July 10th, 2019 / posted by paularath

Paula and Jerry decide how to pair paintings on a panel.

It’s easy to imagine that art shows simply, well, HAPPEN.

The artist paints a painting or prints a print or puts a watercolor wash on a sketch and – poof! – it appears on a wall in a show or gallery.

Ummm, not exactly. A lot of thought, planning and labor go into the preparation of a show of any kind.

Jerry and I volunteered to help hang the Hawaii Watercolor Society’s show, “Experimentation,” at Honolulu Hale today. It’s sponsored by MOCA, the Mayor’s Office on Cultural and the Arts, and HWS, the Hawaii Watercolor Society.

The premise is that watercolorists often choose to experiment with other media, from acrylics to prints to collage to ceramics to weaving. This show honors that little foray into the unusual.

This weaving and painting complement each other beautifully.

Hanging the work is the final stage of preparing a show, after the artists are invited, they enter their works, and the jury selects the pieces that will be included. (There are also lots of other details in between.)

The artists delivered their selected works this morning and Jerry and I were asked to “design” the show. (We have a little experience. Jerry has helped design several shows for HWS and I have designed a show in Pauahi Tower for the Hawaii Handweavers’ Hui.)

When designing a show, you have to consider quite a few factors:

  • How many pieces of art versus how many walls or panels on which to place them
  • What height is optimal for each painting
  • Which paintings pair well due to color, texture, size, shape, medium and style
  • How to best communicate with the viewer (this show wisely chose to ask the artist to write about their inspiration and materials)

We paired these two paintings due to their colors and complementary movement across the canvases.

Although it might seem more obvious to pair paintings that have a lot in common, such as medium, size, style and colors, most show designers agree that it makes for a much more interesting show when you mix it up as much as possible, pairing works that vary widely.

That’s Jerry’s dramatic acrylic abstract on the left, paired with a gentle floral watercolor.

We think this is a very interesting show, with a lot of creativity, variety and visual interest. We hope you will visit Honolulu Hale between now and August 31 to check it out.

Or better yet, please join us at the opening reception:

Thursday, July 11

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.

Honolulu Hale

We hope to see you there!

Paula Rath

The blues help tie these works together. The two mixed media pieces on the left are mine.

 

 

 

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