Different from artworks in galleries, our home collections are more personal and varied. And in a gallery, little distracts from the art, while at home, it has to contend with architecture, furniture, and all the other quirks of the household. With that in mind, we asked local gallerists to tell us how they display artworks at home. Take a walk around your house to find a spot you may have overlooked, then gather a toolbox and a few pieces you want to see afresh. Experiment with placement by cutting cardboard pieces in the dimensions of your art to arrange on the wall. Pay attention to the dialogue the pieces of art create in their grouping. Play with balance, proportion, and color. But mostly, hang what you love. That’s what they do. Then you’ll be ready to chill some rosé and invite friends to conference in for a home gallery opening.
Mike Carroll, Schoolhouse Gallery, Provincetown: “My partner Stephen Magliocco is an architect, and we often discuss the placement of art in a home and the way it should complement the architectural design. In this large, open room, I created a mosaic installation of small works against the far wall leading down the staircase. Somatically, it’s meant to feel a little like rain on the wall, cascading down. Be sensitive to the art you have, and that sensitivity will inform the hanging. Try it. Sometimes art doesn’t agree. Art wants to go where it wants to go.” (Photo Mike Carroll)
Chris Kelly, Longstreet Gallery, Eastham: “Use a piece of furniture to create a vignette that combines art with books, sculpture, and found objects that create depth variation. I like to collect all sorts of little things, what I call ‘smalls.’ I hunt for folk art, sculpture, or other unique items at estate sales, garage sales, and flea markets. I like to mix these items with objects from the natural world — you can create harmony and balance with manmade and natural pieces. Incorporate books that inspire you.” (Photos Chris Kelly)
Vincent Amicosante, Harmon Gallery, Wellfleet: “I collect work from artists I know personally, admire, and support. I group pieces in small scenarios where they seem to work together by theme or style. One thing that is important to me is framing. I will re-frame some pieces so a grouping works better together. I have more work than I could possibly hang in my small space, so I rotate it. This is very refreshing and also helps preserve the artwork by avoiding constant exposure to sunlight.” (Photo Vincent Amicosante)
Marla Rice, Rice Polak Gallery, Provincetown: “There is absolutely no right or wrong way to hang art. The most important thing is to hang the artwork that you love and the art that you want to look at. I hang my favorite pieces in the rooms that I spend the most time in. Some works are stacked on top of each other and other works have a lot of breathing room. I generally purchase two to three new pieces of art a year and this inspires me to rotate my art, giving my rooms a fresh look and feeling.” (Photo Marla Rice)