Art Crossing Borders

When Art travels out of the country there are some key things you need to know to avoid losing your prized find. Some countries don't allow certain animal products to cross borders. This brochure details procedures for exporting arts and crafts from Nunavut.

Attachments:
Download this file (NACA Export Brochure.pdf)Export Brochure545 kB

Caring for Art

Sculptures


Transportation:

  • Hoist large sculptures at your waist and hug them close to your body.
  • Remove accessories like rings, watches, necklaces and belt buckles to avoid scratching.
  • Wear non-skid gardening gloves or latex gloves to keep the sculpture from slipping.


Displaying:

  • Display stone sculptures on large flat shelves that aren’t too high. The weight and design can create a tipping risk.
  • Keep ivory sculptures out of direct sunlight. It can be sensitive to changes in humidity.
  • If a stone sculpture contains inlays of other materials, keep it out of direct sunlight.


Cleaning:

  • Clean with a soft cotton cloth.
  • Use a watercolor brush to dislodge dirt


Jewelry

Ivory:

  • Keep ivory out of direct sunlight. It can be sensitive to changes in humidity.
  • Ivory yellows naturally. Don’t bleach it out.

Bone and Antler:

  • Do not react as quickly to changes in humidity.
  • Absorb more dirt, dust and liquid.


Silver:

  • Clean using a soft buffing cloth.
  • If necessary, use a mild abrasive product such as Twinkle.
  • Polish carefully. Silver dips contain acid, which can damage ivory, bone & antler


Rawhide and Sinew:

  • Keep water away from jewelry containing rawhide or sinew.
  • Never use oil or leather dressing on rawhide or sinew.


Prints

  • Mount on an acid-free matte board with a glass cover.
  • Keep out of direct sunlight. Prints can fade if exposed to too much light.


Furs

  • If your fur becomes inhabited by insects, freeze it to safely and effectively get rid of them.
  • Caribou fur tends to shed. Minimize handling to reduce shedding.


For more information, contact the Canadian Conservations Institute:
Canadian Conservation Institute
www.cci-icc.gc.ca/
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: (613) 998-3721

Buyers Tips

Inuit Art commands international respect. It may be the best-known face of Canadian art on the world stage. As with all artwork, however, not every piece is at the same standard. Here are a few tips to make sure you buy genuine, well-built, quality northern art you’ll be able to love for years.

1. Shop at a reputable gallery

Gallery staff can answer questions about the artwork, and the selection will already have pared down the very best.

Department stores that only sell Inuit art as part of a varied inventory, on the other hand, usually haven’t had time to make informed acquisitions.

2. Buy genuine Inuit Art

Just because a piece looks like Inuit Art doesn’t mean it’s genuine. There are a lot of imitations on the market.

Here’s what to look for to make sure you’re really buying Inuit Art:

• The artist’s signature
• The Igloo tag or the Authentic Nunavut tag attached to on the base of sculptures


Plastic and ceramic sculptures are probably not genuine art.

3. Check the stability of sculptures.

Before buying a sculpture, make sure that it’s in good condition. Check for the following:

Parts pegged to the base are properly finished
Additional materials, like bone and ivory, are well-attached
• Any scratches are just natural lines and not signs of cracking
• No broken pieces have been glued back on

If you have any doubts or questions, don’t be afraid to ask gallery staff.

4. Check paper quality on prints.

Not all paper lasts forever. When shopping for prints, ask about the paper. Acid-free paper composed of 50% rag will preserve the longest.

Bear in mind, though, that not every northern artists has access to expensive paper. A good print is still a good purchase and can be conserved.

5. When in Nunavut, visit a gallery first.

When purchasing art in Nunavut, start by visiting a gallery. See the artwork the community has to offer and learn the retail prices to make a more informed purchase later on.

You can also buy from artists directly. You’ll get to meet the artist and will usually get a lower price than at the gallery.

6. Buy what you like.

In the end, the main thing is to buy what appeals to you. These are great tips to keep from getting surprised by an imitation or piece in poor condition. However, a great piece of art is worth a little extra care.

Expose yourself to more northern art before you leave the gallery, too. Ask about up-and-coming talent and look up new artists in our Artists Database.