As an artist, teacher, and mother, I know first-hand how gratifying it is to share artwork with the people you care about. In our Art classroom and hallways at Wellan, vibrant and imaginative student work adorns the walls on a rotating basis. Students show such a sense of pride when they see their artwork displayed, and it often prompts a conversation about what the child learned and what they were thinking while creating their work. We don’t always know what a certain shape (or blob) might represent, but to a young artist, it could be a beautiful flower or a terrifying dinosaur. As a new mom to a two year-old, I find myself trying to brainstorm creative ways to showcase my daughter’s work at home. Below are several solutions I have discovered that are simple to set up and easy to rotate out your child’s artwork when they come home with their latest masterpiece!
5 Ways to Showcase Your Young Artist’s Work at Home:
First of all, I'll reveal my secret weapon: 3M Command hanging strips. They can go anywhere and won’t destroy your walls. For many of the options I list below, these hanging strips will come in handy!
Magnetic bars: I just discovered these and LOVE them. They won’t damage the artwork and are very easy to change between different pieces. Depending on your student’s age, they can take responsibility for replacing the artwork themselves. Tip: Remove the hanging string and use 3M hanging strips to mount the bars for a cleaner look.
Clip lines: These are a fun way to display several works of art at once. You can find clip lines through many different vendors and use a variety of clips — or you could even make your own with yarn and clothes pins! This is another solution in which students can easily put up and take down their own artwork. Keep in mind that depending on what type of clips you use, they can potentially leave a dent or mark in the artwork.
Open frames: These frames are wonderful — you can easily open them and change out the artwork. They feature shatter-resistant glass and interior elastic straps that allow for artwork storage!
Clipboards: These clipboards look nice in a grid pattern on the wall (for example, in a grouping of four). Again, these can be hung with 3M command strips so they won’t damage the wall and can easily be rearranged. They can be used for students to do work on as well.
Photo books*: This is a great way to keep track of your student’s work all year-round and see their progress through the years. It does take some time and discipline to create, but the end result will be something they can hold onto throughout their life. If a student is old enough, they can capture the pictures and take responsibility for their own book. This solution can also lessen household clutter — you can keep the artwork for a while, but once you take a photo of the piece, you can recycle it or give it to friends or family, knowing that there is a lasting image. Tip: An overcast day is the best time to take photos. When the sunlight is diffused by the clouds, it allows for soft lighting without harsh shadows.
*Shutterfly, Walgreens, and iPhoto are all good options for creating your own photo book.
Feel free to expand your search beyond the links I provided! You can easily Google search the hanging device you like best and find options that fit your style and desired size. Soon enough, you’ll have your own gallery at home featuring your favorite artist — your child!