How To Curate Art For Your Home in 3 Easy, Budget-Friendly Steps

According to Merriam-Webster, a curator is “one who has the care and superintendence of something.” For this article, we will be looking at art curation exclusively.

It may seem like a simple definition; however, it takes many years to hone the craft. For example, OCAD University in Toronto offers a Masters in Fine Arts specializing in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. At York University, a student can pursue a Curatorial Practice Diploma in conjunction with a Masters in Art History. Completing either degree will take two years.

We can borrow from these disciplines to help procure art for your own space. You can easily replicate a similar gallery feel at home by following the three steps below.

Create a Theme

Think of your space as an exhibition; its task includes celebrating a particular narrative of life. According to the Smithsonian, common art themes include conflict and adversity; freedom and social change; heroes, leaders, and identity.

Perhaps some inspiration can come from Hans Ulrich Obrist, who curated his first contemporary art show in his kitchen at 23 years old. Today, he is one of the world’s most celebrated curators. His inspiration behind Do It included Marcel Ducham’s instructions to his sister on assembling a readymade and John Cage’s music of change. Obrist’s collection has now been to over 120 cities.

DO IT | Evergreen
An exhibit from Do It.

Collecting art presents an opportunity to tell any story you wish. For example, an environmental theme can include an abstract painting with earth tones such as green and brown brush strokes.

It is your theme, have fun building it out.

Art is Trust

Art, in its essence, is a relationship between the artist and the admirer. They may never see each other face-to-face, yet they have an understanding of one another. In Big Life Magazine’s interview with Heidi Zuckerman, CEO and Director of the Orange County Museum of Art, she mentions this degree of trust as the focal point of curating art. She describes it as “respecting the artist and keeping the audience front-of-mind.”

Constantly ask yourself who will see the art?

Guests? Family members? Cousins? Your Kids?

Your answers will provide further direction on building a relationship between your collection and those who view it.

Narrow Your Choices

Choose 30 pieces that grab your eye. Start eliminating artwork based on the categories mentioned above while also keeping in mind your budget. You will be surprised how quickly you can narrow your choices down to 5 pieces.

Next, think about placement.

Ask yourself, which room works best to display the artwork?

How will it be displayed?

Curators hang artwork according to the centerline or salon style. The centerline method is the most common, it consists of hanging a painting in the center of a wall.

In contrast, the salon-style includes hanging a painting stretching from the ceiling to the floor. A larger picture is therefore required.

The Art Gallery at the University of Maryland explains both styles on page 11 of this presentation.  

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Placing your artwork on a shelf can be a great alternative

Lastly, have fun! In the worst-case scenario, you can always move artwork around. A piece can hang in your office one day and be moved to your kitchen three months later.

The Insider Club

Let’s face it, searching for artwork to hang in your space takes time and effort. Our curators can help save you both.

They constantly source artists worldwide, bringing you the latest in modern, contemporary, and classic artwork. If you are looking for fun and funky artwork for a child’s room or an abstract painting for your living room, the Insider Club is for you. Plus, we also throw in coupons, free shipping, and returns. Join our Insider Club today and receive a 20% Off Coupon for your next purchase.

About The Author

Barry Sereb is currently pursuing another law degree. When he isn’t quoting Thomas Hobbes or Lord Diplock, he writes and curates artwork for PosterBoys. His first interaction with art came by way of a cartooning class he took at only eight years old. Barry wrote the first draft of this piece using a vintage Parker 51 fountain pen.

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