Fellow artists, you may want to share this bit of information regarding shipping large artwork overseas:
Shipping an exhibition of large artwork overseas for a quarter of the cost:
I’m currently in Oslo, Norway- preparing for a solo exhibition blankspacegallery that opens on October 3rd. I’ve been working on paintings for the past several years that are increasingly larger, and that are being created on a variety of supports- canvas, hardboard, and paper. With dimensions of upwards of 8’ x 6’, the logistics have presented some real problems.
Air Freighting and shipping the work was estimated between $1500- $3000 for two packages- 1 crate at 4’ x 3’ x 12” (largest painting on hardboard at 3’ x 4’) and one shipping tube at 6’ x 6” x 6” (large canvas rolled up w/o supports). One month’s advance notice wasn’t enough time to ship by sea. In addition, the shipping companies were requesting specific paperwork, with the possibility of paying a VAT tax (Value added tax) of 24- 30%. Tally this up with what the gallery would have to pay upon return for any unsold items, and the entire prospect seemed rather improbable, if not impossible.
My girl solved this problem for me. She mentioned the prospect of claiming the parcels as oversized baggage. At first, I dismissed the idea, thinking the items too big to ship on the same flight I was taking. As I looked into options, though, I soon realized that the airline (United Airlines) had some limitations, but they exceeded what I thought allowable. On United Airlines, oversized baggage is considered anything over 64 linear inches (l + w + h), while oversized baggage is accommodated up to 115 linear inches. The weight restrictions start at 50 pounds and go up to 100 pounds. For each overage, you will pay $200 for an extra bag/oversized fee.
We did a dry-run on the Wednesday before I left to see if the packages would fit. The dimensions were close, but the Skycap pulled someone in off the ramp to measure, and it all did. United proved to be very helpful through all of this.
In short, both packages were sent from Virginia, United States to Oslo, Norway for $600 total. Here is the breakdown:
Shipping tube WITH stretcher supports- 96” + 8” + 8”= 112” total linear inches @ 34 pounds- included stapler, screws, staples, laser level, etc.
Box with large painting (36” x 48”), 30 prints, two medium paintings on hardboard, 6 illustrations on board, one smallish painting on canvas, and disassembled pine stripping- $200 (overage on size) + $200 (overage on weight at 64 pounds)=
TOTAL COST OF SHIPPING: $600 + $64 (supplies)= $664
In addition, I was able to precut and ship all wooden supports for display, I was afforded an extra 2-3 weeks to paint the work, and there was no additional tax or charge.
It was a risk, as the work was uninsured- that was the only downside. I packaged it a neatly as I could and rolled the dice.
The boxes showed up- a bit worse for wear, but intact and for less than a quarter of the price that was previously proposed.
I’m attaching reference shots of the packaging materials, included work and costs of supplies for clarification.
1 @Flambeau Bazuka Brand Telescoping Salt Water fishing tube from Walmart - $50
1 Telescoping Flat Screen TV box from The Home Depot @ $14
Additionally, I highly recommend producing large works on heavy canvas that can be rolled, and connecting the stretcher bars without glue (screws only)- for ease of disassembling and assembling.
Hoping this information helps some of you dealing with similar stresses and looking forward to seeing you at the exhibition.
Had a great morning with #creativemornings thanks to #CMOslo and @blankspaceoslo for the amazing coffee and creatives!
Another illustrative work that may be traveling over the Atlantic with me this week. Workshops, lectures, book signings, show opening- should be a ball @blankspaceoslo
Another detail WIP #oslosolo @blankspaceoslo
WIP detail for @blankspaceoslo opening next Friday.
Detail WIP @blankspaceoslo #oslosolo
WIP detail #oslosolo @blankspaceoslo
Wow, much love to @mondotees for the amazing opportunity to work on this Fisher King Limited Edition screen-print. It’s huge and beautifully printed. Professional all the way down to the packaging. This was illustrated some time ago and it’s good to have them in my hands.
Two days ago.
Detail wip #OSLOSOLO blue is winning the day