Current Shows

Due to the Corona virus, the Surface Design workshop has been postponed until this summer. The new date for it will be announced when the Art House re-opens.


I'll be teaching this one-day workshop on March 14, 2020 at the Art House! Learn to design your own unique papers and other materials for collage, card making, scrap booking, journal making etc. I supply all the materials. All you need to bring is a sack lunch and a beverage. Hours are 10-4; fee is $90 per person. Register online at or call 678-543-5777. Act now! Seating is limited!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Studio Storage: A Great, Low Cost Way to Display Art

Finding a way to display artwork in your studio without breaking the bank isn't easy. Oh sure, wire display systems like those used in galleries can be had, but they're mighty pricey. Banging hooks and nails into the wall is another option, but it leaves holes that must be filled, sanded and then painted over. And over and over.

The Not-So-Great Way

In my studio, I've been using a system consisting of metal hooks and painted 1x4s. The hooks hang from long, continuous slots Hubby made in the narrow top edge of the 1x4s. The 1x4s are painted --- what else? --- white. The whole thing cost almost nothing to make: we'd had the lumber on hand for years (originally it was supposed to become a cabinet for storing gardening tools, but that never happened.) The hooks were bought on the cheap from a company selling used store fixtures and displays.

This arrangement has worked ok, but it's not without its flaws. When the humidity level rises, the wood swells a bit and it can be hard to insert the hooks into the slots. Large paintings lay fairly flush to the wall but small ones don't. They angle sharply downward. And trying to slip a picture wire onto a hook can be a little hairy when the painting is heavy and I'm teetering on a step stool.

The Pure Genius Way

So when my good friend and fellow artist Rebecca Salcedo emailed me about the amazingly clever -- and oh so affordable -- display system she created for her studio, I took one look and said, "That's pure genius!"

Rebecca's super simple DIY display system: a 2x2 and a length of wide molding. Paintings lean against the wall with no danger of falling because the lip on the molding serves as a stop.  Photo ©Rebecca Salcedo

If you can operate a drill, you can duplicate Rebecca's system. I kid you not. All you need to do is fasten a length of molding to a 2x2 cut to the same length. Then screw the 2x2 into the wall. What could be easier?? Rebecca left the shelf unpainted in the photo above to show how it's constructed.

Rebecca's shelving system lets you display works of all shapes and sizes. Paintings lean against the wall but are not fastened to it. They're held in place by the lip on the molding. Note the five paintings below the shelf. To double her display space, Rebecca simply laid a length of molding (minus the 2x2) directly on her desktop surface. Photo ©Rebecca Salcedo

Rebecca says there are actually multiple ways you can construct the shelving depending on your skill level and tool inventory. She provides step by step tutorials for all of them on her Smelly Rhino Studio blog. Take a look. You'll be amazed at just how do-able this project is! Everything you need, which isn't much, is readily available at your local Home Depot or Lowes. And you won't have to take out a second mortgage to afford it, either.

What's Not to Love?

What I like about Rebecca's design, in addition to its simplicity and affordability, is its flexibility. Paintings can be shifted around so easily. They can be displayed without hanging hardware, enabling you to offer buyers more choices at the point of sale. With this system there's no need to ever again wrestle a painting onto a wall hook. Finally, all pieces on display face outward at the same angle, lending the entire grouping a clean, organized appearance. I can't think of a better way to display art during studio open houses, gallerists' visits and private showings. As soon as I can get over to my local home center, I'll be adopting Rebecca's method.

What kind of display system do you use in your studio? Does it work for you? Would you choose it if you had to do it over again? Please share you thoughts by clicking the No comments/Comments link below. Thanks!

Text ©Lynn Edwards
Images ©Rebecca Salcedo
All rights reserved

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing! I hope it helps a lot of people. I sure am enjoying it! :)