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DIY Project: Simon Cole on How to Hang Art Salon-Style

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Expert advice on creating a great gallery wall

Even if you don’t have March break off, this month is still a great time to take on a DIY project and spruce up your home for spring. Simon Cole, owner and operator of Cooper Cole art gallery, is known for his superior hanging techniques and his gift for salon-style wall groupings. We invited him to create an installation using small works by some of his favourite artists. Here are Cole’s five tips for doing this yourself:

1 WORK WITH THE ROOM
Cole outlined the size of the furniture set-up on the wall with tape.

2 ANCHOR THE DISPLAY
Two large drawings, roughly the size of the chair, were placed on either side of it, anchoring the display and encouraging the viewer to see the whole installation from the corner out.

3 VANTAGE POINT
The two anchoring pieces were hung so that their centre points were 56 inches up from the floor, at optimal viewing height.

4 SPACE AND PACE 
Cole chose a wave-like formation for hanging the art so that it flowed up and over the furniture. From the concentrated centre, spacing increases ever so slightly from an exact two inches between pieces to more free-form gaps as the installation spreads out.

TELL A STORY
Each piece has its own meaning, but the collection should share a narrative. Before hanging the art, Cole found commonalities between pieces, such as size, colour, medium, theme, energy and type
of framing.

Originally published in our Fall 2012 issue as Into a Corner.

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