Weathering the Storm
September is National Preparedness Month, and what a month to fall on for 2017! With Hurricane Harvey wreaking havoc on Texas, followed by Irma storming through the Carribean and Florida, knowing how to prepare for natural disasters seems especially critical as of late.
It’s important that we take the time and make sure we, our loved ones and our homes/properties are ready if (goodness forbid!) disasters come our way and we are forced to make quick plans and decisions to keep safe what we hold dear.
I know art may not be at the top of the list of objects to reach for when running out the door, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t quick and easy steps that you can take right now to keep your art relatively safe.
In fact, there are. And I wanted to share them with you! These tips can be easily applied now, to protect art from nondisaster-related events as well as assist if anything more serious should occur.
7 Steps to Art Safety
1. Even if you decide against it, at least look into insuring your artwork and see what that entails. You’ll have a better understanding of what can happen in the aftermath of an accident and probably pick up a few readiness approaches from your insurance agent.
2. Keep an archive of your work so that if anything happens, you have a roster of sorts to check against for lost and damaged paintings or drawings.
3. Be vigilant about the current state of your studio or art-making environment. Literally, make the rounds of the area and check for possible problems. A leaky pipe or broken window can do serious damage, so take the time to see that the area around your art is secure and stable.
4. Don’t court disaster. Keep flammable liquids and any caustic materials safely stored. Also, store your finished works covered, boxed or crated if necessary, and in an out-of-the-way place if possible.
5. Restoring your work is always a possibility. You might be able to do it yourself, find a resource in your community or take any damaged work and transform it into a new piece of art.
6. There are grants and loans available for artists who suffer losses to their work and studios. These are here to help in times of need, so definitely look into them!
7. Let go. If the worst happens, and you lose work through an accident or natural disaster, it will be tough. But that doesn’t mean you can’t pick up again and start anew. The creative spark in us doesn’t go out if the work is no longer there. We will always be makers and doers, so embrace making new work with an open spirit if you ever face this type of difficult challenge.
What’s more, several resources are available, both locally and nationally, geared specifically to help artists and art collectors Below are a few trusted sources to keep in mind:
- Studio Protector
- Alliance of Artists Communities
- American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC)
Do you have any helpful tips or resources to include in this checklist? Please share them in the comments below.
And above all else, remember to always stay prepared and safe if you find yourself facing a natural disaster.