Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Vanity Galleries vs. Competition Mills

Vanity galleries are businesses that require artists to pay to show. That's how they make their money, not by selling art. Gallery mills have lots and lots of calls for artists, for which they charge a submission fee. That's how they make their money. In general, it is not a good deal for an artist to bother with either sort of business, because sales will be few to non-existent and knowledgeable collectors normally don't frequent such places.

Some competition mills and vanity galleries disguise themselves as co-ops or membership galleries, but the goal is always the same: to provide an income for the owner primarily or exclusively through payments from artists rather than from commissions on sales to collectors.

It is often instructive to read the "About" page on its website. If there is talk of services for artists or opportunities for artists, the business sees artists, not art buyers as its primary customers,. For example, a gallery on Long Island City, 50 miles from Manhattan, says showing with them will: "provide an opportunity for artists to become an active member of the arts community of New York City, whether they are showing for the first time or the artist has years of exhibition experience." Notice how vague and squishy this really is. What is really being offered to the careful reader?

Friday, May 14, 2010

Artists worth nothing, but money flapped at them

"In lieu of payment, each artist and one guest will be an invited guest ($10 entry fee waved) . . ."

-from Mesa Contemporary Art prospectus

Thursday, May 13, 2010

3-Free Issue AOM Sub Offer Still Good

In case you haven't yet had a chance to pass it on to your AOM-challenged colleagues, the 3-free issue AOM subscription offer is still good. Your reward for passing it along is you get an image of your work placed in the pool to be used in a feature issue, perhaps even on the cover page (tell those to whom you forward the offer to mention your name). If you need the text, it's:

Art Opportunities Monthly (AOM) is offering a free, no-obligation 3-month subscription to introduce its new format. It is now much easier to read, a snap to search and it looks nice, too.

AOM, a monthly list of opportunities for artists and photographers world-wide, has been around for over 10 years. It is preferred and trusted by professional artists because it screens out the scams and for-profit "contests" and presents each hand-selected opp in a quick-to-scan capsulized form. It is sent in a highly search-able, freshly organized PDF directly to your email address..

To find out more and sign up, simply go to:
(Link to

Your email address and other information will be kept absolutely private and you will not be spammed. This offer is for new subscribers only.

Offer expires June 15, 2010


Celeste Prize and Network

We agreed to sent an announcement about the Celeste Prize and network to the AOM subscription list in exchange for their sending our announcement about the 3-free issue subscription to theirs. Their network consists mainly of contemporary artists, dealers, curators and other art professionals based in Europe.

If you haven't seen the announcement, it's at Prize 2010, 2nd Edition - New York.html.

The organization is interesting and vital. The entry fee for the competition is huge -- 90 EU, I think. Nevertheless, you can join the network for free.

RSS Feed Now Active

Started an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed of late-breaking calls-to-artists we receive too
late to put in the next scheduled issue of AOM or that have too little lead time after the issue's publication date -- between the 1st and 6th of the month.

These will not be in the capsulized AOM format, nor will they have the shortened AOM URLs (http//, because those take a great deal of time to prepare and must be done in large batches, but they will have links to the sites of the calls so you can check the prospectuses.

I've added the feed to this blog. You have permission to ad it to yours.

If your browser is the latest version or has the right extension, simply enter: I'm pretty sure there's a widget that I can add that will publish the RSS feed right on this page, too. If you see it, I've found it.

If you want something fancier, there are many RSS readers to choose from, both online readers and stand-alone software. If you already have a gmail account or want to sign up for one, you can use Google's Reader There are other similar on-line readers.

A comparison of some stand-alone readers is at:

If you are already reading RSS feeds, let us know your favorite ways of doing so.