How To Pack Your Art So S*&% Don’t Break

In case you missed this Communities and Collections workshop on packing art at the AGGV, here’s a word to the wise (coming from Corey Bryson, our Gallery Preparator/Technician, so listen up!):

1) Label Label Label

Labelling your package is your only form of communication once the package leaves you. Use big bold labels stating which side should go up, where to open the crate and most importantly, let them know that your package is fragile.

2) Over Pack!

Always take the extra step to ensure that your artwork is secure, you never know what could happen when it’s in transit. Peace of mind is always worth that extra layer of bubble wrap.

3) Bubbles Out!

Bubble wrap is wonderful but the bubbles could leave an impression on your art (especially oil paint), so remember to always wrap with the bubbles out!

4) Where is Your Art Going?

When packing your artwork think about who will be receiving your work and pack accordingly. Will it be a volunteer? If so, include detailed instructions on how to unpack it and how they should repack it if they will be returning it to you.

5) Include Diagrams

Always include written and photographic directions on how to unpack and repack your art and attach them inside the box so whoever is handling your art will know exactly what to do.

6) Don’t Roll Your Flat Works

Rolling your art could cause damage, paint could chip or the image could transfer and if you are painting on canvas, it will have to be re-stretched. If possible it is always best to send your artwork already framed.

7) Avoid Cardboard

Use products like Foamcore or Gator Board when shipping and storing your works. Cardboard can stain and break down causing yellowing, and here in Victoria, we have silverfish who love to eat and live in cardboard.

8) Invest in a Good Crate

If you are shipping a lot of art and your pieces are large or delicate then a good crate is a must! You can build your own or buy one, but don’t forget to paint it a distinct colour so you always know which one is yours.

9) Buy a Pallet Box

If you don’t have the funds or tools to build a crate and your artwork is smaller and not too delicate then you can get away without using a crate, instead get a pallet box! (Available at the Great Little Box Company)

10) Choose Your Shipping Company Wisely

Art shipping companies can be expensive but with air ride suspension and climate controlled trucks, it is worth it. But, if this is not in your budget, FedEx is recommended for their hand-carry service.