Show and Tell: Hanging Art with Candita Clayton

The Pawtucket-based gallerist offers tips for displaying art like a pro.
Candita Clayton

Clayton represents many local artists in her Hope Artiste Village gallery. Hanging here are some works from recent shows. The large painting is acrylic and mixed media by Wendyll Brown. The smaller frames hold oil paintings by Ingrid Ludt. The ceramic pieces are by Tiffany Adams. Stools are by Studio Dunn and pillows are by Balanced Design. Photography by Howard Chu.

Bright Spot

Hanging art can feel like a maddening exercise in angles and aesthetics. First, you must decide which pieces go where and then, in what can feel like an advanced-level brain game, get them hung in a configuration that is not only proportionate, but straight. Pawtucket gallery owner Candita Clayton says it needn’t be so complicated. When choosing art, “you have to pick pieces that make you feel something. If that’s your jumping off point, you’ll be able to make anything work.” She cautions against getting hung up (no pun intended) on where you think certain pieces should go. Take, for instance, this foyer arrangement. Instead of opting for a ubiquitous mirror, Clayton selects a pair of bright paintings to greet guests. “Your foyer should say something about who you are. These paintings say ‘I love color, I love boldness,’ ” Clayton explains. And because the paintings work both horizontally and vertically, their configuration can be switched up in a few years to keep things fresh, something Clayton encourages.

Candita Clayton

Paintings are oil on canvas by Marc Mazzarelli. Photography by Howard Chu.