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7 Tips to Hang a Gallery Wall and Sets of Art

Updated: Aug 25, 2019

Displaying multiple pieces of art can be tricky. Below are a few hints to hang sets or a gallery wall. A gallery wall is a collection of different shapes and sizes of various pictures, like Irene Gate’s acrylics below.

My friend, Irene Gate's, whimsical original acrylics

7 tips to hang a gallery wall:

  1. First arrange the artwork on the floor. A general rule for arranging is to start with the larger shapes at the bottom to anchor or weight the wall. If you have one large piece, you may choose to feature this piece in the center and have the remaining small pictures circle around it.

  2. Remember the spacing between each picture does not have to be the same. Often larger pieces need a little more space around them to balance a cluster of small pieces.

  3. If your images have people in them, it helps to have the main individual in the photo facing into the collage, especially on your perimeter pictures. This will keep your eye focused on your collage. Scenes of nature, such as a single stemmed tulip, should arch into the center of your gallery wall, not point away.

Next 'mock' hang the Gallery Wall

4. Once you like the arrangement, cut out brown Kraft paper or recycled paper grocery bags to mimic the sizes you’ll be hanging. Use poster putty or painters tape to place the cut-out shapes on the wall. 

5.Step back and edit your work. Your goal is to have your gallery wall feel like one focal point. Ask yourself: Is the collection centered on the wall or perhaps you wanted it to balance nicely above a long trestle table? Next, check the direction of your images; do they face toward the middle allowing your eye stay on the grouping or does it want to travel off?

6. Think “options” when hanging a set of art. I love to paint abstracts because of their flexibility. These two abstracts can work as a horizontal composition or as a vertical. Don’t be afraid to turn your art this way or that.

Original oil blue abstract pair of oils by artist Kate Moynihan

7. Traditional sets with realistic images also offer hanging options. Remember “sets” don’t always have to hang together. I painted this four-piece set knowing when hung in a row it would look like one painting. But sets can also work in pairs, or be displayed nicely as a set of three with one piece hung on another wall.

Most importantly have fun and enjoy your collections.

I hope you found the 7 tips to hang a gallery wall helpful.

Bonus tip: Consider 'trimming' a single piece to create smaller, possibly more interesting shapes for your gallery wall.

Related article: Enhance Your Focal Point. Here the importance of items pointing in the right direction is explained.

Most importantly have fun with hanging your gallery wall!


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