Art and Design: Balance

December 13, 2008 – April 5, 2009

Ledger and Murray Galleries

This exhibition, focusing on Balance, is the second in a series of works from the Permanent Collection that presents examples of how artists think about design principles.

Most of us understand the basic compositional tools that are used to create artworks. Referred to most often as the Elements of Art, these include line, shape, value, texture, color and space as means to manipulating the materials artists use to make a work of art come to life.

But before the lines and colors can be created, artists consider the impact that design will have on communicating with viewers of their work. While the Elements of Art can be considered a form of language, the Principles of Design is the grammar that helps the artist create a work that makes sense to our eyes.

Balance is used by artists and designers to maintain an overall equilibrium in an artwork and to direct the viewer’s eye to multiple parts of a composition. And this can be achieved by symmetrical balance or asymmetrical balance, and by utilizing color, value, shape, and position, texture or direction.


  • Cowles Charitable Trust
  • Dorothy Chao Jenkins
  • Ron and Becky Johnson
  • Reitzel Foundation
  • Swain Companies and Affiliates