Wednesday, April 22, 2015

How to Ship Artwork

Prairie Whispers - on the Road

Last fall I confirmed an art show for May / June 2015 in Weyburn Saskatchewan. Now that I live in BC, the challenge was how to get the paintings to the gallery?

When I agreed to the contract with the Signal Hill Gallery, it was stated that they would pay for shipping one way, plus pay me an honorarium. I stated that I would be sending between 15 - 17 paintings, the size would not exceed 14 x 18". I wanted to keep the sizes medium for two reasons: first - they would be easier to ship, and second - it keeps the selling prices in the mid-range.

Once the contract was signed, all I had to do was create a body of work. The show is called "Prairie Whispers...depicting the quiet beauty of the prairies." 

After researching shipping prices and insurance, I decided on Canada Post. They not only had the best rates, but there was no limit to the amount of insurance you could add. If you are a business and have a Venture One card then you get a discount. I found that sending individual paintings with Canada Post had always worked in the past. The trick I believe is to purchase additonal insurance, that way you have a tracking number and you can follow the path of your shipment.

I scouted out blue boxes that would fit my sizes, leaving a little room around all sides. Each painting has a piece of Reynolds parchment paper against the painted side so it won't stick (yes it has to be Reynolds as it is the only one with silicone). There is a piece of foam core (cut to size) between each painting. Then I took 3 paintings and wrapped them with bubble wrap. This 68 litre box contains 9 - 14 x 18 inch paintings.

More bubble wrap on the sides and top, makes it a nice snug box.

My smaller pieces, 12 x 16 inches, went into a smaller blue box. I didn't want to force them in, so the last two 12 x 14 inch paintings were wrapped in a cardboard box.

We put gorilla tape around the lids of the blue boxes. We also invested in a strapping kit ($55) from Staples. The boxes are marked with fragile stickers on several sides, plus each box has two shipping labels. The cardboard package is reinforced with copious amounts of clear packing tape. Can you guess that I use to work in a mail room?

Safe and secure the three boxes went out with Canada Post for $166 (below my budget of $200).

Note from gallery: Shipment arrived. All is fine. Will hang show next week.
I'd like to also add that is only took 4 days.

Till Next Time ...
From the Prairies, to the West Coast and Beyond...

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