Blue Tape, Black Gloves

February 9, 2019February 17, 2019

The forces that mount museum exhibitions are largely unseen and seldom understood. The invisible work of moving, installing, and maintaining an exhibition is a precisely coordinated physical effort known as art handling.

Art handlers, also called preparators, are responsible for packing, transporting, installing and maintaining artworks.

Their duties may include fabrication of display elements, painting and lighting gallery walls, working with audio/visual technology, securing delicate objects, and any other aspects of the physical realization of an exhibition space. They utilize specialized tools, equipment, and materials (including blue tape and black gloves).

Preparators represent a diverse range of backgrounds; many juggle their own practice with realizing the vision of other artists and institutions.

This exhibition illuminates the hidden talents and true passions of greater Cleveland’s skilled art handling workforce. Normally invisible, and accustomed to working behind the scenes, here we foreground their artwork and celebrate their importance to the museums and cultural centers of our region.