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Features - Posted August 29, 2009 9:34 a.m.
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photos by Kevin Briles

Hang Artwork like a Pro

You’re finally ready to tackle that blank wall in your living room. Problem is, you don’t know what to hang there, or perhaps you have a mish-mash of photos and artwork that you can’t seem to display without it looking like a jumbled mess.

Roylynn Evans feels your frustration, and after 33 years at the The Colony Frame & Gallery (formally known as The Colony Art and Frame Shop), he knows just how to display artwork and photography in the most effective and flattering ways.

“The frame should enhance the art, not compete with it,” he begins. “You want to see the art first and the frame second.”

When you enter the frame shop in Wolflin, his advice seems to work. Before noticing the ornate framework, you see his oil paintings displayed on nearly every wall. Roylynn has been an artist for 35 years, so becoming a Certified Picture Framer and member of the Professional Picture Framers Association was a natural pairing.

Because 80% of people have never stepped foot in a frame shop, he understands why most feel frustrated when they try to hang their favorite pieces on the wall and end up disappointed.

“People often use bigger nails than necessary,” he says. “And people often try to match frames to their décor, but really they should match the frame to the artwork. You’re much more likely to change your décor over time instead of changing out frames.”

His advice on picture framing and hanging involves more than just frame selection. He suggests grouping photographs or artwork based on subject matter, artist, complementary colors, or frame style. Hang the biggest piece in the grouping first, and steer clear of hanging oil paintings or expensive art work in kitchens and bathrooms. It’s best to keep your artwork protected by glass, with spacers, and it’s good to know the weight of the piece to make proper hook and wire selections.

“The purpose of a matte is to separate the imaginary world – the art – from the real world – the room,” Roylynn says. “And as a general rule, hang groupings at overall eye level.”

(Click on the photo gallery to your right for step-by-step instructions on hanging a collection.)

by Jennie Treadway-Miller

Jennie was a columnist for the Chattanooga Times Free Press for eight years prior to moving to Amarillo in 2008. She is an avid reader, runner and writer.
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