Behind-the-Scenes with the EXQUISITE MINIATURES Tour
By Wes Siegrist
We normally have a lot of paintings in the studio and framing area but this week it looks like a hurricane hit a miniature painting factory! They’re everywhere with only our trusty computer keeping track of them as I diligently inventory back into the studio works returning from the Steamboat Art Museum and ready a new batch to head out to the Albany Museum of Art on Monday. Our tour is unique in many ways including that we try our best to have all the current paintings available for acquisition. Since happy collectors have been taking them away we’ve been busy staying ahead. And painting is, after all, the best part of being artists to us!
After the Albany Museum of Art, Exquisite Miniatures will be returning to the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. We promised them at least 50 new paintings from the previous two exhibitions there, which gave us the rare chance to redo and repair the content of the exhibition. Knowing this in advance, I started a month ago doing the paperwork, making labels and a myriad of other tasks, so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed this week. Still, it’s daunting juggling 130 paintings, nearly 700 forms of paper and making sure all is in order. At least I had all the framing done ahead of time. That is other than the six paintings in the photo above that still need assembly.
Each painting is tracked from venue to venue via a condition report binder that carefully details the status of each work. As a final step on their journey, I make sure they’re home in one piece. Delighted to say thanks to the attentive care of the museums, particularly the Steamboat Art Museum’s staff, all of them were good. Only the usual minor frame corner touch-ups and backing paper replacements to be made for some!
After traveling back and forth across the country and logging thousands of miles, the crates also needed some repair. A new bottom here, and longer screws there, will easily get them ready to hit the road again. They have many miles ahead of them scheduled to go to GA, NC, KS, FL, NE before more pending venues are added for 2018.
We use our old display panels to “stage” paintings now and arrange them in preparation for various shows. It’s so much easier to view the art with frames and be movable vs. staring at a computer screen. You’ll notice the addition of blue tape everywhere … we try to reuse and recycle everything we can in our business especially with packing material. Damaged frames are used to display photos or some of our “permanent collection” in our home so even they are rarely tossed.
In addition to the above, I’ve packed dozens of books for the museum gift shops, magnifying glasses and assorted signage. The website has been updated as well as all the databases so we should be set for awhile. I hope to be back to my easel by Tuesday. Rachelle’s happily still doing dog portrait commissions.
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