Dawson’s Guide to Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition

Dawson’s Guide to Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition will assist you when you’re framing up artworks for competition.

Are you considering Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition? Are you considering having your artwork or picture framed up for an upcoming Art Prize or exhibition? There are literally dozens of Art Competitions that Australian artists can enter throughout the country, each with its own set of rules and recommendations for the presentation and framing of each artwork. We have scanned through some of the most popular competitions and come up with a list of considerations for you to mull over before framing your artwork for a competitive gallery/ exhibition environment.

VIEW THE COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF AUSTRALIAN ART AWARDS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER ENTERING HERE >

DIFFERENT TYPES OF FRAMES

Framing has often been likened to “setting a diamond”. The frame becomes the vessel for displaying and adding the finishing edge to a great piece of art. Dawson’s Guide to Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition is here to help. A carefully chosen frame, whether for a photograph, painting or print can greatly enhance the overall appearance of your artwork. Selected art galleries may also give priority to framing art for exhibitions.

A well selected frame will not only compliment the subject matter, colours and composition of the artwork, it will also lead the eye into the artwork, captivating the viewer’s attention. The versatility of available frames allows each piece of art to add to its own style and personality, it also bands a collection of artworks together as a whole and creates visual interest.

Overall, your art will look more polished, professional, and sophisticated when displayed from inside a frame.

Make these considerations when choosing a frame for your artwork:

  1. Material
    • Classic Wood Frames
      • Reclaimed Wood
      • Classic polished in Mahogany, Maple, Oak, Walnut, Cherry etc
      • White Washed or rustic treated Woods
      • Uniquely Profiled
      • Floating frames (generally no glass)
      • Box frames (deep set)
    • Metal Frames
      • Colourful finishing
      • Glossy or Matt
      • Moulded Frames
        • Ornate Period Frames
        • Gilded Patterned or Curved Frames

2. MATTING

    • Adding and/or choosing the right matboard for your artwork can add extra dimension to your artwork and draw the eye further into it.
    • Matboards are available in a variety of colours, thicknesses, metallics, fabrics, core colours and textures. The options are endless.

3. Thickness

    • Thin and elegant = perfect for a fine art poster, non-distracting
    • Broad and bold = creating a statement. This type of frame can dominate, so be sure of your choices.
  1. Style and Aesthetics
  • Contemporary
  • Vintage
  • Ornate
  • Modern
  • Traditional
  • Avant-Garde
  • Interactive (most often used with memorabilia)
    • Sound incorporated
    • Light incorporated
    • Movement activated
    • Moving parts

 

Dawson’s Guide to Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition. Continued…

  1. SURROUNDING AND INTERIOR SPACE
    1. Consider the space, is it open or closed, large or small?
    2. What style is the home / gallery / exhibition / office space?
  • What type of furniture and accessories are in the immediate vicinity?

 

Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: HANGING REQUIREMENTS

  1. A stretched canvas is generally considered a complete framed artwork if it is fitted with hanging string or wire. HOOKS are NOT permitted as they can damage other artworks during storage or if they come loose from a wall.
  2. Some competitions do not allow hooks or wires at all as they have their own requirements or hanging methods. It is vital that you check on this information before submitting.

 

Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: Artworks displayed in a gallery
Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: Artworks displayed in a gallery

Dawson’s Guide to Framing your Artwork for Competition or Exhibition. Continued…

Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: GENERAL ARTWORK & FRAMING TIPS

  1. Visit the exhibition of the competition you wish to enter the year before and study the frames of work which get selected and win prizes
  2. Never submit a wet artwork. You will likely be disqualified.
  3. An excellently framed artwork will never detract from the artwork itself; it will only enhance it.
  4. NEVER use a CLIP FRAME, chances of disqualification are certain.
  5. Avoid loud frame colours that will detract from the artworks surrounding yours.
  6. Check the submission requirements for how your artwork should be labelled on the reverse side. Each competition has its own requirements.
  7. Ensure that your labels are clear, preferably printed and attached to the reverse of your artwork to avoid confusion and aid in identification.
  8. Practically, framed art is easier to hang than unframed art and gives the impression of longevity and sturdiness.
  9. A frame also protects your artwork from the elements in your home: air conditioning, moisture, sunlight etc.
  10. Watercolour paintings, charcoal work, and ink drawings are better placed behind glass for prevention of smudging, water accidents, vandalism.
  11. Oil paintings are more robust and generally not framed behind glass.
  12. Consider the type of glass you will use. Plain picture glass will protect the work against most elements, but not direct sunlight. Non reflective glass stops light reflections from interfering with the artwork.
  13. Work with a framing professional when choosing materials for your frame. Selecting an amazing frame is subjective. You could choose and ‘off the shelf’ frame, but a custom created frame will take far more into consideration. Skimping on a frame will certainly save you money, but it can also detract from the appearance, longevity and safety of your art.
  14. A framing professional can offer invaluable advice and a multitude of options for interior-specific choices.
  15. In the run up to a show, professional framers can be overloaded with work, never leave the framing to the last minute, you risk paying additional fees or having to frame your work in a substandard option.

 

Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: Artworks displayed in a gallery
Framing Artwork for Competition or Exhibition: Artworks displayed in a gallery

 

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