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Easy Ways to Display Art

by Kim Jaworski, Homeschool Resource Specialist

As homeschoolers, we quickly learn that there isn’t enough wall space for all the art our children will produce each year. If only everything they made was small and flat and would fit on the front of the fridge.  Here are some additional display options to consider for art, whether it’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, models, beadwork, poetry, papier mache or woven baskets.

With flatter items, they can be slipped under a clear plastic sheet used as a table cloth to make use of the table space as a display area.

I know some families who mount artwork on pull down window shades, which is a great use of that retractable space!

Artwork can also be taped on a window, high up where it doesn’t obstruct the view.

Run kite string like a clothes line high up on an available wall and use clothes pins to hang paintings, drawings, mosaics, photography (or photographs of larger projects), paper weave art, tissue paper stained glass, or other light weight works. You can also run the string or a stronger wire back and forth across the ceiling of the family room or other space to hang art, and even light weight models, up out of the way.

Display over-sized artwork and 3 dimensional sculptures and models up on top of kitchen cupboards or other tall cabinets, bookcases or halfwalls.

Give each child a display space of honor or special frame. Then rotate the piece on display each week or each month. You can buy a large frame at a thrift store and paint it gold and glittery to denote the specialty of the displayed piece.

Once a year have an art show for friends and family. Display everything throughout the house or during pleasant weather, use a backyard privacy fence or clothesline as your display space.  Your art show can even include a poetry reading if you have young poets. Visitors can vote on their favorites or award ribbons or tokens of appreciation (special medallions or stickers) if your child would enjoy that. There can be multiple ribbons awarded (most colorful, most eye-catching, most clever use of materials, best recycling of materials, most unique interpretation, etc).  At the end of the art show, you could auction off the art works with proceeds going to your favorite charity. If you’re part of a co-op or support group, you could make the art show and charity auction a group event, with each family inviting their friends and family to attend. It can be as casual or as fancy as you care to make it. All proceeds could go to a single charity or each family could designate a charity for their proceeds.

You can display several smaller works of art by mounting them on a single black sheet of foam core, or you can cut foam core to create a mock frame (and stabilizer) for art that might be on fragile papers. It will give it a finished look. You can also put 2 sheets of foam core together in a tent shape to display artwork on both sides.

Be sure to take pictures of all of your child’s art and other projects (with your child holding it or giving it a Vanna White flourish of hands) to include in that year’s portfolio or scrapbook or to create a computer slide show that displays as your screensaver.  It’s fun to look back over their early work and see the progress of their artistic development.

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