Comox Valley Art Gallery, a Courtenay, Canada art gallery, has decided to invest in specialized professional art storage racks to store its collection. The racks are on wheels, and can store works of art that are as big as six feet by eight feet. Comox is buying a total of six racks for $15,000. The racks will hold around 100 large paintings and other two-dimensional art works.
Storing art properly can extend its life and reduce wear and tear. But, ordinarily, art placed in archives must be packaged extensively to keep it safe from light and from physical damage. Opening the packaging can complicate and slow the process of choosing art to display for particular exhibits. Using a specialized art rack can make it easier for a museum to store an extensive collection in an organized way, enabling curators to quickly locate and choose art for new exhibits without having to unwrap cumbersome packaging. The racks will also make it easier for visiting art historians and scholars to access the museum’s collection for study and research purposes.
Anh Lee, Comox’s director and curator, informed the Comox Valley Echo
yesterday that the specialty racks would help to ensure future access to Comox’s art collection, which has been gathered over the course of 36 years, by preserving and protecting the paintings. The racks, she said, would enable Comox’s entire art collection to be stored in an organized way in the gallery’s climate-controlled archive room.
“These units are museum quality,” said Lee, “and will do so much to improve our storage and even provide us with some capacity for future acquisitions.”
Heritage Minister James Moore told the Comox Valley Echo that the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund, a special grant program, would pay part of the cost for the racks. The fund will provide a total of $7,110. Funds not provided by the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will come from the City of Courtenay and from the gallery’s own fundraising efforts.
“By helping our galleries preserve their collections, we are ensuring Canadians can continue to enjoy exemplary cultural experiences in their communities,” he continued.
Local Member of Parliament John Duncan, who made the announcement that the funding had been granted, was also pleased by the government’s decision. “This is a great investment in our community and our local artists,” he said. “It will help make art more accessible and preserve the work of local artists for future generations to enjoy.”