A2 Art Storage Thermostat

Importance of Climate Control

IMPORTANCE OF CLIMATE CONTROL

Climate is one of the most important considerations that an art collector, art museum, or art gallery must think about when it comes to the storage of their artwork. An unstable climate with fluctuating temperatures or humidity can cause serious damage to artwork of various mediums. This damage can not only lower the monetary value of an artwork, but it can also ruin the visual beauty and integrity of the object.

Maintaining a consistent environment with the appropriate temperature and humidity levels can help an artwork remain in excellent condition for years to come, allowing people from future generations to love, enjoy, and learn from the objects in the same way as the people before them. Rebecca Shearier, A2’s Director of Registration, warns that “an inconsistent environment can cause considerable deterioration and damage to an artwork. It can cause premature aging, ruin the object, and cause a myriad of different types of damage. It’s very dangerous for the artwork.”

Museums consistently set the highest standard when it comes to taking care of their artwork. It is their responsibility to keep artwork safe for hundreds of years after the item enters their collection. In museums, it is generally recommended that their collection be stored in a consistent and clean environment that is 70 degrees F, 50% Relative Humidity (RH) with regularly refreshed air, and minimal fluctuations in the climate. At A2, we have worked diligently to build a system that maintains and surpasses these standards throughout our entire building. 

“We did a lot of research, visited museums from all over the country, consulted with museum professionals and asked them for their art storage wish list,” said Shearier. “We have a museum-trained professional on staff and since the objective is to store art, we can focus our resources on the maintenance of our facility and these standards.” 

Here at A2, we set up our entire system with one thing in mind: How can we keep art safe? When it comes to climate, we have left no stone unturned. Each room of art storage space is kept at a stable 70 degrees F (+/ – 3) and 50% Relative Humidity (RH) (+/ – 3) all year around. This climate composition establishes a constant atmosphere that safeguards your art from developing the types of damage that are typically associated with art being stored in an uncontrolled environment such as an attic, basement, or other sub-par storage situation. Subpar storage situations such as these can cause mold, mildew, rust, stains, cracks, discoloration, as well as a myriad of additional types of damage. 

In addition to our climate standards, every room is individually zoned and kept clean with an advanced vapor barrier between each storage room. This system is set up to protect every room from allowing in any possible contamination that may have the opportunity to enter the facility. Our building is outfitted with a high-quality HVAC system that exchanges the air in every storage room, every 90 minutes with an additional 3-hour exchange rate for the rest of the building. This guarantees that any possibility of contamination in the air within each storage room is vastly diminished. Our HVAC system is remotely monitored 24/7 by A2 employees with a weekly readout available upon request. It is important to us and our clients that their art is protected at all times of the day, and we are here to ensure that we always maintain a constant environment for your art. 

A2’s stand alone, owner-operated building is outfitted with a back-up diesel generator that has the ability to support all of our systems in the event of a power outage. This ensures that no matter what happens outside, our building is set up to protect every piece of art we have inside – because that’s what matters.

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A2 Art Storage & Services Art Handling with Glove

What We Offer

WHAT WE OFFER

A2 Art Storage & Services isn’t just an incredible place to store your art. We also offer a wide range of services to meet any collector’s, gallery’s, or museum’s needs. Our growing list of services include professional art packing, such as crate making and soft packing, art handling, transportation, installation, condition reports, collections management, rentable viewing rooms, conference rooms, and of course museum-grade fine art storage. 

Our art packing, transportation, and installation services are done by our contracted art handlers at Pack Horse Fine Art Services. Our expert art handlers come with over 30 years of combined art handling experience and their services include the production of a wooden crate or soft packing options that are as unique as the artwork they’re made for. Depending on the situation, we can pack a piece of art for long- and short-term storage – or if you need the artwork shipped across the city, country, or world. Our transportation services allow us to transport any piece of art anywhere in the world, in a responsible and safe way. Finally, our art handlers can install and hang nearly any work of art of any size or medium anywhere you need it to be placed and displayed.

A2 Viewing Room
One of two rentable viewing rooms at A2 Art Storage & Services

Our other miscellaneous services include condition reporting, large and bright viewing rooms, and functional conference rooms. Our expert team of registrars offer an option to perform condition reports on your artwork which are a thorough visual examination of the artwork, documenting the current status, and citing any areas of damage or concern.

The A2 Art Storage facility also has two rentable viewing rooms. This allows collectors, artists, galleries, and museums to put their art on display for either a show, special event, photoshoots, or conservation work. 

Additionally, our facility has two rentable conference rooms. We have one room that can seat two to four people and a larger room that can seat up to 23 people and is outfitted with a projector. 

All of these services beautifully supplement our already amazing facility so that we can be your one-stop-shop for all of your art storage needs.

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A2 Art Storage & Services UL AA Rated Security Camera

The Value of Security

THE VALUE OF SECURITY

When it comes to storing art, security should be one of your top priorities. Although art heists capture headlines, inspire interesting movie plots, and make international news when they happen. Thankfully, art heists as depicted in the movies is relatively uncommon. However, the on-site security of art is still a major concern and something we take seriously at A2.  Theft can not only be dangerous for the people protecting it, but it’s also for the art itself. Art that is stolen is frequently damaged and, in some cases, never recovered. A2 Art Storage & Services has built its entire facility around the safety of artwork.

A2 consulted with both security specialists and museums to help us not only meet but exceed the industry security standards. We do this because it’s important to us that our clients feel safe and secure in the storage of their artwork. The standard museum security system consists of a 24/7 alarm system, security trained staff, background-checked employees, access control, and locked doors. But here at A2 Art Storage, we’ve blown these standards out of the water. According to Rebecca Shearier, Director of Registration, “We work with a highly proficient, high-tech security company to help run our entire system. They had a lot of fun building the security system with us because they got a chance to take the gloves off and throw the kitchen sink at making the best security system they could.”

A2 Art Storage & Services Controlled Access
A2 Art Storage & Services offers controlled access throughout the facility.

At A2, we treat every piece of art that we store as if it were our own. Our facility is protected by a UL certified security system with central station monitoring and our building is equipped with a comprehensive camera system that covers the entire interior and exterior of our building. It is impossible to enter or pass by our building without being captured on our high-resolution security cameras. All of our cameras operate 24/7 and send their footage to secure off-site cloud storage networks. The building’s perimeter is also fully fenced with a controlled access gate. 

We also have off-hour motion sensors that can be remotely monitored by A2 staff members. If these sensors are ever tripped, the local police department will arrive on site rapidly. Every door within the storage facility is equipped with a magnetic lock that is programmed to only open for key fobs with access privileges and these steel doors require an immense amount of pressure to force open.

As for allowing guests on property, we operate with appointment-only visits and do not allow public access to our facility. All guests and contractors are required to present a photo ID upon entry. Guests and contractors must also be chaperoned by an A2 staff member to their desired location within the facility. All staff members and contractors undergo a detailed background check process and it is important to us that we trust the people within our facility just as much as you do. 

Lastly, we track every work of art that enters our facility through a barcode-based inventory management system. This ensures that we always know where a piece is within the facility. 

Our security system and protocol is built to exceed museums, galleries, and collectors’ expectations. After all, you and your art are why we’re here.

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A2 Art Storage and Services Color Square

Meet A2

MEET A2

Hi, there. We’re A2 Art Storage and it’s so nice to meet you. Allow us to introduce ourselves…

When our founder, M.E. Kirwan, and her husband and business partner, Chris, spent two years researching business opportunities that would complement their current business, Acorn Mini Storage, she knew she wanted something that would blend the demand in the market and her own passions. Enter: A2, a safe and thoughtful solution to the underserved art collector community in the Twin Cities. 

As the first museum-grade art storage facility in the market, A2 safely stores objects of nearly any size, shape, medium or value at our 35,000-square-foot facility located just east of Minneapolis. This site was strategically selected based on a variety of factors that are critical to art storage: Conditions for climate control, overall footprint, flood zoning, proximity to freeways and railways, and ability to have state-of-the-art security onsite. Who knew? 

With our proprietary inventory management system, highly-secure facility and our team’s robust understanding of the local and global art community, we are quickly becoming the go-to for art storage and management needs in the Minneapolis-St. Paul market and the Midwest since opening in May 2021. 

Private Unit Storage Spaces at A2 Art Storage & Services
A2 Art Storage & Services Private Unit Storage Spaces

To learn more about the A2 story, our future goals and overall business model, we sat down with our M.E., CEO + President, to learn more:

Why A2? What led you to creating this solution?
M.E.: My family has been in the storage business for nearly 40 years. Six or so years ago, the Twin Cities was identified as an under-served market for self storage and the developers really inundated the market. We love the Twin Cities and were looking for opportunities to continue to grow. As a born and raised Minnesotan, we also have deep connections in the arts community and knew that a facility of this magnitude did not yet exist in the area. After two years of research, A2 Art Storage & Services was born!  

What has been the most unexpected part of delivering this art solution to the market? Any surprises? 

M.E.: I have been so inspired by our customer’s passion for their collections. We really enjoy learning about our customers, how they came to become collectors. Some are collectors themselves, others have inherited their collections and consider themselves stewards. In terms of surprises, never again will I underestimate how large some art can be! 

What have been your biggest A-HA moments so far? 

M.E.: We recognize that by providing storage & services, A2 is just a sliver of the pie. Meaning that our customers tend to need other complimentary services in addition to storage. The team has spent the last year rounding out our referral list. We have a growing list of trusted providers we can refer our customers to so that the whole need of the customer can be met.

Now, tell us a little more about your passions surrounding art. When did you fall in love with this medium? 

M.E.: I love how art makes me feel. I love color. I love supporting individuals who are working so hard to make a living as artists. Especially when I was working from home, I found my eyes wandering over to the art within my eyeline. Observing it, the choices the artist made, the colors he/she used, gave my brain a little break from the chaos. Isn’t that what we’re all looking for?

Who are your favorite artists and why?
M.E.: I am fortunate enough to sit on the Board of Trustees at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design (MCAD). My involvement there has introduced me to so many artists – both newer to the market and experienced. I love the opportunity to own original art and support my local community. MCAD ticks both those boxes for me. Right now, I am inspired by the work of Julie Buffalohead, Suyao Tian and Kylin Thomas. Additionally, Rob Sherer at The Orange Advisory has introduced me to many favorite artists. He has a gallery in NE Minneapolis I urge everyone to check out. It’s another great way to surround yourself with original art, but with the guidance of a seasoned professional.

What’s next for A2? Any goals in 2022 you’d like to share? 

M.E.: Our focus this year is spreading the word about all that A2 has to offer! We find that many of our customers are experiencing a life event which has spurred the need for storage, such as a home renovation or a move. We have short and long term solutions and work to make the experience as hassle-free as possible. No collection is too small. If it’s meaningful to you, we want to help you protect it.

To learn more about what A2 Art Storage & Services can do for you, Contact Us here!

GIVE US A CALL: (612) 429.7638

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