Display Durability

There’s a little frustration that I deal with every year when we hang the regional Scholastic Art Exhibition — mats that fall apart! How do you like this lovely artwork? Very avant garde, right?!

I will concede that most matting applications do not require the durability that this show does. Most mats just need to hold together well enough to be placed into a frame which then holds everything together. Not so here! We hang the whole show without frames, and the work is suspended from its backing. 

Inevitably, a few mats and artworks fall off the wall and backing leaving behind something like the picture above in their spot on the wall.  I’m happy to make repairs, but the artwork and mat are often damaged in ways I cannot fix. 

If you have a similar show set up, ever, here are a few tips. 

  1. Don’t use masking tape. At all. For any of it. 
  2. And that definitely means no painters tape. 
  3. No scotch tape. 
  4. No double sided scotch tape. That doesn’t work either. 
  5. Don’t connect the backing with tape loops. Doubling or tripling the number of tape loops does not make this work better. 

I realize this is one of those “DO NOT” lists, but the ones that fall apart are the ones that inform my list. Maybe I should see how the really good ones are put together. I think there’s a little irony in there. 


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