Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Art Shows and Things I Don't Understand

(original photo by Incase)

Admittedly I am ignorant when it comes to art shows.  Experience is a good educator and I have basically none.  Perhaps if I got into a couple I would understand the why's and hows much better.  Perhaps one of you, dear readers, can enlighten me.

You see, I was pondering one of these whys earlier today.  I was linked to a post about an upcoming show.  As I read the "How to Enter" and the fine print at the very bottom, I saw the familiar sentence:  Gallery name/or show name here  is not responsible for damaged or stolen work.

Most shows/galleries have this policy.  Every artist I know has a horror story about art stolen or terribly damaged by the place that was housing it.  "Artists must insure their own work." always follows.

Really?  Seriously?  I spend umpteen hours working on a piece, get it in hang-able condition according to "their" rules, and everyone has their own rules on that, I pay an ENTRY fee of anywhere from $10 to $50 a piece just to have you look at my work to consider it for the show, I lug it up to wherever the show will be (many places won't accept it by mail, and truthfully I'd be petrified to send it through mail), and spend my gas money and time to get it to you and you won't even cover it for damages or theft while in YOUR care?

I know, I know...I whine a bunch.  Seriously though.  What other Profession operates this way?  Can you imagine if Publishing worked this way?  Write a story, lug the entire manuscript, of which there is only one of, up to a place where they will read it and most likely reject it, but while it's there, if they lose it or steal it or spill coffee all over it, well, sorry bub.  It's the only existing manuscript.  No others exist.  Would any writer  do that?

Or what about music?  You create this piece of music.  You capture it in a bottle (or on a CD that there can only be one of) and take it to a publisher.  If it somehow gets away, or gets broken, or they steal it, or irreversibly mix it into something with a whole lot of auto-tune, well, you are just outta luck.  Sorry.  It's just gone.  Forever.  Would musicians still work that way?

Or would something new rise up?

Why, as a visual creator of images, am I forced to take such chances with one of a kind creations?  Why am I forced to PAY people to hang my work somewhere that might get it more exposure and take a chance that it might be destroyed in the process?  I'm beginning to understand graffiti artists much better.

Art shows are supposed to be places that images can be shared by a wider audience.  A place to reach a larger number of people with visual communication.  Where dialog and discussion of said pieces might blossom into a better understanding of what is happening in the world around us. It seems to me though, that they are not at all these things.  At best, they are a membership-only retail warehouse clubs where local cliques gather and beat dead horses.  Pretending to be worldly in a box they constructed for themselves.

Perhaps experience will change my attitude.  If  I'm ever allowed to have the experience.  Or can afford it.


Cindy said...

I have to have insurance to teach yoga. You can't expect people to behave the way you think the should or the way you would.

It comes down to the risks you are willing to take. The worth of it. The statistics for people with spinal or knee injuries in a yoga class terrified me. What if I hurt someone? What if someone got hurt in my class? I couldn't deal with it. But the joy of teaching made the risk worth it. It's one of those things you have to figure out. Worth of a risk.

Jen Tucker said...

I understand having to have insurance as a teacher. People might be hurt. And you are making money to teach. Let's put Yoga teaching in an Art creators terms. You have to pay to teach yoga plus you have to have insurance. Any certification or supplies you must pay for yourself and every single studio requires different brands of supplies. The joy of teaching is all you get. No paycheck.

Jen Tucker said...

Oh and I forgot, sometimes your services are for sale. So you can charge to teach but I get 35% of whatever you make and you still have to pay me a fee to even have the joy of teaching on top of the 35% I'm going to take at the end.