Thank you for volunteering for this very important task. Coordinating
an exchange is usually a lot of fun, very fulfilling, and might
be more work than you imagine…
You will need to sharpen up your organization and communication
skills in order to make this exchange a success for everyone.
Expect to spend about 5-9 hours opening, collating and re-packing
prints, depending on how fast you work and whether you have
help or not. You may also have to make several trips to the
post office to pick up prints sent insured or certified and
to mail the collated sets.
Following are the basics of coordinating the exchange. You
will probably find your own ways of doing things-whatever works!
A Handy Checklist (steps explained below):
[_] Welcome participants and request confirmation
[_] Set up a system for organizing participant information
[_] Send regular reminder emails with deadline,
coordinator's email and address, exchange details and information
[_] Receive prints and keep after late senders
[_] Collate prints
[_] Scan prints and format
[_] Prepare colophon
[_] Mail back prints to participants
[_] Mail archive set to Archive with printed
[_] Email scanned folders and electronic colophon
to Exchange Manager
Communication with YOU...
Now that you are an exchange coordinator, a special email address
has been created which will direct mail to you and the exchange
manager. That email address should be used whenever anyone contacts
you about the exchange. The address is coordinatorNN@barenforum.org
where 'NN' is the number of the [Baren] exchange you are coordinating.
If participants contact you using your barenforum email address,
then both you and the exchange manager will always 'be on the
Communication with the exchange manager.
The exchange manager's email address is email@example.com.
Please keep in close contact with the exchange manager throughout
the exchange. Let the manager know of changes in the participant
list, non-communicative participants, late drop-outs, any time
you feel there might be a problem, and especially if you feel
that any participant should be removed from the exchange for
any reason (late delivery, non-communication, whatever).
Communication with participants.
The exchange manager (who appointed you coordinator) will provide
you with a list of names and email addresses for all participants
and wait-listers in the exchange. In each email you send, please
remind participants to communicate to you using your coordinatorNN@barenforum.org
email address (that way a copy automatically goes to the exchange
manager, too!) and be sure to cc:firstname.lastname@example.org
(the exchange manager) so that as much as possible you both
always know what's going on.
Most messages from you to exchange participants should be sent
to [BarenForum] at YahooGroups
with a copy to each participant in the exchange (copy the email
addresses of all participants, comma-separated, into the cc:
field of your message. That way your message gets posted to
the forum AND to each participant and you can feel more certain
that your message will be received and read by all. If you feel
any message would unduly embarrass a participant, you may omit
the [BarenForum] and address it directly to the participant
(with a copy to email@example.com).
It's good practice to file printed copies of all messages sent
and received during the exchange so you'll have a record handy
in case of problems later on (for example, in case your computer
WHAT YOU NEED TO DO
As Soon As You Are Appointed Coordinator:
Send an email
introducing yourself to the participants, welcoming them
to the exchange, reminding them of the deadlines, offering
assistance to anyone who has questions, and asking that
they reply immediately so that you can be confident that
you have everyone's correct email address and that they
are all real people who have read and understand the exchange
guidelines. Always include the Exchange Information web
page in your emails for easy reference.
after any non-responders until they reply. After you have
posted several requests for non-responders to contact you
directly to their email address and to the [BarenForum] and
enough time has passed without any response so that you suspect
that there's 'nobody home' or that an email address may be
incorrect, please contact the exchange manager for assistance
At Regular Intervals:
Deadline Reminders - Throughout the exchange
work period you should email friendly reminders of the approaching
deadline. Once per month is enough until the weeks before
the deadline. This will gear up anyone who still intends
to participate but has not yet started their prints. Your
email updates might be something like this:
Dear Exchange #__ participants:
The no-drop-out deadline is mm/dd/yyyy – if you
feel you must drop out of the exchange please let me know
as soon as possible – a penalty may be imposed
if you drop out later than that!
I have now received prints from:
I have NOT received prints from:
Mailing Reminders - Participants should be regularly reminded
to include sufficient return postage and self-addressed
label with their prints. I generally suggest that participants attach
correct postage to their ready-to-mail return packaging or
enclose $10 cash for US domestic, $20 cash for outside the
US Postal Service rates for domestic and international shipments
can be found at USPS -- $5.90
is the current rate for 1 lb. Package Priority Mail in the
– $12-$22 for International First Class Package and $28 for International Priority Mail overseas depending on
destination. Other carriers include UPS, FED-EX,
Print Information Form Reminders - Participants should be
reminded to fill in the Print Information Form for the exchange
so that a colophon can be compiled. The proper Information
Form can be reached from each Exchange Information Page.
Six Weeks Before the Exchange Deadline
everyone who hasn't yet delivered prints (most of them!) and
let them know that
Dear <name>, <name>, <name>, <…>:
In fairness to all participants, especially those on
the Waiting List, you MUST respond to this email prior to
the no-drop-out deadline of mm/dd/yyyy and confirm to me that
you intend to complete this exchange on time.
If I do not hear from you prior to mm/dd/yyyy then your
name may be removed from the exchange and the next wait-lister
may be promoted.
At the Deadline
If all prints aren't delivered by the deadline,
you may extend the deadline up to two weeks. If you decide
that the extra time is warranted, send an email to the [BarenForum]
with cc to participants' email addresses and say something
Dear <tardy names>,
The deadline to deliver prints to me has been extended
to mm/dd/yyyy. This new deadline is FINAL. Prints received
after that date will be returned (if sufficient return postage
was enclosed) and a penalty may be imposed.
Please reply to coordinatorNN@barenforum.org immediately
to confirm that you have received this message and will deliver
your prints prior to the deadline.
Drop outs and other problems:
Although as coordinator you have substantial influence, you
should never take it upon yourself to remove a participant from
an exchange nor impose any penalty. Those are the unhappy duties
of the exchange manager. If you feel that a participant ought
to be removed from the list of exchange participants (has not
responded to your numerous email requests, has become abusive,
intends to deliver late, etc.) or be penalized, please discuss
this with the exchange manager as soon as possible. The exchange
manager will do the 'dirty work' of removing and/or penalizing
If / when a participant notifies you that they are dropping
out of the exchange you should notify the exchange manager
of the drop-out, notify ALL the waitlisters and ask them to
reply to you immediately that they are prepared to fill the
empty slot. Give the waitlisters a few days to respond, then
promote the waitlister who was listed first and responded into
the exchange and notify the exchange manager of the change.
If no waitlisters are available to fill the slot, then an invitation
should be posted to [BarenForum] -- usually someone will take
the empty spot – and when
they do, inform the exchange manager, of course!
As Prints Arrive...
There are 930 prints in a full exchange, so
being VERY organized and methodical will really help.
Prints will start arriving as early as a month before the deadline
(or more than a month after, to the coordinator's dismay!).
You must keep track of who has already sent prints and/or money
for return shipping (may or may not come together), what type
of carrier and mail preferences (insured, certified, etc.),
and notices of "the prints are in the mail."
Although not absolutely required, a check list will be a big
help – your check list could be as simple as a piece of
paper with the names of participants and columns labeled:
- Participant Name
- Email Address
- Mailing Address
- Prints arrived date
- Amount received
- Insurance amount (same as received, if any and if paid)
- Mailing preference
- Packaging included
Or it could be a spreadsheet in your computer which makes
it easy to print mailing labels. Whatever you do, keep it
up to date and accurate so you are always confident about
the state of the exchange.
Each time you receive prints you should email the participant
to let them know.
Opening and inspecting the packages as they arrive will allow
you to keep your list up to date and to collect additional
materials (mailing labels, money, prints) you need
in a timely fashion. If you wait until it's time to collate
the prints to open and inspect the contents you might discover
several without return addresses or without postage or return
packaging – not
a nice sort of surprise!
Collate the Prints
Barbara Mason had a stunning breakthrough in the organization
of exchange #24... She got legal size hanging file folders
and just filed the prints in 31 folders...this worked so well
she hopes other coordinators will follow suit. The best part
is that she was able to file them a little at a time, so did
not have 31 piles of prints layed out all over the house like
most of us have had in the past. It took two cardboard filing
boxes but it held them all in very tidy order. Barbara highly
recommends this method and will gladly send the file folders
on to whoever needs them next... She says it is working almost
you will need a large area of CLEAN floor, counter top, tables,
or other clean surface to deal the prints (collate them) into
31 separate stacks, each stack containing one of each participant's
print. Prints should be dealt or collated face up in reverse
colophon order (so first print listed on colophon is on top),
and you should attempt to keep similar example numbers 3/31,
4/31, 12/31, xiv/xxxi, etc. together if possible. Suite 1/31
should be reserved for scanning and for mailing to the archive:
Archive set for
Exchanges should be sent to the Exchange Manager
The Exchange Manager will forward to our
Be careful not to pick up two prints together – check
each example number – this will save much time later on
when you discover that you are 'short' a print or two…
If the prints are dry (as they should be!), discard slip sheets
-- but if you suspect the slip sheets may be necessary for certain
prints, by all means, use them! Some artists will have used
newsprint or glassine or other ACIDIC slip-sheet paper, so be
careful which slip sheets you include, as it would be a shame
to have some of the prints become toned over the years due to
inclusion of acidic slip sheets. How can you tell for sure if
a slip sheet is archival? You probably can't, but please use
your best judgement !!!
If there are extra prints, return them to each artist along
with the suite.
Print 31 copies of the colophon (see below) and deal
your printed colophon onto the top of each stack to complete
Scan the prints
PLEASE NOTE: If you are not comfortable with any of the following,
let the Exchange Manager know right away.
Scan or digitally
photograph each print.
Scan the entire sheet (not just the image area) including the
edges of the paper.
Crop each print exactly around the outside edge of the paper
close to the image (do not crop to the image).
Scale each print image so that it is 1000 minimum pixels in the long
dimension or larger.
Save each image as: lastname.jpg
That's it, no first name, no title, just the participants last name without capitalization and the extension .jpg
VERY IMPORTANT: Put all the images in a folder (archive) and ZIP the folder.
Email the zipped archive and an electronic copy of the colophon
to the exchange manager firstname.lastname@example.org AND to email@example.com.
Preparing the Colophon
Before you begin to collate, I suggest you prepare the colophon
page(s). You should match the size of your colophon to the
dimensions of the exchange. An electronic copy of the colophon
should be emailed to the exchange manager.
Use the information from the "Exchange #nn Details"
emails you will receive as participants complete their colophon
information on-line. If you haven't been receiving those, send
email to the exchange manager and request that they be forwarded
to you so that you can prepare your colophon -- you may put
the prints in any order you choose -- two obvious orders are
a) alphabetical by last name
b) in participant sign-up order
Most coordinators assemble the prints in alphabetical order
by artist last name. Check to be sure you have detail for each
print in the exchange... If not, email the artist and ask that
and submit the information right away.
If you can, it's very nice to include a thumbnail image of
each print along with the information about it in the colophon
-- it'll help with your collation and it makes it easier for
those browsing the prints to locate the print information.
Here's how a typical colophon entry might appear (using the
350 pixel images you scanned to create thumb-nail images):
Kansas City, MO, USA, "Blue Shoes"
My primary model for seven years, Sarah, with her daughter,
Lily in her blue jelly flip-flops. Oban Moku-hanga three
color (Prussian Blue, Quinacridone Magenta, Sumi) reduction
on three blocks in 19 block states. One basswood block and
two shina plywood blocks. On Baren Mall Yamaguchi Hosho
paper (very nice!). Fifty sheets printed in all. Twenty-three
for this Baren Exchange #14(a) Salon de Refuse. Completed
Saturday, August 17, 2002 after ten long days of carving
[thumbnail image] Artist Name, firstname.lastname@example.org,
City, State, Country, "Title",
...< etc >...
If you are unable to do the scanning for your exchange, contact
the Exchange Manager.
Packing and Mailing
Pack up portfolio boxes FIRST (as you can use their original
packing materials if necessary for other artist's prints).
Try to mail the packages out the way the participants requested
(and paid for) and use the return packaging supplied -- some
may request insurance or registered mail. It's a good idea to
request delivery confirmation where practical. Registered mail
can't have any shiny tape, as the post office has to 'seal'
every tape seam with a rubber stamp to verify that the package
wasn't tampered with.
Be sure to include your return address.
For mailing outside the country you will need to fill out a
customs declaration -- contents should be described as "printed
matter" with $0 value in order to avoid delays in mailing
(unless otherwise requested by the participant).
After you mail everything, if you didn't receive enough postage
to cover your mailing costs, contact the exchange manager for
reimbursement of your out-of-pocket.
It may happen that one or more packages get lost in the mail
and are never delivered. If that happens, please contact the
exchange manager for guidance.
You are almost done!
Now e-mail your list and tell them the packages are on the
After you complete your exchange, maybe you'd send your additional
thoughts so that we can update our suggestions for future coordinators?
I'm sure everyone would appreciate what you have to say.
Good luck! Thank you, thank you, thank you, and THANK YOU for
doing this! Let me know if you have any questions.
Mike Lyon, previous exchange manager who developed most
of this page of instructions
--Maria Arango, current galleries web manager
who revised it
Last Revised 2/9/2009