Workshop: Exhibition Installation 101

Presenters: Erica Popp and John Do for Yeyo Arts Collective


Prepare the art:

  • Wire + eye hooks or D-rings

    • If possible, make sure the wire is the same distance from the top of each frame when pulled taut.

  • Determine how you are going to hang your artwork (nails & hooks or hanging system)

  • Special considerations: weight/size of work vs. hanging options


Design/curate the show:

  • What story do you want to tell?

    • Select pieces that tell that story.

  • Lay work out on the floor to see how the pieces look together/work together

  • Decide on the placement.


Math it!

  • Step 1:

    • Measure the length of the wall

    • Measure artwork horizontally

    • Add all horizontal artwork measurements together

    • Subtract total measurement of artwork combined from total wall measurement. What you’re left with is the available space to put between the artwork.

      • (total wall) - (total artwork) = (available space between work)

    • Divide the (space between work) measurement and divide by the number of spaces including the space between art and walls.

 (available space)  
______________   = (space between work)
(number of spaces)


  • Step 2: Height

    • Choose your center point: usually 60" (but you may prefer higher or lower)

    • Measure art height (vertical)

    • Divide by 2

    • Measure distance from taut wire to top of frame

    • Subtract from vertical artwork measurement after dividing by 2

    • Add 60” (or whatever your center point ends up being)



  • Measure and mark

    • Start at the edge of the wall and measure in the (space between work) measurement

    • Add half the horizontal artwork measurement

    • Mark the height from Step 2

    • Put a nail and hook in it. (or hanging system hook)

    • Hang the art and check that it’s level

  • Repeat measuring from the edge of the newly hung artwork



  • Remove the artwork

  • If you have a hanging system, you’re finished! Congratulations. If you put holes in the wall, proceed to next bullet

  • Remove nails as carefully as possible, especially with plaster walls

  • S.W.S.P.

    • Spackle

    • Wait

    • Sand

    • Paint

  • Congratulations on your show!