Artists have long been targets of criminals, whether the “casual” shoplifter who snatches an item from your display at a busy show or a gang of professional thieves who has “cased” your operation, and followed you and your art inventory to a vulnerable point in your travels.
Most of the art theft cases CERF+ hears about are the latter, and usually it involves a jewelry artist whose artwork includes precious metals and/or precious gems.
These thefts most commonly occur while the artist is:
1) Taking down the display and loading a vehicle at the end of a show;
2) Going back to the hotel with the inventory at the end of a show day; or
3) Stopping for a meal or a break while traveling after a show.
Regardless of your craft and where you sell it, any artist can be a target of criminals. Take steps to protect your artwork and other business assets from theft, and be sure to have business property insurance coverage at your studio and while your artwork is in transit and at sales venues. The checklists below include things to consider when trying to reduce the likelihood of a business loss to theft.
Be Clear on Your Insurance Coverage
We provide this information on theft prevention as a resource only. CERF+ assumes no liability in connection with the security methods and procedures included.
You can take some steps before you exhibit at an art and craft show and while you are there to reduce the likelihood that you will be the victim of criminals intending to steal art. Plan ahead and be prepared so that you can feel good about attending to the vast majority of show attendees who are there to enjoy themselves and purchase great art!
Craft artists are particularly vulnerable to theft or robbery while on the road with their inventory. Review this checklist to learn what crime prevention steps would make sense for you when transporting your art and yourself to and from a sales venue.
“How to avoid jewelry theft when you travel” by Cathleen McCarthy
While your art inventory is less likely to be a target of thieves when it is in your locked studio or gallery than while in transit or at a sales venue, it is still vitally important to take steps to protect it there. After all, chances are, while you still own it, it spends much more of its time on premises than off. Look this checklist over and start doing more today to protect the art you worked so hard to create.
The most important thing to do when you encounter a crime in progress, or when you think a crime has been committed is to react in a way that is likely to keep yourself and those around you safe. Regardless of the value of objects that may be lost due to a crime, your wellbeing is far more valuable.