Saturday, June 19, 2010

Online Contest Mill Wannabe?

Originally posted June 16, 2010.

Someone calling himself Dave Bown Projects is offering $5000 in prizes to winners of the "1st Semiannual Competition." Costs $30 to enter. Might be legit, might not. Lots of signs it might be just an easy way to raise some capital: 1) Virtually nothing else on his website except a series of images by well-known contemporary artists. Nothing to say what they are doing there; perhaps they exist to give the prospective entrant the idea the he/she will be in good company. 2) Whatever he is doing, has just started, as Dave Bown Projects is not referenced anywhere else in Google but by his site and by the various competition listings he has submitted his contest to. 3) Nevertheless, his "about" page says DBP started in 2005. 4) Bown claims he will "produce a Press Release and obtain Reviews" and then goes on to say "our private network (offline database) includes over 13,000 contacts spanning over 80 countries. Furthermore, we will have an announcement sent via email to an aggregate of over 76,000 subscribers."

As someone who has worked in the field, I can tell you sending a press release is unlikely to obtain reviews of a online show of 25 images by people who are submitting to contests at $30 a pop and showing in a space with no track record. He doesn't tell us who those subscribers are. If they are not people interested in buying art, it doesn't matter how many of them there are. Also, he announces he will be buying art himself. There's only one reason to make such an announcement: to induce people to enter the contest.

It takes only 167 submissions at $30 to equal the prize money. Putting on a contest like this takes some overhead, but the rest is pure profit. Nothing wrong with a legitimate contest, but look out for ones making questionable statements.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shipping Guide for Canadian Artists

Artist-photographer Raymond St. Arnaud has written a comprehensive guide for other Canadians who need to ship work to the USA. Its aim is to help the artist avoid paying brokerage charges, which can be prohibitive. There is also information on acquiring the USA ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) required by an artist in order to get paid by public institutions. The download-able PDF is accompanied by rtf templates of the forms required for each step in the shipping process. All this is available on Ray's site