Most Frequently Asked Questions About Art Placement
After more than 30+ years of providing decorative wall art to corporate clients, health care and the hospitality industry, two questions come up more times than not.
1. “How much art will I need for a specific area like a long empty corridor?”
Commercial buildings typically have long open hallways. Let’s face it. We’re usually putting our money into the office space, main entrances and lobbies. More times than not, the hallways just aren’t addressed. They’re intimidating. You may think it will cost a fortune to fill them.
Leaving those hallways empty, whether they are a medical building or a hotel, leaves the building unfinished and feeling somewhat institutional. At ArtLine, Ltd., we have developed what I call, a visual walking path…walking with your eyes. This walking path keeps traffic moving freely by alternating art from one wall to the next. Your visitors can easily look at the art as they walk by looking to the right, then left, then right and so on.
Stand at one end of your corridor. Is your biggest wall space to the left or the right of you? Let’s say it’s the right. That’s where you place your first piece of art. Now walk past that wall on the right and look to the next wall on the left. That’s where you place the second piece. Walk further and look for the next wall “begging” for a picture on your right and so on. Got the picture? (No pun intended)
The second most important thing is to make sure that the size of your artwork (or groupings) is appropriate for the wall space. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every open wall needs a huge piece of art on it. If the wall is really long, consider hanging a pair of pictures, or a set of three or even create a large square on the wall by hanging four smaller pieces – two on top and two on the bottom. Change the format of your art too. A combination of squares, horizontals and verticals are going to help to break up the corridor and keep the corridor interesting. As you can see from the floor plan below, we have incorporated only 10 pieces of art in a corridor that is about 50’ long.
2. How high should I hang my artwork?
Ever wonder if “the art is too low” or “the art is too high”? I stand 5’3”, but my clients have stood 6’5” and taller. My eye level compared to their eye level is well, not comparable, but the argument is always the same….”Well, that’s not MY eye level.”
General rule of thumb is 58” – 62” on the center of your piece of art. Why the variance? Artwork that is typically hung in a home is hung lower on average – 58” on center. In a corporate environment, we typically hang at about 60” on center UNLESS the ceiling is taller than 8'. In that case, we can hang higher at 62”. What does “on center” mean? Here is a diagram:
Now realize that there are exceptions to every rule but using this height as your “national average” will make your job much easier and bring a quick closure to the contested “that isn’t at MY eye level”.
- Kathy Thiel
Owner of ArtLine, Ltd.