Home Improvement

Care For Your Artwork in 5 Easy Steps

Preserve your pieces with these tips from a gallerist

Photography: Paolo Feliciano (Main Photo)

“The thing with modern paints and other media is that they’re now engineered to be more durable, some are even self-laminating,” explains Dan Villacruel, gallerist of the newly opened Vongarde Art Gallery along Katipunan Avenue. “Older artworks are very fragile because of the pigments used before. Mas durable na ngayon ang mga artist paints—thanks to modern technology.”

Dan worked for art galleries dealing with masters and well-known artists for years. During that time, he has learned from experience how to take care of these prized pieces. He lists down five of the most basic things you need to know so you can give your favorites just the right amount of TLC:

1. Give your art pieces regular dusting.

“It’s like how you dust your furniture but with more caution. You can lightly brush them with a feather duster to remove loose dust. Don’t try to clean your artworks with water or other cleaning chemicals. You may also use a microfiber cloth for sculptures.”

2. Hang your artworks indoors.

“Avoid hanging or storing your artwork outdoors. Direct sunlight and humidity are the top enemies of these masterpieces."

3. Have your paintings framed by a gallery or a framer.

“You'd often find paintings stretched on museum wraps (bastidor) during Art in the Park (an annual event) or in other art fairs where you get to buy the paintings without the frames. Best pa rin to have it framed—especially if it’s on paper, they must be framed under glass. On the other hand, artworks on canvas must be framed without the glass and be stretched properly. Framing is still the best way to protect your paintings."

4. Store your paintings properly.

“If you’re not hanging them, yet— there are collectors who would buy a lot of artwork and would then run out of wall space, in that case, you should cover them with bubble wrap or put them in a wooden or carton crate. Insert a carton sheet or a cushion divider between paintings if you’re stacking several pieces on a pile. You wouldn’t know, the artwork you bought today at P2,000,  might cost a hundred thousand pesos in a few years' time. Madalas kaming nakaka-encounter ng hindi properly stored artworks, nakikita na lang nila, may butas na; nag-crack na yung makakapal na pintura, it also damages the value of your artpieces. If you want to preserve it, store it properly.”

5. Place sculptures where they are out of the way.

First thing to do is check the sculpture for movable or detachable parts. Interactive sculptures are very popular these days. Second, check if the material used in the sculpture is breakable or fragile. “Avoid putting fragile sculptures or pieces with detachable parts on low tables or bases. Dapat at least nasa taas ng console table. Huwag sa corner table na madali mabangga. Put them in places where children can’t reach them."

Vongarde Art Gallery is located at G/F ALCAL Bldg. 285 Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City. For inquiries, you can send messages through e-mail at vongardeartgallery[at]

PHOTOS (in order): Louie Aguinaldo | Paolo Feliciano | Ocs Alvarez/ACME Visual Productions.

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