Campus Plus: How Does MIT Commission Public Artists?

Sculpture Sarah Sze

Blue Poles, Sarah Sze, 2004-2006, painted steel and aluminum

In a recent interview, Alison Upitis, Assistant Curator of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s List Visual Arts Center, (LVAC), noted that it wasn’t until after World War II that MIT first committed to art on campus, reacting to a need to humanize scientists who were involved in the war effort. Continue reading

The commission agreement: Some points to remember


The process of applying and being accepted for a public or private art commission is long and involved but, once it is over, the artist can concentrate totally on his or her artwork, right? Unfortunately, the end of one stage simply means the beginning of another, perhaps not as long in duration but just as – or more – complex. Welcome to the commission agreement. Continue reading

Pop Quiz: Some Ethical Questions


To some artists, having a dealer means that they never again need to concern themselves with the mechanics of selling works to collectors – someone else is in charge of that problem. Other artists, however, find that collectors prefer to buy from them directly, instead of from their dealers, and beat a path to their studios. Frequently, those collectors believe that they can purchase artwork for less money than when a dealer is involved – the price may be halved, these buyers think, because there won’t be a 50 percent gallery commission. Continue reading