Curating the Perfect Salon Style Wall-Part II

The Project Expands

Image from Backdrop

Like any other creative endeavor, gallery wall projects can expand and evolve on a whim.  One idea leads to another and next thing you know, you are off and running and abandoning the original concept.  My gallery wall project was no exception.  The first thing that transpired was an overwhelming desire to paint the dining room before I hung all the art.  Luckily, I had the paint left over from the adjoining living room project (“After Hours” by Backdrop Paint) and away I went.  The other expansion that occurred was I decided to fill the entire wall and not just the 5’ x 8’ space I had mapped out previously.  Turns out, I had more unhung art than I had realized and I just kept going.

Tools of the Trade

I love to install art hanging flush against the wall, especially if the work can be viewed from the side. This means that in most cases I am bypassing a hanging wire and hanging from D rings, brackets or from the frame itself, if it is substantial enough.  This is personal preference but I love how clean and modern the installation looks when the works are not leaning out from the wall on a hanging hook.  Another favorite gadget is the little silicone dot stickers pictured in the photo.  Placing one of these in the bottom corners of each piece keeps the art from wiggling on the nail and keeps it hanging straight.  Every art installation needs a good level and a handy tape measure although with the free form type of gallery wall we are discussing, spacing is arbitrary and organic and the precision of measuring is not really needed, but you will want to use the level to double check the works are hanging straight. Lastly, I love to use a long nail that is relatively thick and can support the weight of the piece.  My walls are drywall, so I nail directly into the wall, but this will vary if your wall is plaster, masonry, etc…

Off We Go

As I mentioned in the Blog Part I, I love a “hang as you go” strategy and that is exactly what I did here.  I began the wall with the vertical mixed media piece by Baltimore/Brooklyn artist, Steven Riddle, visible in the photo in the center of the wall.  From there I moved up and out placing art in a pleasing, asymmetrical fashion.  The beauty of this type of installation is that there are no real rules and you can mix all different shapes, sizes, media and the spacing.  I ended up hanging almost floor to ceiling with my art as the process became so fun and I was obsessed with what I could place next.  (And, I have enough work left over for another gallery wall somewhere else which I will explore on another day).

Never Stop Collecting

With as many pieces of art that I own and as amazing as I think this gallery wall is, I will never stop collecting art.  There are always new artists, new works, and new ideas to explore.  The beauty of my gallery wall is that I can swap out or add works as I add to my collection–it is every evolving.  I should mention that my gallery wall also includes one piece by each of my children as their work is just as valuable to me as those of “real” artists so don’t be afraid to add personal touches to your walls.

The auctions at Alex Cooper offer art that is accessible for every level of collector, from the novice to the seasoned.  I am particularly excited that we have two auctions featuring art coming up in June.  Our next Discovery Auction will feature 100 lots of amazing entry level art pieces with all lots beginning at $20.  Our Gallery Auction returns, online only due to social distancing, and the June 27th sale will feature, among others,  Baltimore artist, Soledad Salame, Andy Warhol, Melvin Miller, Nathaniel K. Gibbs, and Gustav Klimt. I have a feeling I will be buying.

Kathleen Hamill
Director, Modern & Contemporary Art
Fine Art Appraiser, USPAP