather than using security hardware, we're on a fairly safe environment, so I'm comfortable hanging this in the simplest way which is just a wire and a picture hanger. But I need to determine the drop, the distance that the wire comes from the top of the frame.
And so, I'm going to slap the tape measure on there, and we get 2-1/8" is the drop, we had established 70" as a starting height, I'm going to deduct the 2-1/8", which gives me 67-7/8". I'm going to center myself on my line there. I'm going to put a little cross mark there at 67 and seven-eighths inches. I'm going to grab a brass picture hanger. These are a little bit more expensive than just the bent metal ones, but they're stronger and the nail that they work with is a beautiful tool steel nail that makes a very small hole so you don't leave much damage behind.
One of the things we want to keep in mind when we're presenting our work in an environment like this is we really want to be non-invasive with the techniques we use to hang everything or as much so as we can. We do have to create one small hole and a couple of pencil marks But hopefully, that will be the only mark of our passing. So we've got our hook nail in the wall. Then we'll pick up the piece of work. Bring it over the hook. And then one thing that will happen particularly in an entryway. You might get a little bit of wind coming through here.
The door might bang. That might shake the wall a little bit and cause the piece to shift. So I have these little rubber bumpers. You can see they're just adhesive backed. They're small little, round, rubber pieces, and I'm just going to peel those off. And reach behind and stick them to the back corners of the frame. I wait until the very last thing to do this. Because I found if I do this when I frame the pieces, these usually end up stick to the packaging material I use when I transport or on the upholstery of the vehicle, something like that.
So now I have those in place. And then I'm going to take a bubble level. And make sure that the piece is hanging level. I'm going to get rid of our little sticky note coding there. I always keep glass cleaner and a clean cotton cloth with me, too, in case I need to do any touch up on the cleaning. And I think that looks quite good. The next step we want to take is labelling the work. And we talked earlier about titling and I have here, this is just a, a standard inkjet business card template and we printed the labels for the entire show.
I'm going to tear out the one here for American Beauty. And then to affix it on the wall I've got this beautiful little ATG tape gun. And that's just a fancy expression for this thing spits out double stick tape. It's a really nice tacky adhesive. But on a painted wall surface like this, it should be easily removable without leaving residue. And so I'm going to take the label, I've applied the adhesive to the back of it, I'm going to measure down two inches, and I'm going to carefully line that label up with the edge of the print exactly two inches down.
The other thing I want to do here with the first image is I want to include my artist statement. I just created a word document, printed it out on a nice quality bond paper, and then I used spray my adhesive to mount it on mat board which gave me a little extra thickness. And then I carefully trimmed it to a nice rectangle. And I'm going to do the very same thing, I'm just going to use a little bit this ATG adhesive on the back of the label. And then this I want to align directly even with the top on the right side.
And that way, as you come in the doorway, it will to certain degree, be the first thing you see. So I'm going to line up my tape measure. Line up this. Press it against the wall. This was a fairly simple installation because we're working on painted drywall, one of the easiest surface to mount on. You might in a tavern situation, other public buildings, be dealing with stone or brick walls, I go into quite a bit more depth on how to hang on different wall surfaces in my matting, framing, and hanging your photographs course.
But this is a good starting place, you can see that we've got a nice clean installation. It's carefully labeled, and I think the presentation looks good. We now just have to repeat this for the rest of the images in the rest of the exhibit
Next, Konrad takes a selection of images to an exhibition space in Oklahoma City. There he shows how to sequence selections for maximum impact and hang them at the right height and distance apart. The course concludes with tips on other methods of self-promotion available to photographers.