I recently found out my painting "Department Store" was accepted into the 31st Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors. Since I live in the Baltimore-Washington area and the exhibition is in Old Forge, NY I have to ship my art out of state for the first time. When you ship your art you want it to arrive safe and sound at your customer’s location or at the gallery. You have invested yourself into your art and you want others to enjoy it, so you want to make sure that can happen. So I asked some friends their experience and recommendations for shipping to exhibitions and I spoke to my insurance provider about insurance during transit. Here is the process I plan to follow. If you have anything to add, please comment on this blog.
RedDotBlog has a great post on the packing process for 2-D art. They show you have to create a shipping box and double boxing the artwork. See it here
Every care must be taken to ensure the art is properly packed. Since accidents can happen during shipping you also want to have documentation to ensure you get reimbursed if it gets damaged in shipping. You’ve paid for shipping insurance, so you need documentation to ensure you can prove you properly packaged your art. You also don't want your packing materials misplaced at the destination so the art is properly packed at the end of the exhibition. Here are the steps I will use when shipping framed art.
- Make sure your art is clean and ready to ship (properly labeled, your bio on the back of the painting with a summary of your inspiration for the buyer).
- Photograph the art (have the date turned on in your camera so you can prove it was immediately before shipping). One shot of the full painting and frame. One close up of each corner showing a segment of the art with a 2nd close-up of each corner showing the frame corner is free of mars or dents (show a little of the painting so it can be correlated with the artwork).
- Prepare the foam insert so your art fits snugly.
- If shipping to a gallery or exhibition, label all packing materials with your name so none of the packing foam gets lost by the gallery or handling agent.
- Photograph the outside of the box to show the condition of the shipping container on the outside.
- Place your art in the shipping container and photograph it with the cover open to show the painting is secure within the box (insurance won’t cover your art if they can claim the art was not securely packaged.).
- Place a copy of shipping address labels inside your package in case the outside gets damaged. This will allow the carrier to still deliver the art.
- Take art to the shipper without taping the box if you need to insert return shipping labels in the package.
- After inserting the return shipping labels, take another photograph of the inside of the open box at the shipping company as one final proof of the condition of your packaging immediately prior to shipping.
- Close and tape the box and photograph one last time to show the final condition of the box.