Monthly Archives: September 2015

Storage Solutions for Small Art Collections

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Even collectors with small art collections need safe and secure storage options when the need arises.

The vast majority of art lovers never end up collecting a gallery’s worth of pieces. Instead, their collections consist of beloved paintings, prints, or 3D pieces that can fit comfortably into their homes to be enjoyed day after day. For those who have the space and the resources, small art collectors might also dedicated a room or rooms in their living spaces as a home gallery to specifically showcase these pieces.

But there are situations in which a small collection might need another safe and secure temporary home. These might be:

  • During a move
  • When homeowners leave the state or country on extended trips
  • When hurricanes or other inclement weather threatens to make landfall directly in your area
  • During an extensive home remodel, when dust and debris might damage the pieces
  • When you are preparing for a gallery showing and wish to have all the pieces easily accessible

Preparing Artwork for Storage

Because your collection is small, it is more likely that you will be able to prepare the pieces for storage on your own or with the help of friends and family.

First, gather the materials you need to safely store your art pieces:

  • Acid-free paper or boards for canvases and prints, framed or unframed
  • Clean, dry cloths that cover pieces
  • A storage rack or shelving unit
  • A climate-controlled storage area in which to house the pieces
  • Thicker blankets or materials to use as padding

Second, make sure your hands are clean and remove all jewelry to prevent accidental scratching. Be sure to handle only one piece at a time.

For temporary storage, framed and unframed canvases can be wrapped with clean, light cloths or padding to prevent dust buildup before being stacked upright in a art storage rack. You can also use bubble wrap, being careful to lay a piece of acid-free paper between the front of the canvas and the wrap. Tape the bubble wrap closed. 3D pieces can also be covered with a cloth to prevent dust buildup and set on open shelving or on the floor. NEVER place art pieces directly on a concrete floor; instead, use heavy padding as a layer between the concrete and the art pieces.

For long-term storage—or when you are storing your pieces to protect them from possible damage due to incoming hurricanes or tropical storms—it’s best to invest in renting a unit at a storage facility that specializes in art storage. Such facilities are often able to pack up your art pieces, move them safely, and unpack them into the storage facility for an additional fee. The units are humidity- and temperature-controlled to prevent mold and mildew growth as well as prevent stress on the pieces themselves. In addition, a highly rated art storage facility is built to withstand fire, flooding, and wind damage.

Small but valuable collections deserve the same respect and care that large collections do. For art lovers who maintain a small but personally precious collection, investing in the right types of storage materials and spaces will pay dividends as your pieces maintain their value over time. Museo Vault is a top-rated art storage facility that also offers other art services to clients. Visit our Homepage now to get more information about our facility and other services today.

The Best Ways to Store Film

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Archive of photography

Just because everyone’s gone digital doesn’t mean there aren’t those who prefer to work with film as a medium. Additionally, you may wish to store old negatives, slides, and film stock (8mm, 16mm, and 35mm film on or off reels) for their artistic value or to preserve history and memories.

Different types of film need to be preserved in slightly different ways depending on your plans for its future use.

Camera Film

Rolls of film for SLRs and older types of cameras are getting a little harder to find. When you do find a good deal, stock up and then save it for years to come.

The best way to store your camera film rolls is in the freezer (though you should never consider freezing instant films like Polaroid, Impossible Project, or Fuji Instax, as this will severely damage the chemicals on the film’s surface). Unused camera roll film is susceptible to the damage of gamma rays and heat, so storing it in a dark, cold place is crucial. Interestingly, the slower the film’s speed, the longer it will keep.

To freeze your film, remove the plastic containers with film from their boxes to save space in your freezer (if the rolls are wrapped in foil wrappers, leave the wrappers intact). Label each container with the film type and ISO. You can also add the date you are freezing the film in order to use older rolls first. Sort the films by type into plastic bins or boxes, pop on the lid, and slide them into your freezer.

Before using the film, be sure to bring it to room temperature before handling because cold film is very brittle. Frozen camera roll film has been known to stay fresh after over a decade of sitting in the freezer!

Film Reels

Family film heirlooms, film art pieces, and film stock for future projects don’t necessarily need to be frozen in order to be usable for years to come. The one exception is 35mm nitrate base reel film, which is highly combustible; keep this type of film in a well-ventilated freezer.

18mm, 16mm, and 35mm film with an acetate or polyester base need to be stored in moisture-proof and corrosion-resistant containers. These containers should also allow airflow to the film, as film needs to breathe. Stack the containers horizontally in a space that enjoys a consistently low temperature and humidity level (this rules out attics, basements, and garages).

For valuable film collections, consider renting a unit from a highly rated and qualified fine art storage facility such as Museo Vault. Located in Southern Florida, our fine art storage facility is built to withstand the ravages of nature while maintaining optimal temperature and humidity levels for each type of fine art. Our clients also enjoy Museo Vault’s list of related art services, including transport and installation, museum-quality packing and crating, domestic and international shipping, collection management, and more. Visit our Homepage to get more information about our facility, staff, and services and to request a quote.

6 of the Weirdest Art Mediums You’ve Ever Seen (#3 Will Make You Gag)

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Creative Floor Art

Food and leaf mosaic by Thangaraj Kumaravel; image source:

No matter what it is, some inventive, creative mind will figure out how to turn it into art. Artists who work with weird mediums have gone far beyond canvas, paper, and earth to wow an audience with their creations. Maybe it’s the shock value, maybe it’s just because no one else was doing it and they had a light bulb moment—whatever happened, we’re intrigued by the results.


1. Cheetos®

Andy Huot turned a tasty snack into an Instagram hit when he realized that some Cheetos® pieces look like other things. He took some photos of his finds and posted them (with comments) on Instagram in order to entertain friends and family, but his account, cheescurlsofinstagram, has since become a very popular site on the social media website with over 40,000 followers.

Huot has kept his day job as a mechanical engineer, using the evening hours to pursue his artistic snack photography.

Cheese Snacks

2. Cassette Tape and Film

The rise of the digital age meant self-taught Chicago artist Erika Iri5 (pronounced “Iris”) just had more of one of her favorite mediums to play with: cast-off relics of the analog world. Her works include portraits of famous celebrities created from cassette tape and VCR cassette film as well as old reel-to-reel film.

Close Up Of Vintage Audio Tape Cassette, Isolated On White, With Clipping Path

3. Bodily Fluids

Bodily fluids are plentiful and easy to obtain, so why not use them to create artwork? Who knew blood or vomit could be so beautiful?

Artist Dr Rev Mayers uses his own blood to paint lifelike portraits of people, animals, and fantasy characters. The Australian artist is careful to have medical professionals draw his blood and monitor his health. He says the blood changes according to his diet, the temperature, and other factors, making each piece absolutely unique.

Drop Of Red Blood

Millie Brown, on the other hand, prefers to vomit colored soy milk on her blank white canvases. The process can be as much performance art as a final, static piece. Watch this video to see how she creates a painting to the lovely strains of the “Lakme’ de Delibes” flower duet.

Strawberry Milk, White Milk And Tea Milk In Glass

4. Trash and Found Bits

Nothing is more green than artwork created from cast-off items, including stuff that would otherwise end up at the dump. Tom Deininger, a Massachusetts native, uses toys, bits of things, and trash such as cigarette butts to compose highly textured art pieces of different types.

Scrap Metal, Old Car Parts

5. Toast

Who knew cheap bread could provide so much enjoyment when not surrounding peanut butter and jelly or bologna? Toast artists, like Maurice “The Toastman” Bennett, utilize toasted bread squares as vari-colored tiles to “paint” portraits or create mosaics.

Simple Toast

6. Gelatin

Food items are not uncommon as uncommon art mediums, but it takes a master to turn colored gelatin into something beautiful and unearthly. San Francisco artist Liz Hickok creates silicone models of famous architectural landmarks, into which she pours and sets colored Jell-O®. The unmolded buildings are then set into fanciful cityscapes and lit from below, creating ethereal works that highlight the impermanence of man’s creations. Videos and photographs of the biodegradable artwork end up being the only record of their existence as the cityscapes eventually melt and rot away.

Hayward, CA - July 24, 2014: package of Jello brand gelatin, lime flavor

You’d need very special fine art storage facilities to keep a collection made up of these unusual mediums in top shape! Organic art mediums definitely require specialized storage and/or display conditions in order to keep them from degrading: temperature and humidity control are musts, as well as a specific knowledge of each organic medium’s needs.

Elegant Nibbles to Offer at Art Shows

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Celebration food When you are showing off your artistic creations, you want people to associate your paintings or sculptures with a pleasant experience. Not only does this increase your fan base, it can also boost sales! Deciding on the menu for an art show takes some strategizing. You want the food to complement the show, but you don’t want it to be a huge distraction. Still, when people love the food and drink, they will probably stay longer, which is good for your reputation and for business. Appetizers are great for this type of gathering. Small finger foods can often be made well in advance and transported with ease, and they can easily be eaten while standing in front of the art itself or when talking in groups. You can choose your fanciness level by hiring a caterer and servers or doing it yourself and having guests pick up their favorite nibbles from one or two serving tables. The following information will help you determine your menu:

  • The number of guests you expect at the event
  • The time of day—this will guide your choice of lighter foods or heavier foods depending on how hungry guests are likely to be
  • Whether or not you have access to a refrigerator or oven and electrical outlets for chafing dishes or to plug in crock pots
  • Do you want only finger foods or do you want to offer foods that require utensils?
  • If you want to serve alcoholic drinks, does the establishment or facility allow this?

Once you’ve got the information you need to answer the above questions, it’s time to decide on the food you want to serve. For larger crowds (50+), plan on serving about eight different types of appetizers per person. For smaller crowds, four or five per person is about right. Typically, caterers plan for the number of appetizers per person based on the following standard formula: 12 pieces per person x the number of people / the number of different appetizers. So, if you have 50 people expected to attend, multiply 50 by 12 (the number of appetizers per person) to get 600. Divide 600 by 8 (the number of appetizers per person) to get 75 appetizers of each type. Now plan on a mix of sweet and savory. Cheese plates and vegetable platters are nicely complemented by bite-size brownies or teeny cupcakes, for instance. Finally, here’s a list of tried-and-true appetizers and finger foods that are pleasing to a large number of people. As a bonus, they are also easy to make and assemble.

  • Bruschetta with three types of toppings
  • Cheese straws
  • Stuffed mushrooms
  • Brownie bites
  • Cheese plates with crackers
  • Cheese and lunch meat plates with crackers or cocktail breads
  • Vegetable plates with dips like hummus, baba ghanoush, or Ranch
  • Finger sandwiches
  • Salted, spiced, and sweetened nuts
  • Steamed dumplings
  • Canapés
  • Chunks or bite-size pieces of fresh fruit
  • Hot meatballs or cocktail wieners in sauce, kept warm in a crock pot or chafing dish
  • Pita chips with hot artichoke dip
  • Petit fours
  • Small egg rolls or spring rolls with dip

Your guests will love being able to munch on delicious nibbles while inspecting your works of art. You’ll keep tummies from rumbling and conversation flowing while you enjoy the company of family, friends, and art lovers who are there to wish you well. The location of your show is also vastly important. Rely on dedicated show spaces or facilities such as Museo Vault, which offers top quality artwork self storage units as well as first-class viewing facilities and other fine art services in South Florida. Visit our Homepage to find more information about our services or call (305) 751-1175 today.

Meet Luis Suarez, New Curator of the Suarez Museum of Natural Science and History

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Luis Suarez has seen a lot of different types of animals. That’s not surprising, considering he’s been an animal specimen collector since the age of 11, learning the skill from his father, grandfather, and other experienced hunters in his family. Now he wants to share what he’s learned with the world, educating as many people as possible about animal habitats, ecology, and how humans are contributing to the destruction of animal environments.

To do this, Mr. Suarez has decided to share his collection of over 1000 museum-quality specimens with the public. Included in the collection is an African Watusi steer with the largest horn circumference ever recorded, an albino alligator, and a beautiful snow leopard among other priceless, rare, and unique specimens.

Mr. Suarez’s collection is catalogued in the Safari Club International’s World Record Books after having been measured and evaluated by their renowned and esteemed Master Measurers Michael Roqueni and Doug Luger.

On July 15, 2015, Mr. Suarez was honored by Michael Roqueni and Chief Master Measurer Chris Emery as the #1 curator in Southern Florida and recipient of the acclaimed International Hero Award for 2015. Carlos A. Gimenez, mayor of Miami-Dade County and other dignitaries from the county declared that day to be Luis Suarez Day.

On August 13, 2015, Mr. Suarez was further honored when officially appointed as the Curator of the Suarez Museum of Natural Science & History by Dayamy Rodriguez, CEO and Executive Director of the museum and Mr. Suarez’s business partner and wife.

Mr. Suarez’s goal is to help people of the United States and other countries learn how to work to preserve the rich animal heritage of our planet. The museum exhibits will display wonders of animal life from all over the world.

Mr. Suarez’s collection has been housed in Museo Vault’s state-of-the-art secure storage facility in Southern Florida. Museo Vault’s hurricane protection system and fire-suppression system make their fine art storage one of the best in the world. View our Homepage for more information about our services, including storage, collection management, exhibitions, and more.