Organizing Your Career in the Cloud

On any given day, Carrie Seid, a sculptor and mixed-media artist in Tucson, Arizona, has a couple dozen works that are “out,” meaning unsold but not in her studio. Some are consigned to commercial art galleries – there are five galleries in five different states – and others that are in the hands of art consultants (eight in five states). Then, of course, there are far more that are “in” her studio: completed, in progress or part of a public commission. At a manufacturing company, an inventory manager would be in charge of keeping track of where everything is but, in the sole proprietorship that is Carrie Seid Artist, she has to keep abreast of “where are my works, are they getting dusty, are any out on approval with collectors, has anything sold.” Continue reading

How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself without Selling Your Soul

Early on in the newly released seventh edition of her How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself without Selling Your Soul (Allworth Press), Caroll Michels notes that artists may spend lavishly on supplies, equipment and studio space but not so much on what might help develop their careers, “such as travel, presentation tools, software, publicity and press relations, mailing lists, and such preventive medicine as engaging the services of professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and career coaches.” Continue reading

Thefts at Art Sales & Festivals

Unzipping her booth tent the second morning of an arts fair, mixed-media artist Patricia Hecker of Bloomington, Indiana knew that someone had been there the night before. Her artwork was OK, but a cabinet had been broken into. “I’m sure someone was looking for money,” she said. Fortunately, she had made sure to take all cash and receipts back to the motel the evening before, so there was no loss on that end – just a damaged cabinet. Hecker mentioned the break-in to the fair sponsors, who had hired security guards and had otherwise required all of the participating artists to sign a contract in which they acknowledge that all property at the site is left there at the vendors’ own risk, but not to her insurance company. Why bother? The $1,000 deductible on her policy far exceeded the value of the cabinet, “and if you report a claim they’ll just raise your rates.” Continue reading

Victory for Percent-for-Art

A U.S. district court in San Francisco turned back a challenge from a bay area Building Industry Association to Oakland’s recently enacted amendment to its Percent-for-Art statute that requires large-scale real estate developments in the city include publicly accessible works of art or pay a fee to the municipal arts agency. The February 5th ruling by Judge Vince Chhabria accepted a motion by Oakland City Attorney Barbara Parker to dismiss the association’s lawsuit to stop the implementation of the city’s 2015 requirement that developers of both commercial and residential properties include artwork on their sites. Continue reading

Do you own the work you create in your college program?

Going to college (for art students and everyone else) is an opportunity to be exposed to a wide range of ideas, academic and practical pursuits, but by enrolling in a college both the student and the institution enter into a legally binding agreement. Actually, it is more than one agreement. Students sign contracts to pay tuition and all required fees, to behave in a certain way while attending classes or living in a dormitory (“I shall conduct myself in a manner which demonstrates respect for the University, myself, and my classmates” is one of six statements in the agreement that students at Robert Morris University in Moon Township, Pennsylvania are required to sign) and to abide by some spelled-out code of conduct while using school-owned computers and software. Additionally, there may be other legal documents to sign for those involved in athletics, internships and foreign travel. Continue reading

Moral Rights Case: Trinity Church in Manhattan

There is much to be learned from instances in which an artist wins a moral rights lawsuit involving the Visual Artists Rights Act. That piece of federal law, enacted in 1990 as an amendment to the U.S. Copyright Act, permits the author of a “work of visual art” the right

(A) to prevent any intentional distortion, mutilation, or other modification of that work which would be prejudicial to his or her honor or reputation, and any intentional distortion, mutilation, or modification of that work is a violation of that right, and (B) to prevent any destruction of a work of recognized stature, and any intentional or grossly negligent destruction of that work is a violation of that right. Continue reading