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Debra Kewley

7 Days Ago

For An Exhibition: What's Best: Framed Print, Metal Or Acrylic?

HI...I'm doing my first Exhibition and will display seven photos. My question is: what is the best medium to display? A framed print? a Metal? or an Acrylic Print? Two of the photos are landscapes; five are wild life. Size will be approx. 4'x5' Share your opinions, experiences, etc.

Thanks for your help!

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Congratulations, Debra! You're sure to get a variety of responses here, so hang on to your hat!

The exhibition venue will often tell you what they prefer, so check with them first.

Unless you've got pretty good control of the available light, you might steer clear of Metal or Acrylic prints for your exhibit. They can be very glare-y and reflective in direct light, and Acrylic prints are pretty heavy. Maybe have just a couple on hand to demonstrate availability?

My go-to for most shows is lightweight metal frames and low-glare or no-glare acrylic glazing. Framed this way, prints are lighter-weight, making them easier to transport and hang, and less likely to fall. (Or to cause any real problems if they do fall!)

Whatever you choose, remember to have fun with your first exhibit and invite everyone you know; nothing compares! :-)


Jan Keteleer

7 Days Ago

Hoi Debra, congrats for your first exhibition.
Looking at your (great) works and my experience, I've done many exhibitions in Europe, I advice you to go for the acrylic prints.
Your works are very colorful and the acrylic will create a certain "depht" and will bright up the colors.

Here in Europe, acrylics are also the most wanted by collectors.
I don't have experience in the USA, so ask USA based girls and boys too.




Mike Savad

7 Days Ago

the problem with metal and acrylic is, unless you can adjust the lighting, you'll have glare spots everywhere. i would print things on matte, unless i knew what the lighting was. though the problem with frames are - they are expensive, bulky, hard to carry, and will look odd if they all matched. i wonder if you could tilt an image down a bit to avoid the lights.

----Mike Savad


Wishing you a fun and profitable exhibition!
Wendy has good points, check with the venue first, as many have specific requirements about how art is to be hung and displayed.
I have experience with metal prints and agree about the glare. They are beautiful but would not show well in a highly lit environment.
Mike has a good idea to tilt them down a bit.


Marlene Burns

7 Days Ago

Framed, NON -glare glass


RD Erickson

7 Days Ago

I would probably go with framed - I HATE non-glare glass, because it distorts the image and color, unless it is "Museum Glass" which is expensive. I know nothing about non-glare acrylic glazing. How about canvas prints with mirror wrapped sides? I gather you are going to show the images at about 8 X 10 inches - I'd go with simple framed but I do like a double mat.


Jessica Jenney

7 Days Ago

I agree with Roy about non-glare glass. I worked in a frame shop and we discouraged customers who wanted to go with non-glare. I would say canvas or framed prints.

Roy, Debra said 4x5 feet!


Diana Angstadt

6 Days Ago

I was always told that when having a Showing.... use simple standard black artist's metal frames.


Floyd Snyder

6 Days Ago

It depends on the purpose of the exhibit. Sales? Awards? Just a show and tell?

4'x5' is going to be very expensive to frame and glass if you do it right with a mat to keep the glass off the art. Of course, you could use spacers instead of a mat but that cap frame is going to still be pricy and has to be structurally sound to hold the weight. It will also be extremely heavy for shipping or traveling. Acrylic and metal will be costly also.

I agree on non-glare glass.... never liked selling it even when people insisted.

But my advice would be is to contact the people that are in charge of the exhibit or people that have shown in that exhibit or the venue in the past and ask them.

I am currently showing in several venues with other artists. Stretched canvas, no frame, is by far the best selling medium in all of them. Framed and glassed artwork is the slowest.

I have a few metals and I see people with a lot of metals, but I don't see them selling all that great.

But this may be a regional thing.

I think your best advice is going to come from the people in that area that know the venue and know the market.


Many venues here no longer allow glass, due to insurance and liability issues.


@Jessica, @Floyd -- I got the impression that Debra's display space will be 4'x5'. Not her prints.
Hope she'll pop in to clarify.


Debra Kewley

6 Days Ago

thanks for all your opinions/advise. yes, two of the art pieces will be a total of 4'x5' in size....the wall size is large. the other walls for my artwork will be approx. 3'x4' in size. She told me I could do whatever I want.... framed, metal, etc. When I was there to measure, the current photographer had metal prints, which she said was their first time. It did seem a lil glarey to me, but I was leaning toward metal as the price and weight of them would be easier for me.

Do they all have to be the same medium? Can I do a mixture of all of them...would that be wierd?


Debra Kewley

6 Days Ago

and do you all order your exhibit work from Fine Art America? just curious of the quality?


Thanks for the clarification, Debra. Wow -- those large-format prints will weigh a TON if you use actual glass!

I've mixed and matched pieces, as long as there's ample room for separation between the various types and/or hanging patterns. As you're not showing too many pieces, you can probably come up with a pleasing display pretty easily. (My first real show was 29 pieces; my head nearly exploded . . . several times!)

FAA makes great prints, but I prefer to use local printers for show inventory. Makes things so much easier if you have changes along the way, or if time becomes an issue. Generally more affordable, too.


Floyd Snyder

6 Days Ago

"I was always told that when having a Showing.... use simple standard black artist's metal frames."

Yup, that is a throwback from the old days, mostly for juried shows. A few places still do that. Myself, I would never spend money on doing that kind of framing on anything I wanted to sell.

I have to tell you, in the years and years in the picture frame business, I can not remember a client coming in and what anything framed that way other than certificates or an artist that was forced to do it for a juried show. But I did have art come in that was framed that way but the people wanted those frames taken off and something nicer put on.

This is just my opinion of course.


Debra Kewley

6 Days Ago

Wendy...thanks for all the info! Yes, there is ample room for separation if I use various types....and wow, on 29 pieces...good for you!
Floyd...thanks for your info as well....makes sense..

appreciate everyone's input....


Adam Jewell

6 Days Ago

I think if ordering for a show, allow at least an extra week for delivery. Every print I’ve ordered here recently has been a week late and some were not cut right and had to be replaced. Those were big metal prints. At least clients can be forgiving up to a point but the dates of a show usually aren’t.


Robert Woodward

6 Days Ago

Think about what you will do with all those that do not sell at the exhibition. Are you going to hang them in your home? Are you going to try to sell them at arts & crafts shows? Give them away as gifts? If yes to any of these, consider it as a factor in your decision for printing.

I did a solo show with 38 framed pieces and ended selling 2. I used the simplest frames and matting. I donated many of the leftovers to charity and still have many stored in my garage.

And congratulations on your show.


Jeff Sinon

6 Days Ago

Congrats Debra!

I'm a huge fan of metal, and while glare can be an issue, I think the overall appearance is well worth it. Besides, is glare on a metal print really going to be any more of an issue than it would be with something framed behind glass? Unless you pay big bucks for museum glass, the only true non-glare option will be canvas.

FWIW I steer all of my clients towards metal prints, I'm so confident they'll love it I tell them that can send it back for a full refund if they don't. Mind you this is for orders I fulfill myself, so if they do return it I'm out the cost of the piece and the shipping. I haven't had a single return to date.

Robert also brought up a really good point too. With what doesn't sell, what would you want hanging on your wall


Robert Woodward

5 Days Ago

I am with Jeff on metal prints. All of my recent prints have been metal. Any glare issues can be dealt with by simply standing slightly to one side, changing light angle(s), or changing display angle.


Debra Kewley

5 Days Ago

Thanks for additional comments....! and Yes, I do planning on hanging in my house if they don't sell, so that's not an issue as I have plenty of room....all this info is great...and I greatly appreciate the assistance!


Edward Fielding

5 Days Ago

Why not canvas? It's lightweight and doesn't have the glare or the automobile look that might turn off some people

No sharp corners, no chance of bending.


This discussion is closed.