As an artist, we can go through periods of low and high inventory. Before being picked up by galleries or stores, it is easy to watch your artwork pile up. Many artists ask me how to store art properly in these scenarios. Today, I️ want to share my tips and tricks to store your art the to maintain its beauty and value. From temperature and humidity control to choosing the right materials, this guide will provide you with expert tips and tricks on how to store art like a pro.
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Choose the Right Storage Location.
When it comes to storing art, the location you choose is just as important as the materials you use. Avoid areas with direct sunlight, high humidity, or extreme temperatures, as these can all damage your artwork. This may seem obvious, but as art piles up we sometimes turn to spaces like basements or closets can can have a higher humidity level than other areas. Make sure you consider this before hiding your art away in one of these locations. If you're storing multiple pieces, make sure they are not stacked on top of each other, as this can cause damage and warping. I️ recommend using a tool like this canvas storage rack or something similar for canvases or putting cardboard between them to keep them safe. For paper, I️ like to put them in plastic sleeves with cardboard backing then put in clear bins to keep them safe, dry and flat.
Protect Your Art from Light Damage.
One of the biggest threats to your artwork is exposure to light. UV rays can cause fading, discoloration, and even deterioration of the materials. To protect your art from light damage, avoid displaying it in areas with direct sunlight or harsh artificial lighting. If you must display it in a well-lit area, consider using UV-protective glass or acrylic to shield it from harmful rays.
Control Temperature and Humidity.
Temperature and humidity are two important factors to consider when storing your art. Extreme temperatures can cause materials to expand or contract, leading to warping or cracking. High humidity can cause mold growth and damage to paper-based materials. Aim to store your art in a cool, dry place with a consistent temperature and humidity level. Avoid storing it in basements or attics where temperature and humidity levels can fluctuate. Consider using a dehumidifier or air conditioner to regulate the environment if necessary.
Use Proper Packing Materials.
When storing your art, it’s important to use proper packing materials to protect it from damage. Acid-free tissue paper, bubble wrap, and foam padding are all great options for wrapping and cushioning your art. Avoid using newspaper or other materials that may contain acids or chemicals that can damage your art over time. Additionally, make sure to use sturdy boxes or crates that are the appropriate size for your art to prevent it from shifting or getting crushed during storage or transport. I️ like to wrap art in paper and a little bubble then place notes on them with which painting is which. Then when a painting sells, you can know exactly which on etc grab!
Consider lending your art to local offices or stores.
If you don't have the space or resources to properly store your art, consider lending it to local offices or stores. This not only helps you free up space but also gives your art more exposure. Just make sure to have a clear agreement in place with the borrower regarding the duration of the loan, insurance coverage, and any other terms and conditions if it sells or something were to happen. It's also a good idea to check the borrower's storage and display conditions to ensure that your art will be properly cared for.
When I️ first started my gallery I️ used to showcase artwork in offices all over Charleston. It didn’t directly cause sales, but it led to lots of exposure and allowed me to hold onto more artwork than what just my space would allow.