The Lawrence A. Fleischman Gallery here in Washington, D.C. has been closed the past few weeks for the installation of the Archives’ next exhibition, Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations from the Archives of American Art.
A team of silk screeners recently enlivened the gallery’s stark walls with a bright, colorful title wall and introductory text for the show. Here is my step-by-step documentation of the process–in list form, of course!
1. The silk screeners tape transparencies of the text to the walls, ensuring that the text is properly centered and aligned.
2. Next they align the frames over the wall transparency and attach small ledges to the wall to hold the frame in exactly the right spot. The frame itself features a mesh screen and transparency, but this transparency has negative space where the paint will pass through the screen and onto the wall.
3. The wall transfers are removed and frame is fitted onto the ledges.
4. With one swipe, the silk screener spreads paint across the screen. The frame is carefully removed, revealing an even coat of paint!
5. Touch-ups are done with small brushes.
I think the final design is quite eye catching!
Now I just can’t wait to complete my own to-do list when my colleagues and I open the exhibition to the public this Friday, February 5.
Mary Savig is a curatorial assistant at the Archives of American Art.