Diane Wright is an accomplished studio art quilter and an art collector. She’s the Membership co-chair of the Board for SAQA.(An international organization which educates about and promotes the art quilt.) Diane’s always been interested in art. She took night classes in drawing and painting, even when she was working a demanding career. Diane and I got together, to talk about different ways in which collectors can display textile art pieces.
I was curious to find out why Diane chose to work in and collect textiles over acrylic paintings, in which she is skilled and has a good appreciation.
“I think it’s layering together memories. There’s a narrative to the raw material in a fabric, that’s not available in a tube of paint. This [the fabric] as you hold it, says, “this is where I come from” in addition the artist imposes a narrative on top of the fabric’s own narrative.”
I asked Diane about the various spaces in which you can display textile art. She states that the common spaces to display textile art are homes, medical facilities (like hospitals and healthcare, centers) and other commercial venues.
About what it is about textile art that appeals to collectors, I found Diane’s answer with regards to sound absorption very interesting. This is how she put it:
“For homeowners, it’s how they feel about the warmth, the nurturing qualities of textile art and the sound absorption qualities. I think art directors purchase textile art for institutions because they’ve got lots of color and they feel like home. They are something you can easily connect with when you are away from home.”
So Diane, in what ways can homeowners and collectors, expect to display textile art?
“Personally, I prefer to display textile art just the way they are – unframed. I think they are complete the way they are. They don’t need frames to matte or to show them off or to bring the color out. Frames are however, sort of a necessary evil to hang them on a wall.”
And now let me explain the two conventional ways you’re likely to encounter when you try to hang or display textile art and what to do with them:
Two Conventional Ways
- Hanging Sleeve:
With this system, on the backside of your artwork, you have a sleeve or pocket at the top. Through this sleeve, you will slip a rod with two holes on either end. The holes are what you hang the picture hooks (or wall screws) on.
- Stretched on Wooden Frame: (Look out for my tutorial on this)
In this case, you have the piece of textile art stretched onto a wooden frame, foam core, canvas or some other sturdy structure. A hanging wire is attached to the back of the structure which you will use to hang up the work on a wall.
That’s it, for now, about conventional ways and spaces to display textile art. Look out for the second part of my interview with Diane Wright on the creative display of textile art. In the second part, we talk about unconventional ways to display textile art and where to find some hanging devices.
What methods do you personally use? Is there a hanging method you’ll like to learn more about? As always, I love to hear your comments and suggestions.
You may also be interested in this: How to Prepare Fiber Art for the Walker Hanging System
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We recently had an opportunity to try hanging smaller wall quilts from a Walker Display System (http://www.walkerdisplay.com/view-system-components.html). A wooden dowel was slipped through the quilt sleeve on the top, back of the quilt. Two small holes had been drilled through the dowel near each end. Picture hanging wire was thread through each hole and pulled as tight as possible. Then the wire was hung over a metal Walker Display “holder”. The holder can be adjusted up or down. Note: I have no financial connection to Walker Display – I just like their system to avoid putting lots of holes in my home’s walls.
Yes Maureen, the walker system is very neat. A lot of galleries use it. I had the opportunity to take down an exhibition in which the walker system was used just a couple weeks ago. It was such a breeze. Their system makes hanging and taking down so simple.
Hi there! How to finish and hang our quilts is quite a personal preference. I like to frame them for a number of reasons: They remain in a stable form without curling up on the sides or bottom. A framed piece speaks “art” to me rather than “quilt.” But I usually only frame the smaller sized pieces because it’s easier to store and ship unframed works.
Janis: I do like to stretch my work too for the very reasons you’ve stated. However I do agree that shipping framed/stretched work is more of a challenge than unframed work. I’ve framed work as large as 30 x 50″ and since I use heavier weight wood that can become pretty heavy.