We don't spend a great deal of time thinking about how things get transported from one place to another. When you order the "catch of the day" at the seafood shack in Charleston you may not care to think about how that fish was not really having a delightful swim in the local waters just hours ago, but was actually raised in a dirty pond in South Korea and was shipped in a box of ice halfway around the world in order to land on your plate complete with two side items. You'd rather just enjoy the taste of the fish and think happy thoughts.
I'm guessing most people don't spend a lot of time thinking about how the paintings and sculptures get transported to the local gallery either. You simply go in, view the objects of beauty, and think about how crazy the artist must be to have come up with those ideas. I've mentioned earlier that making art is not exactly the easiest thing in the world to do. After spending months, weeks and/or hours perfecting a work of art you'd like to think your job is finished. The reality is you still have to get these objects of art to a location where they can be viewed by the public. And this is not as easy as it sounds.
Sure, you can take these things down to UPS or FedEx along with a huge wad of cash and have them pack the work up and allow them to take your retirement fund to cover the insurance that will be involved. If you want a good laugh, go ahead and scrawl "FRAGILE" across the box in bold letters. I'm pretty sure that's like painting a bulls eye on the box.....but then I can only speak from my experience with broken glass, ruined frames, and scratched paint.
Your best bet is to hand deliver your work. No one cares about your artwork as much as you do and this really is one of those situations where if you want something done correctly you must do it yourself. And if you happen to create very large steel sculptures this may be your only affordable choice. So do you just tie those puppies to the roof of your car and head out? Yes, if you want to ruin your car and your sculpture. Tie a rope around shiny paint and let it wiggle around in 70 mph winds and you're not likely to still have paint there when you arrive. Sculptures like the ones I create must be wrapped, padded, crated in wood, and then tied down for the safety of other motorists. And if you have 8 to deliver at once it might look a little something like this:
Yeah, I know. Hideous, right? Just imagine what all the drivers and passengers going by on the interstate are thinking. I've had plenty of people roll down their windows at traffic lights and ask me what the heck I've got in the trailer. I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm involved in some sort of odd smuggling ring. But, ugly as it is, this seems to get the sculptures where they are going without damage.
This load of 8 sculptures was delivered to the Waterworks Visual Art Center in Salisbury, NC last Saturday. There were 2 weekends devoted to prepping and crating and one weekend devoted to loading, delivering, and installing the work. Three of the four large scale sculptures have never been shown before and I was a bit relieved to see all of them together in the same room for the first time. The colors and forms work very well together and I think the show is going to be great. If you get a chance, go to Salisbury this summer and check out what I found to be a pretty interesting town and stop by the Waterworks to see some very colorful and interesting paintings and sculptures. You can read some well written descriptions of the exhibits by following the link below.