It is a issue for sure. On the one hand you don't want to discourage an organization's appreciation
of the art (which they are showing by starting a project like this). And as long as everyone is
clear that you are essentially doing volunteer/charity work for that organization, it is hard to
argue with their selection of that process. But how much energy and time should the GNSI put toward
spreading this word is the issue. The GNSI itself is a volunteer/charity organization. Is part of
our mission to let members know about other volunteer/charity opportunities where they can use their
On the one hand I agree with the position that these sorts of project are not helping artists make a
living, and the GNSI is partly about helping people and organizations understand what it takes to
make science art. On the other hand if we just ignore these types of projects and people, no
education takes place. Plus it it is a free world, so if someone goes in with their eyes open and
educated, they can make their own choices.
I would not mind seeing the GNSI hosting a page that lays out the case for compensation as the norm
in artist/organization/project relationships. As well as what you are really doing when giving it
away for free.
Make sure you can square that with helping the GNSI (also a non-profit that really has little
budget...and lots of people volunteering their talents). At least we don't try to claim all rights
to people's art (sheesh!)
On 10/30/15 8:22 AM, Mieke Roth wrote:
> Yes, the rights transfer is what ticked me off also.
> But as an organization I think you have to be aware how “informing” is received. If given by an
> organization such as the GNSI it can easily give information an air of legitimacy, even when the
> organization doesn’t see it that way. And I can’t imagine that the GNSI would want to place a
> disclaimer on every piece of information it spreads. But even if you do that, such information is
> still easily perceived as a silent and unwitting endorsement.
> *Mieke Roth*
> *Onderwerp:* Re: [SCIART] Flora and Fauna Illustrata project - Minnesota Landscape Arboetum
> It’s not unlike, I think, what is experienced by people in the entertainment business as performers
> (not other aspects of that business) in that the exploiters know, or assume, we are all in it out of
> love for the actual act of doing, AND dependent on recognition, AND that there are more of us than
> there are paying jobs making it a buyer’s market (or non-buyer’s, all too often). Entertainment
> performers, too, are constantly asked for freebies. I do try to be as generous as I can be with
> everything I have, but I also have to earn a living. What really, really, irritated me about this
> deal was that the artist is expected to relinquish commercial rights to the art that is donated.
> That is really beyond belief.
> I didn’t see this as “promoting”. I agree that it is “informing” and don’t have a problem with
> that. I have a problem with the actual event, itself, not with the information that it exists.
Need to leave or subscribe to the Sciart-L listserv? Follow the instructions at