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Preparing Art Shows (was Re: Matting Art Work)


From: Mark Alexander (malexander06_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Mar 03 2002 - 16:18:47 PST

This is how I do the Spring Art Show at my school. Since I don't have the
budget to buy tagboard, I use colored construction paper. For special pieces
I 'double mat' them, also with colored construction paper. Average border
size is two to three inches wide.

Let's say I made little taperolls to hold the art to the mat. With 600
pieces of artwork to mat (two each student), that's something like 2400
little rolls of tape at an average of four each piece. That's too many right
there, if you're like me and you hate making taperolls, so I staple them to
the construction paper.

Then to hang the artwork I use staples on bulletin boards, and for the
painted cinderblock walls, I follow a suggestion I got from ArtsEdNet
sometime last year-I hotmelt glue them to the wall. If I used taperolls,
that'd be something like another 2400 of those stupid little rolls of tape,
and I hate making taperolls. Did I say that?

There are other reasons to avoid those little rolls of tape.
     -The artwork falls off the walls, especially when the spring breezes
turn the hallways into wind tunnels.
     -Making taperolls isn't very much fun.
     -I usually run out of tape by May, and masking tape is expensive.
     -I usually run out of time by May, and making taperolls takes a lot of
     -When the artwork comes down and gets sorted, the taperolls stick to
the artwork behind it.
     -Removing taperolls from artwork usually tears the artwork and/or
leaves tape gum.
     -The little holes left after staple removal usually have little impact
on the integrity of the elementary and middle school student's artwork.
     -The glue on taperolls, over time, will stain through the paper,
ruining the heirloom artwork.
     -Using hotmelt glue is fun and easy, and the custodians will talk about
it all year.
     -Removing hotmelt glue just takes a gentle lift with a butter knife or
painting knife, which Really impresses the custodians (Assuming the wall
paint is in good shape).
     -Using staples is cheap and students can quickly and easily do it.
     -If you use staples, you can carefully pull them out, straighten them,
and reuse them in your staple gun (What? You never tried that? Economize!)

So that's what I do at my school. What do some of you others do?


----- Original Message -----
From: "Laurel" <>

> Our middle school is attempting a school art show for this spring (hasn't
> been one in many, many years) and I was going to get a head start on
> getting items ready for display. .....for the
> show, I want to matt the work - simply- with colored tagboard.
> My question (finally) is:
> Do you tape down all sides of the artwork to the matt or only the top?
> I've seen it done both ways and wondered if any had particular reasons for
> one way or another.