- Arts and Design
Artwork Display Panels
Artwork Display Panels For Artists
I have been marketing my artwork through art fair venues for well over 20 years. In that time I have used a variety of display units starting with a home made version and then progressively swapping them out for better, more user friendly and sturdy units. Creating an effective and rugged display will factor largely in how successful you will be.
On this page you'll find some of the professionally designed artist units and I'll discuss a little bit about each, as well as a few thoughts regarding some home made ideas.
A quality display will help you sell effectively. Depending on what you create will factor into what kind of display you choose. A jeweler, a potter, a fabric artist or a two dimensional artist will all seek something different for displaying their product.
This page was created to show the various options and to answer some of the most commonly asked questions. If there is something that isn't covered here feel free to leave me a comment in the guestbook at the bottom of the page.
Display Panel Topics Covered On This Page
- What To Ponder BEFORE Buying
- Display Options
- The Major Display Companies
- Thoughts About Home Made Displays
- Lighting & Hanging
Image is a Armstrong System which is the display company that I use for all of my events.
All copyrights are retained by the artist, Mona Majorowicz of Wild Faces Gallery.
The artwork or content in this lens may not be used or reproduced, either in part or in whole, without the express written consent from the artist.
What Kind Of Artist Display Do You Use? - A Quick Artist Poll.
What Kind Of Artist Display Do You Use?
4 Things To Consider Before Buying Your Artist Display Units
Choosing The Right Display Unit For You
1. Are You Doing Primarily Indoor or Outdoor Events?For indoor events I recommend getting covered units as they will have more of a gallery look. Also most companies offer matching accessories like print bins, pedestals and seller table. This creates a wonderful gallery look.
For outdoor events I recommend mesh as it will breathe with the wind, not fight against it. I use the Armstrong mesh panel system which sadly they no longer make. I love the rigid structure of their panels over the more fabric like mesh from other companies. I can zip tie them to my tent legs to make a truly superior structure that still allows for the winds to pass through while holding the artwork securely.
2. What Color Carpet Is Best For You?Whatever color choose be sure to imagine what you artwork will look with the color you've selected. Different artworks will be set off by different background colors. Also imagine it in less than ideal lighting as both indoor and outdoor events may have less than ideal lighting. Particularly outdoor events are far less likely to offer electricity for your own lamps so you will have weaker early morning and dusk natural light.
Black While black looks really sharp you should remember that black absorbs light. Be sure you will have plenty of lights to showcase your art. Also black will show dirt, rubs and lint more easily. Additionally when used outdoors during any kind of heat black displays absorb heat and may make your booth uncomfortable to be in. Not a good thing when the goal is to keep people in your booth. Black makes a stunning statement indoors though, where heat and lighting are under controlled conditions.
Dark Gray is the most common used color. It's dark enough to have a gallery quality look but hides dirt much better than black. They still eat the light on overcast days when doing outdoor events but don't radiate the heat like black does.
Light Gray is my personal favorite. It's light enough in color that it doesn't eat too much light but also dark enough to hide smudges and rubs.
3. The Size Of Your VehicleMost professional artists have vehicles big enough to haul all their wares but the average full sized panel may not fit in most mini vans. So be sure to measure your vehicle before purchasing. All the companies listed here make half panels that fit in almost any vehicle and after assembly create a full wall. Also be aware the some of the more rounded style vans don't pack display units as well as the more boxy vans.
4. The Type Of Artist You Are Will Determine What You'll NeedMost companies offer a couple of size and construction options so you can select the option that is right for you whether you be a potter, glass artist or painter. Also all of them come with various accessories like shelving units, pedestals and baskets to accommodate any product.
The 4 Types Of Artist Display Panels Are:
* Carpet Covered
* Wire Mesh Or Grid
* Raw Metal Tubing with no Insert
* Non-rigid fabric mesh
The Major Artist Display Companies
The Various Companies Make Panels Which Showcase Different Art Or Artists
If you're an artist who participates in art fairs or are planning to, you'll need something to display your work. As with all things there are many companies which makes units to fill this function but here are the four most used by the professionals that I know.
All these companies offer pretty much the same thing, which are panels that can be joined to together to form a gallery-like look in your booth. Some are carpet covered with various colors to choose from. While others are fabric or wire mesh. All come with various accessories like print bins, shelves, height extenders, half walls and podiums.
The carpeted version really pulls off a gallery look which is pretty amazing when your trying to create a gallery in the middle of a parking lot during an art fair.
Pro Panels are probably the most used company among artists.
Armstrong Panels are pretty much the same thing as Pro Panels, but additionally they offer a wire mesh version which is the one I use.
Graphic Display This is the more economy minded version which only comes as a wire grid system.
The Flourish Company They make the non-rigid fabric mesh panels that require little space for storage.
Artist Displays For Every Kind Of Artist
This is probably the most widely used company for this type of product.
This is an excellent company for carpet covered panels as they have an excellent selection of carpet colors and accessories.
Pro Panel Options
* Extensive Carpet Color Selection
* Wide range of Accessories including pedestals, stands, desks, baskets and shelving.
* Variety Of Panels Sizes including half panels and extenders.
* Pro panels sells only carpet covered panels.
Have Both Mesh Wall and Carpet Covered Options
UPDATED: Armstrong has quit making their wire mesh panels. I am sorry to hear it as it is my panel of choice. I have left this section intact however because there are other companies who make them so the information provided below still bears some useful applications.
The Armstrong Company is the company I use. I chose them because in addition to making the carpet covered options they also made these nice wire mesh panels.
I prefer the wire mesh to carpeted for outdoor events because it lets the tent breathe.
* On windy days the wind just rushes through them while it pushes on the carpeted walls in some cases tipping them.
* Also for the completely windless days it allows what little breeze to stir through the tents while the carpeted walled tents are stifling.
Armstrong Artist Display Panels Options
* Extensive Carpet Color Selection
* Wide range of Accessories including pedestals, stands, desks, baskets and shelving.
* Variety Of Sizes including half panels and extenders.
* Sell both carpet and mesh walls. They did offer a tube display but have since discontinued that item
On A Personal Note: I have used these exact panels for over a decade. They have been through many storms including 120 mile an hour straight line winds and most recenty they were pushed several feet down the street when an artist left his pickup complete with stock trailer unattended and in gear. Because they are solid metal, though they were damaged, no artwork was lost. Not so much as a single painting hit the pavement and that to me is, as the commercials says ... priceless.
Lighting Your Pro Panels Or Armstrong Company Display - These Units Are Designed For Swing Arm Type Lamps
I cannot express the importance of good lighting enough. Whenever possible (not all events offer it) purchase electricity to light your booth. Some events charge a nominal cost while others can run rather expensive. Whatever the cost it will be worth it. If your neighbors booth are well lit and yours are not, the average patron will pass you by and move on to the warm glow of someone else's booth. Yours will look like a cave by comparison. Plus always remember the S-Rule. Shiny-Stuff-Sells.
These swing arm type lights work really well and usually come in a variety of colors to coordinate with your art panels. The nice thing is they are also inexpensive which is good because you'll at least 10-15 to fully light your booth. More if your doing a double booth or have a corner spot where you are lighting both sides of the panel.
Note: This is actually the lamps we use because we have the silver wire mesh walls and they look awesome with it.
Graphic Display Systems For Artists
Wire Grid Style Artist Display
Graphic Display is the more economical of the companies listed here.
Graphic Display Wall Options
* Only sells wire screen panels
* Wide range of Accessories including baskets and shelving.
* Variety Of Sizes including half panels and extenders.
The Flourish Company Display System For Artists
Fabric Mesh Style Display
This company offers the non-rigid fabric mesh panels that are hung from the tent's interior frame. They make them for both EZ Up and Craft Hut style tents. Plus they also make fabric covers for wire mesh walls like Graphic Display. And lastly they also sell art fair tents.
Flourish Artist Display Options
* Are White in color so virtually disappear inside the tent.
* Are made for both EZ Up Style and Craft Hut style tents
* They roll up for easy storage that requires minimal space.
The downside to these (if there is one) is that they require a structure or frame to hang them on. This means you must have at least a 10x10 booth. While this is the standard for most art fairs many indoor events have smaller or odd shaped spaces. You may not be able to use them when doing those types of events. And the other thing is you are stuck with a 10x10 square shape. With my hard mesh walls I often open up one side for additional flow during indoor events or simply created cubbies and half walls. Again not something that can be done using the mesh sidewalls..
A Word Of Caution Regarding Fabric Mesh and EZ Up Style Tents
Be Sure Of The Weight Bearing Strength Of Your Tent
Do not hang heavy objects from fabric mesh when using them in conjunction with EZ Up style tents.
While the panels will hold the weight if you encounter windy outdoor conditions, the tent will not. With wind the artwork will pull and sway and on a lightweight tent and it will snap the joints. If the weather is even mildly windy your tent will crumple like a house of cards. I've seen it time and again so heed my warning here.
Flourish Does Offer A Stabilizer Bar For Your Mesh Panels On EZ Up Style Tents
Which seems like a really good idea for artists using EZ-Up style tents.
They have both an upper and lower stabilizer bar that you can purchase to use on your EZ Up style tents with the fabric mesh panels. The Flourish Company claims it adds stability and.I would assume this would help dramatically with the issues of windy days causing collapse of the tent. But I really don't know.
Lighting Your Graphic Display and Flourish Company Artist Display Panels - Using clip on lighting
For any display that doesn't have a feature to allow for swing arm style lighting you can simply use clamp or clip on lighting. In regards to the Flourish Company they would have to be attached to some sort of support like the tent bars.
Grid System Artist Display System
This type of grid system artist display tend to work be for things like clothing and fabrics. The pegs allow for items to be hung widely spaced apart and is not too eyecatching when covered in clothing and fabrics. Depending on the artwork that you do though they can certainly work for flat art. Just be aware that the large grid can detract visually from your work as opposed to a flat panel or a small mesh style wire panel.
This particular artist display system however has all sort of wonderful hooks, bars and miscealleous attachments for you to create exactly the art fair booth you want.
Grid System Display Description
* Durable Epoxy Coating
* Made of .25" Steel Wire
* Double Wire Sides for Stability
Grid System Artist Display Extras
The great thing about this system is you can literally build it panel by panel. Just don't forget to get all the extra bit to put it together. You'll need legs to hold your panels up and hooks with which to hang your work.
There are a great number of these items on Amazon so be sure that you get all matching display parts. Grid Panel Displays come in black, white and chrome.
Amazon Product Description
* Quality production
* Easy or no assembly
* upgrade your retail space or public areas
Rectangular Tubing Leg for Grid Panel, Chrome
A Few Thoughts On Home Made Artist Display Panels
Peg Board Artist Display and Others
Well I couldn't really consider this a comprehensive page on panels until I added some home made variations. I would say that this sort of thing is fine for trying out art fair venues but if you want to go pro you should really invest in the commercial grade variety. All of the DIY examples listed below I have seen at one time or another.
Home Made Panels Can Be Made From
* Pegboard This is the kind of thing I started with. I paid $50 for a used set which I painted and used for the first couple of years when I was doing only a couple of small events a year. They are cheap and easy to construct, but they are heavy, tip easily in the wind and take up a lot of space in the van.
* Plastic Coated Wire Shelving Like the stuff you buy at Menards. They are generally white and Zip-tied together. They work only for light weight items like jewelry. Can be cleverly hidden with fabric covers but again are only usable for light items.
* Dog Kennel Panels Work as well as regular panels but really don't look good.
* PVC Some who have cobbled together something with PVC pipe look pretty darn good. One lady had used dark velvet blankets and at a casual glance they looked like the real thing. Again this was a good way to try out a venue but if she was to continue she'd have to upgrade.
Use Your Creativity To Create Something Truly Awesome For Your Artist DisplayAnytime you don't need to pull off a gallery look, a person could probably get away with the above listed options. However I also I think depending on what you're selling you might be able to employ some truly unique displays. I've seen some fabulous booths which used old wood doors left in their rustic condition. And also a booth using old suitcases (like 20's - 60's era) on tables and pedestals opened like they were revealing foreign treasures. So if you're really creative you might be able to create something spectacular that doesn't require spending thousands of dollars. But for most of us who decided to make selling our art a living, the professional panels are the only way to go.
One Last Thought On Do It Yourself Booth Display Panels
The Booth Slide or Image And The Important Of A QUality Artist Display
When I started out in art fairs (over 15 years ago) none of the events I did required a booth slide submitted with your artwork slides for jury panel. Now nearly every event of size does. What this means is that the same people who are critiquing your work to see if it's good enough to belong in their event are now also critiquing your display. So if you are making display panels yourself, make sure they pass for the professional grade kind in your slide.
Honestly most patrons don't really care. When it 95 degrees and humid, whilst baking on the pavement, most patrons on a conscious level could care less if your display cost $10 or $1500. However some events are really pushing the high end outdoor gallery look. If what you create is intended for that market. Buy something professional.
Drapery Hooks For Hanging Artwork On Your Display Panels - The Drapery Hook Works For All Art Panel Systems
Hanging Artwork On Your Artist Display
The Drapery Hook Works For All Artist Panel Systems
Virtually all of the artist display panel systems shown here, carpet covered, fabric and wire mesh walls use the same kind of hooks. Drapery hooks.
The carpet covered panels offer a rod system as well which works nicely for hanging larger items but takes a lot more time to get the art to hang where you want. But you'll still most likely want the hooks for hanging medium to smaller sized art on your artist panels.
That's not to say drapery hooks can't support weight. They certainly do.. I use them on my Armstrong wire mesh display panels and I have some 5-10 pounds pieces that two hooks holds fine under all kinds of windy conditions.
I'm pretty sure you can buy these hooks with your panels from the company but in general they are far cheaper to get elsewhere.
Tip: Using two hooks per artwork hung will keep the art framing hanging crooked even in moderately windy conditions.
No Matter What Artist Display System You Choose Be Sure To Get All Your Accessories
Some Of These Extras Help Make Your Artist Display A Success.
All artist display systems require you to get additional items in order to make them work.
My advice is to buy more than you think than you're going to need. Things get lost or damaged in the mad rush of doing art events. There is nothing so upsetting as not having a part of some sort that is indispensable for securing your display. Just buy extra and bring them along.
print bins and baskets
stands and counters
The extras will add a certain uniformity to your artist display and often improve upon the look of professionalism. Have a counter where patrons can write out a check or a print bin that matches your artist display goes a long way to creating a display that showcases your talent ant quality.
Always Keep A Good Selection Of Cable Ties For Your Artist Display. - A Size Variety Pack Is A Smart Way To Go.
And Finally Zip Ties: An Art Fair Display Necessity
Useful For Everything Including Securing Your Display panels To Your Art Fair Tent
Every Artist should have a good sized stash of Zip Ties. These perform multiple functions for doing art fairs.
In regards to using them with artist display panels, they are used to:
* Help bind unstable panels together
* Bind the panels to the tent structure
* Bind lamps wires together for keeping your booth looking neat.
* Secure tent zipper for overnight security.
Fortunately Zip Ties come in both black and white so you can get the color that will be the most invisible against your display.
I personally use a ton of them for keeping my lighting wires neat. But I have also been known to zip tie my artist canopy tent zippers as just a little more of a deterrent to someone wanting to sneak inside overnight.
Are You Looking For Display Panels?
Or Do You Have Some? If so what kind and what do you like and dislike about them?