Monday, June 29, 2009

On Line Submission and Jury Software

In case you are wondering about the overhead for on-line contests, it isn't much. One company offers a service that charges $2 per submission. It takes care of uploading the submission and making it available for all the jurors, including an on-line voting or rating system for the jurors to use. It also includes a PayPal processing module. PayPal charges a small basic fee plus a percentage for business accounts. If the submission fee is $25, the PayPal fee is under $1. So the gross profit per submission is $22.

Of course there are jurors fees to pay, but these are usually in the $50-200 range. Zero if you are doing it yourself.

When all submissions were via slides, the jurying process could be a lot of work and involve a good amount of overhead. Jurors had to be present and often had to be paid mileage on top of fees. Staff had to open all the envelopes, extract the slides, load the carosels, run the projectors, process the checks, unload the carosels, re-pack the slides, return them to the artists, supervise the volunteers, and so on. Submission via CDs cut down the work a bit if artists did not require the return of their CDs.

But online submissions involve so much less and should therefore have lower fees. Ask for them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Another One We're not Listing

I have nothing against religion. In fact, we do list various things from Christians in the Visual Arts and others sponsored by synagogues, churches and something run by an Ecclesiastical Arts Foundation, but, whatever the strength of his religious beliefs, the guy behind contest is primarily a merchant in my opinion. He's run these contests for a number of years and stands to make a hefty profit.

Interestingly, the title on the page listing the contest is "Art for God: Retail."

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Paying Entry Fees to For-Profit Galleries a Bad Deal for Artists

Isadore Gallery in Lancaster, PA, has put out a call for artists, “2009 Juried / Invitational Ceramic Cup Show.” They charge a $20 entry fee. Not an exhorbitant amount. Submission is by CDs only. The juror is a well-known potter. What's not to like? Only this: the gallery is a commercial venture. The business people who are running it are saying in effect: invest in our business. If the juror likes you work, we will show it for about a month. If the juror doesn't like your work, we will not show it. In either case, we get to keep your money. If we happen to sell something, we will give you a percentage of the price. But we think we won't sell very much, which is why we are asking for money from artists up front, before we even take a risk.

There is not evidence that this gallery is anything other than honest. But this is not a good deal for artists. The are some other galleries that operate this way but no other kind of business does. Imagine manufacturing cars or T-shirts or running shows and having to pay a store to look at your product, keeping you money if they didn't want to handle it, keeping you money and holding on to the product for a month if they did what to offer it for sale and then giving you back your product after a month if they didn't sell it.

No, other businesses buy your product outright, at wholesale. If it doesn't sell to their customers, they take the loss. The exception is consignment stores - which include most legitimate galleries -- which represent a very tiny proportion of all the retail outlets. They offer your product without buying it from you first; if it sells you get more than you would have at wholesale; if it doesn't sell, you get it back and they have not lost more than their normal overhead. But they didn't charge you to look at it first.

The main problem with selling anything on consignment, aside from not getting your money up front, is that the store owner (gallerist, proprietor, whatever), has a lot less impetus to sell your item than if he or she had already paid you for it. If that person has already gotten money from you, there is even less impetus.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Future of Public Art Commissions

Most large public art projects are funded through Percent for Art programs (normally 1/2 to 2% of the total cost of a major new building project). This means that the amount of money available will always run behind the state of the economy, as the plans and budgets for those projects are settled long before the projects are begun. Nevertheless, because of serious funding problems in many municipalities and states, a number of projects have been put on hold or cancelled, thus there are fewer public art commissions available than there were a year ago.

If the economy were to turn around tomorrow, though, these projects would not be restored immediately, because of the lag. Similarly, it will take quite a while for new projects to to get to the point where calls for public art are issued.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Shorter Lead Times for Many Calls

Whether it's just the summer months or, more likely, unsureness about budgets, the time between an organization's issuing its call for artists and that call's deadline are likely to be shorter than they were, say, a year ago. This is particularly true of smaller municipalities issuing an RFQ. We have seen several recently that have had lead times of one or two weeks. The very short lead times can also be do to simple human factors, as many of the organizations are staffed mainly by volunteers or other humans.

Phoenix Library Gallery not Accepting Proposals Now

@Central Gallery, located on the First Floor of Burton Barr Central Library in Phoenix AZ, presents fine art exhibitions featuring the work of emerging and established Arizona artists. Proposals are not being accepted at this time. Submission instructions for exhibition in 2010 will be posted in July 2009.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Book About Death Mail Art Call


Opening, Thursday, 10 September 2009.

Exhibition: 10 - 22 September 2009. Emily Harvey Foundation 537 Broadway New York City, New York 10012 USA

1000 Artists Each Produce Their Edition Of 500 Postcards In The Sprawling Unbound 1000-Page A Book About Death. The Book Will Be A Limited Edition: 500 Copies (Following The Number Of Artist Produced Cards).

An Open Call To Artists Worldwide To Contribute To A BOOK ABOUT DEATH.

A BOOK ABOUT DEATH is an open, unbound book produced by artists worldwide. Artists are invited to create a "page" in the form of a postcard about death– any aspect about death. Works can be of any design, personal or conceptual, color or black and white.

The original work about death stays with you, the artist; the 500 postcards produced from the work is for the exhibition, and are sent to the gallery.

Artists can include any information about themselves on the cards, front or back.

The 500 post cards are then mailed to the gallery in New York City for exhibition. DEADLINE FOR CARDS TO BE IN THE GALLERY: SEPTEMBER 5, 2009.

Details here