Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Ship Paintings - A Step-by-Step Guide for Artists and Galleries by Jason Horejs

I have been in the gallery business since 1993. Though I now own Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ, I started in the business on the ground floor. My first job was in the backroom, shipping artwork for a Western Art gallery in Scottsdale. The gallery had a high sales volume, so I got a lot of experience packing, crating and shipping art of every shape and size. I shipped paintings and sculptures large and small and learned what was important in making sure artwork arrived safely.
Over the years I certainly learned some lessons the hard way – not every piece arrived safely.

Sometimes, despite my best efforts, artwork would be damaged by the delivery company, and sometimes, I would neglect a minor detail, resulting in a shipping disaster. Eventually I became quite adept at it, and even though I eventually moved into a sales position and ultimately opened my own gallery, I continued to sneak into the shipping room from time to time to keep in practice. To this day I will sometimes pack and ship a piece myself – there’s something satisfying about the physical act of shipping a piece of artwork.

Shipping is both science and art, and I would like to share with you some of the lessons and techniques I’ve learned over the years.