Shipping and supply chain problems rock Seattle Arts


Seattle Opera has meanwhile already made several material and engineering revisions to the sets for their brand new production of. performed Orpheus & Eurydice (Opening in January) due to rising material costs. Although supply chain problems with in-house sets like Orpheus & Eurydice Seattle Opera production director Doug Provost is most concerned about delays in importing sets from other countries.

The one just opened La Boheme circumvented such problems because Seattle Opera owns the set, but the opera plans to import sets for operas debuting next year. “So we still have a few months left. Hopefully we will recover a bit in this sector before it affects our operations, ”says Provost.

The problems of the building materials supply chain also affect galleries and museums as the hardware and other materials needed for exhibition installation (custom frames, bronze castings, hooks, and plywood for boxes and transportation) are expensive and difficult to come by.

“Having a box built at the moment is 59% – if not 100% – more than it was a year and a half ago,” says Sarah Traver. “Just recently, when I was shipping a piece of glass to a customer in New York, I had to say, ‘My shipping estimate needs to be completely redrawn. The shipping costs are higher, the cost of the box is higher – it basically costs you twice as much. “”

And certain materials are simply not available. Exhibition designer for MoPOP’s new music photography show Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop, chose Sintra plastic instead of wood panels and then had to use white when black was not available. The team also had to convert yellow acrylic display elements to a different color due to a lack of resin and are now making design changes at future exhibitions due to the lack of 3m plywood.

Local glassblowers also find that the colors they want are out of stock – which is especially difficult when trying to fill an order for a customer with pre-approved colors – as does the clear base glass that most pieces start with.

“However, we do our best to get the color our customers want, and they do their best to work with what we have,” says Terri Sullivan, general manager of Hot Glass Color, a glass art shop and gallery in downtown . “All of this creates beautiful and sometimes surprising glass art.”

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