From the Project Assistant’s Point of View: Moving and Packaging

By: Integrated Art Group

Sep 30 2014

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Category: Art, art education

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A little over two months ago, Integrated Art Group made the bold (and necessary) decision to move to Madison, WI. Our new location at 2345 Atwood Ave is both welcoming and exciting. What I have learned most about this move, more than any other move, is the amount of work that goes into packaging and shipping artwork.

We all know to “handle artwork with care.”  But what exactly does that mean? To hold it as delicately as possible – in a flat position with little to no movement?  Not necessarily, but here are a few guidelines that we should all do our best to follow:

  1. Wear gloves. Even clean hands can leave behind residue.
  2. Protect the edges of the artwork whether it be with padding, corners, etc.
  3. If a piece is too large for you to carry alone, find someone to help you so the piece keeps its shape. Use materials that are stable enough to transfer your artwork.

After the initial move, we decided to return artwork that we have had in stock for some time in order to refresh our inventory and lighten our load. This requires packaging the artwork, which takes handling artwork to a whole new level.  Here are a few tips when it comes to shipping flat artwork:

  1. Use a flat pack or print pad. If you do not have these items, use a sturdy piece of cardboard for the art and possibly corrugated cardboard/Masonite for the outside packing material.
  2. Have plenty of packing tape.
  3. Protect the artwork with acid-free tissue paper on both the front and the back.
  4. To prevent artwork from moving around, give each piece a “corner.” To do this, fold a sheet of paper into a triangle that has one open end. Place a triangle on all four corners of the print or drawing. Then tape ONLY the triangles to the cardboard.  Never try to bend the print into a triangle. Place each triangle on an edge of the artwork, and then tape each triangle to the cardboard.


Also, make sure you watch a tutorial or have someone with experience help you the first time you package and ship artwork.

Here’s a brief update on our move:

August: We were still in the middle of packaging up artwork and sending it back. I found that carefully handling each piece to either roll in a tube or lay flat is incredibly taxing — both mentally and physically.  Each artist and vendor has a specific way they would like their artwork to be packaged.It is easy to spend half the time worrying that damage may come to the artwork, while the other half is attempting to find the most efficient way to package and send. Find a healthy balance — but always remember to take your time when handling artwork, no matter what the context.

September: The artwork is entirely packaged up and delivered! We are relieved, to say the least.  Here’s to moving forward and refreshing our inventory.


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