Tips on Shipping Your Artwork for the SDA WA Fiber Fusion Exhibition by Vicki Gerton
I would like to thank Laura Russell at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, OR for most of these very good ideas on shipping artwork!
Since this is a traveling show, your shipping boxes will be carefully stored while your artwork is on exhibit and your artwork to be stored inside your own box between venues and for transporting to the next venue.
Ship your artwork in a sturdy box or a tube, not in bubble mailer or envelop. This box or tube should be sturdy enough to last through round trip shipping and the travel between venues.
Inside the box or tube, place your artwork in a plastic bag, allowing a margin all around inside the box. Pad this margin with bubble wrap or other padding material. DO NOT USE PEANUTS–they make a mess. If you use tape, use low tack tape (blue painting tape works well). Do not use clear packing tape which must be cut with scissors or a knife risking cutting your precious artwork.
Label your packing material with your name and title of the piece.
Include a packing slip inside the box with your name, address and contact information, the recipient’s address, title of your artwork(s), quantity sent, retail price or insurance value. Also include a photo of your artwork for quick identification of what artwork goes in your box (low resolution or snapshot is ok).
If your piece requires special instructions for hanging, include these in with the packing slip.
Check with shipper as to tape requirements on outside of box. Never use duct tape because it does not adhere properly to cardboard.
You must also include a prepaid return shipping label so your artwork can be shipped back to you after the showing in the last venue.
For the least expensive ground shipping, plan to ship a week before the work needs to arrive at destination. If you ship on a Monday, your artwork will probably spend the least time in transit.
FedEx Ground is good and they provide excellent tracking. You will be able to generate a pre-paid return label. FedEx also has a shipping time calculator to help you know when to send your package off.
United States Postal Service (USPS) is another good option. There is some tracking on priority packages. However, they will not be able to generate return shipping labels in advance. You can buy enough stamps, but that requires standing in line for any package over 13 ounces.
UPS is OK but some report problems.
FedEx and UPS allow you to open an account online. You can create shipping labels online and have your credit card billed. You can also print your return label and you will not be charged until your package is actually sent back to you. You weigh your package yourself on your studio or kitchen scale.
You are responsible for any insurance you wish to put on your artwork during the shipping to and from the Fiber Fusion Exhibition.
FedEx will not insure over $500 value.
To collect any claims from the shipper you will need to prove the value of your claim. Some shippers only pay materials, and some will pay only the wholesale value.
Some retail shipping services have third party insurance services.