I have done 1 1/2 festivals as a photographer.  All my shows will be regional and seasonal.  So I am at home in Connecticut with a hallway full of framed art.  Much sitting on the floor.  Get the picture?

What do others do?  I could stuff a small number into a closet and I have lots of frames boxes (not for all) but I do like looking at them ... they will get dusty, hanging methods different from booth setting ... torn paper backing ...!  Help!  Marilyn Mills

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  • My Wife and I do an in-home show each year early November (except for 2020).  She does sculpted glass and makes jewlery from it.  Her display is on the dining room table and a temporary 8-foot table in the living room.  I set up gridwalls in the entryway and one end of the living room.  It gives me room to display about 22 framed prints.  Additionally, I have a rack that will hold about 35 matted prints in plastic envelopes.  There is also a small table with homemade cookies, coffee and wine for the guests.

    This has worked well for us.  Advertising is small pass-out cards and word of mouth.  Mostly to people we know at least a little, as it is in our home.  We just finished the show the weekend of 11/13-14, and did a nice amount of sales.  Works for us.

    • That is a lovely idea. I've read about "pop-up art shows" where art friends gather to do a similar thing. I suppose anyone that is free to have a garage sale or estate sale on their property without restriction should be able to do this. Unfortunately, that isn't the case where I live. However, I've done a few "trunk shows" at other's homes upon request. 

  • Why so many framed? You need to control your inventory. Matted with backing stored in clear plastic bags from clear bags and then stored in plastic bins in your garage or basement. Then use a bin for the unframed at shows pulling pieces out to frame them as you sell off the walls. Additionally you may have too many different sizes so you're competing with yourself for sales. It took me years to figure out the size thing. One large size and one small unframed size that weren't adjacent in outer at sizes. By doing that my sales increased and my investment in inventory dropped and I made more profit.

    Read this article on how much inventory to prepare when starting out:

    Larry Berman

    How Much Inventory and Pricing When Starting Out
  • You don't show how your work is presented, so I don't understand the inability to hang them at home. No hanging wire? I love my hallway where I hang larger pieces that go to padded portfolios for transport to shows. The dirt at shows (i.e. wind blowing sand and dirt) is more than I get on the artwork in my hall. For backing paper less likely to tear or get marked, consider black Tyvek paper. Expensive but saves time and money going forward. After a wet weekend in humid Florida, I find it easy to remove, check inside frame and reseal after sufficient airing.  Stacking boxes that hold 4 or 5 16x20OD or smaller framed pieces sit under counter height 2x4' folding tables in my workroom (former spare bedroom). Fingerprints and sticky stuff is cleaned from glass and frames when I get home, repacked with their cardboard separators, ready to go to next show. For my booth I have 9 stacking boxes and 7 padded double and single portfolio bags 24x24 to 32x36. If I have consecutive shows, I clean-and-rebag the art-in-portfolios and lean them against walls. As my work takes weeks/months to make, cannot be reproduced and my frames include expensive glass, I needed to make the investment to protect it. If your work is easily reproduced and you don't use expensive glazing in the frames, all this bother is probably not worth it (maybe box it and stuff it under your bed?) 

    • At home most are hung from picture rails in hallway. So long monofilament lines from top corners.  I am enjoying them there alot so I guess they are MINE.   Learning lots about not bothering with a variety of size variety.

      Tyvek on double sticky tape?

      Thanks again.

    • Thank you so much.

      "stacking boxes"? 

      I guess I need to give up the guest room (or at least take the pics off bed for company)!  Did you build the 2x4 tables? 

      Marilyn Mills)


      • My stacking boxes are weather-tight boxes for transporting and storing my smaller framed artwork. They nest together so they do not slide when in the vehicle. I fit my 9 boxes 3-high over my folded table in the minivan. Unfortunately, the ones I have are no longer made so I take good care of them. At home, they sit 4 high under the 2x4 ft. folding table. 

      • Regular Scotch double sided tape has served me well with Tyvek backing on real wood frames (didn't stick to econowood). A Logan dust cover trimmer gives a great look.  (I first bought my Tyvek from Materials Concepts but they didn't offer it the next time I needed it.) I now have a 36" x 150 ft roll from ULine. I tried regular Tyvek initially: don't do it! If you want lovely dust covers, do Tyvek PAPER.

        My 2 x 4 folding tables are "Lifetime" from Amazon and adjustable height from "kid" to "counter". I find them great for shows and studio (especially putting two together to lay out 4x4 collages or mats). I think 2 x 4's are common buffet tables and covers should be available. 

        Granted, if your framing is a luxury, not a necessity like mine, Larry Berman has good advice. I wouldn't do all this complicated framing of my textile art if I could convince myself to work another medium. That's not going to happen. 

        • Wow. Such thoughtful information.  I'll look up your art.

          I just discovered my 2014 Uline cateloge.  Guess I need a new one.  Tyvek paper ... will find.

          Marilyn Mills

          • Beautiful fibre art. Yours.

            I've been practicing visible mending. Fun.  Not the same but quick creative projects to wear.


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