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People buy art for a variety of reasons. Whether for its captivating beauty, its power to viscerally engage us, or to heighten our intellectual awareness through its symbolic language. Whatever the reason, art can provide us with years of enjoyment, especially if care is taken in the proper framing and displaying of the work.

Poor quality mounting and framing damages more works of art on paper than any other agent. A professional framer can provide you with options for using acid free materials and glass that offers UV protection. If you are purchasing unframed art on paper try to handle it as little as possible, since oils and pressure from hands can stain or smudge the work.

The type of medium used to create the art often dictates the type of framing that is appropriate. For instance, historically the mounting of photography to a cardboard substrate was the only way to display it. This is still often preferable since the image will not be subject to the glare of a glass cover. Today there are options to use non-glare glass or Plexiglas, which offers additional protection while minimizing reflections.

Many contemporary works on canvas are displayed without a frame which often can be what the artist intended. But nothing finishes a piece of art like a well-chosen frame. Modern art looks best in minimal frames of wood or metal, one of our favorite styles is the ‘floating frame’ which allows the entire canvas to be viewed without cutting off the edges of the painting and creates a lovely reveal between the painting and the frame. Traditional and Old World styles of art look best in larger decorative frames. The carved motifs on a frame will often evoke a particular style that will be compatible with the art.


Framing your art is the first step for displaying your art. A general rule is to hang your artwork so that the center of the piece is 60” off the floor. But rules are meant to be broken. Placing art in unexpected places can heighten ones experience of the work, such as hanging a small piece at ‘eye level’ when seated in your favorite chair. Or just above the highboy that you stand in front of every morning to get your clothes.

Our work in the interior design profession leads us to look beyond the obvious solutions to place art where it will be seen to its full potential. When we consult with our clients on art placement, we consider the best possible grouping of pieces and how the arrangement complements other design elements in the room. We are connected with a network of experienced framers and installers who can provide a high level of safety for valuable and fragile works, including securing sculpture and decorative items to pedestal bases.

At AXOM Gallery, we welcome collaborations with designers, architects, art consultants, collectors, framers and art enthusiasts.[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”The Art of Lighting Art” title_align=”separator_align_left” color=”grey”][vc_column_text]Lighting is an integral part of how a work of art tells its story; the supporting cast member to the star of the show artwork. The relationship between these two elements has a profound effect on how the art is experienced by the viewer.

There are many factors to consider when designing a lighting scheme for a collection:

  • Conservation
  • Flexibility
  • Style
  • Color
  • Budget
  • Energy



Materials such as wood, textiles, leather, and works on paper are more susceptible to degradation. Light damage is cumulative and irreversible so if conservation is an issue, it is important to design the lighting to the recommended light levels, eliminating UV light and reducing exposure to lighting related heat emissions.


Ideally, the fixture selection should offer options to adapt to changing artwork. The ability to fine-tune the lighting after it is installed is almost always required, even after extensive planning. Track lighting offers the ultimate flexibility since track heads can be moved, added, or removed from the track. For a less obtrusive lighting system, we recommend a high-quality recessed adjustable fixture that allows for the addition of accessories. Some of these accessories can include glare reducing louvers and a variety of lenses that can soften or reshape the spread of light.


In general, the best lighting for art should not be noticed; it should be transparent by drawing ones complete attention to the art. But depending on the architectural surroundings, the addition of decorative light fixtures such as wall sconces or picture lights would be considered highly appropriate. Aesthetics and scale of lighting equipment can either support or detract from the overall design of the space.


The incandescent / halogen light bulb is still the ‘gold standard’ in its ability to render colors to what we perceive as true. The crisp, warm tone of this light source is still the preference. As improvements are steadily made in lighting technology, especially LED’s, there is a growing acceptance in the use of slightly cooler, more neutral color of light. In our experience, there are certain collections, typically modern works, that are visually enhanced by using this neutral colored light source.


When it comes to design, there are no hard and fast rules. It is not a question of right or wrong but more a question of the appropriateness of the design to achieve your goal. Our experience in lighting design can offer guidance in finding the right solutions that match your expectations to your budget. We can offer services from consultation, to developing a comprehensive lighting and electrical plan.


We believe that you do not need to sacrifice the quality of light to be energy efficient. At AXOM Gallery, we have our finger on the pulse of the rapid changes in lighting technologies and the products available on the market. A good lighting design is inherently energy efficient because it puts the light, precisely where you need it, with the proper degree of brightness to bring out the beauty of your artwork.

Robin Muto, co-owner of AXOM Gallery, is also principal designer at Robin Muto Interiors where she practices Interior Design and is a Certified Lighting Designer. You can find out more about Robin’s work at www.robinmuto.com and she can be contacted directly at 585-232-6030 ext22.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]