Artist-to-Artist Loans: a proposal

Lending happens all the time in the art world. Sometimes there is paperwork, like a consignment agreement and other times art is lent on good faith.

I would like to talk about lending work to other artists. Artist to artist exchanges. This is an untapped opportunity to live with artwork from other artists that you admire, or want to learn something from. This exchange is not about the monetary “value” of the artworks, the value is in the experience that living with another artist’s work can give you. This idea is about giving, the loan is an expression of mutual respect and generosity. 

Artists: won’t you please add to this post? I would like to hear if you have lent work to other artists. Who would you love to have an Artist-to-Artist loan with?


  1. Your work leaves the studio
  2. Your work becomes apart of another creative person’s daily experiences.
  3. Your work is cared for by a person who understands how to take care of it.
  4. Your work is shared with a new audience 
  5. Your work may inspire another artist
  6. It’s free!!!! 


  1. Transporting the work. If the two artists are local to each other, pickup and drop off arrangements should be discussed in advance of the exchange. 
  2. Damage to the work- loan work to people you trust. If damage occurs, restoration or compensation should be offered to the other artist. 


  1. Proposals for loans should be made in writing, and should demonstrate a reason why an Artist-to-Artist loan with this person would be awesome.
  2. Include a few images/links of pieces you would like to loan.
  3. One person picks up and another returns the work
  4. Agreement on length of the loan
  5. Agreement to return the work before the end of the loan period if needed for a show, or if it is sold. Or if you just want it back!
  6. Photographs of the work are taken before the loan to document the condition of the piece. 
  7. Each person is encouraged to spread the word about the other artist, via social media or personal recommendations. Links and #tags should be present in online posts. 
  8. I would recommend that each artist select works that have a similar retail value. 
  9. You can always say “No” if you don’t think you would benefit from the proposed loan. But- why not say “Yes!” and see what you can learn by living with work by another artist.

Author: Michelle Hinebrook

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