Select the Mix
To choose the artwork to display at 23Hoyt, Carey enlisted close friends Jane Beebe (owner and director of PDX Contemporary Art); Pink Martini member Thomas Lauderdale; and Lauderdale’s partner, designer Philip Iosca. The group then culled their favorite pieces from their personal collections—works made by national, local, and anonymous artists alike (including Storm Tharp, Jock Sturges, and Patrick Abbey), plus vintage pieces found at thrift stores.
Choosing which works to hang from this collaborative collection was an organic process. “It’s about pulling together parts of your intuition,” Carey says. In the end, the group opted to mix mediums, styles, dimensionality, and even some humor on the walls. A giant wood spiral—part of an antique printing press—from Carey’s personal collection, for instance, protrudes from the wall beside a black-and-white photograph by Jock Sturges. Six vintage plates are suspended between local artists’ work: A brightly colored print by Adam Sorensen and a red linoleum sculpture by Erin Long. “Depth was also a consideration,” Carey says. “We wanted variation on the wall: Some [pieces] are more sculptural, so we wanted balance in the mix.”
Carey says his collection is split 50-50 between fine art and vintage and found objects. And if you’re afraid your original fine artwork won’t shine brightly enough when it’s displayed beside other, less-refined pieces, he assures you not to fret. “The artist might feel that when their work is placed next to Grandma’s needlepoint, you’re making fun of it,” Carey says. “But I don’t think you’re taking away the importance of a piece by accompanying it with something you find charming. They are of similar value to you.”
Map the Arrangement
1. THINK VERTICALLY
Think of each vertical column of art as a unit and center each piece within the column as you fancy.
2. CREATE A BUFFER ZONE
Allow the more important, larger, or darker pieces in your collection to breathe by leaving more visual negative space around them.
3. DIVERSIFY YOUR FRAMES
A benefit of the salon style is that it works to unify eclectic frames and works of art by proximity.
4. EMBRACE DIMENSION
Don’t neglect your much beloved sculptural and dimensional works—they can add interest to a wall of art in surprising ways.