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Re: exhibition fees
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU
- Subject: Re: exhibition fees
- From: Richard Minsky <minsky@MINSKY.COM>
- Date: Sat, 4 Apr 1998 10:24:00 -0500
- Message-Id: <199804041506.HAA16236@SUL-Server-2.Stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@LISTSERV.SYR.EDU>
First, I must apologize to Melissa and to the list for hitting the 'reply'
button and posting what was intended to be a private message. I need to get
But it seems to have stimulated some interesting discussion. A few thoughts
1. My policy on juried shows isn't about fees. As a senior artist in the
field I'm invited to exhibit in more shows than I can accommodate. Juried
shows are for new talent to be showcased, and if there are fees involved
they are deductible as advertising expenses.
2. Biennales like the Whitney or Venice are curated shows, not juried shows.
They are about the vision of the curator, who hopefully is cognizant of a
wide body of work and spends time at galleries and museums looking for new
talent, and the institution, which may also reflect the collecting interests
of the trustees and patrons.
3. Re Peter's comments on the GBW exhibits-- it's a different situation when
an organization is soliciting work exclusively from its membership, which
pays a fee to keep its organization strong.
4. There is also a difference between not-for-profit and for-profit
galleries. The Center for Book Arts does not charge entry fees. The exhibits
are treated as curated, even if a committee is involved rather than an
individual curator, and whether or not entries are solicited. The Center
does charge a $10 reading fee for the poetry chapbook competition, which
demands more time from the judges and involves producing a chapbook.
The Center takes a 30% commission on work sold from exhibits. In the old
days, when it received support from the NY State Council on the Arts, a 25%
commission was taken. However, I would have no objection to a commercial
gallery taking 60% if it were one like Marlboro or the equivalent. I don't
know if it still works this way, but they used to pay their artists a
monthly salary, maintain their vitae, respond to requests for images for
reproduction and works for exhibition, etc., as well as provide a good
address, a beautiful catalog of the work, and prestigious collectors and
institutions. That's certainly worth 60% of gross sales.
5. Re fees in Graphics: These arts are a bit different from fine art. The
notion there is that you are providing a service and looking for clients,
and the entry is very much in the PR dept. The senior artists in graphic
design often have big accounts with commensurate budgets, and often the fees
are paid by a corporate entity-- if not the designer's firm, then the
client's or the manufacturer's. Senior fine artists may still be struggling,
even when famous within their field, and not have the resources to keep
paying fees (and also as some pointed out, be sensitive to the humiliation
of rejection by the judges). The judging is also very different in graphics
and fine art. But that's a subject in itself!
6. For those who asked how else to do it, as soon as I have time I'll write
& post an account of how and why I curated the 1990 "Book Arts in the USA"
exhibit and the associated conference of the same title, and how it was funded.