Yes, this fine art/orginal art pursuit is complex. I've been told that  
some galleries may be willing to deduct the price of framing and then  
split the rest of the sale according to normal percentages. Probably  
this is mostly with galleries who provide ongoing representation  
rather than an occasional juried show, however.

I have finally decided that if I can find a gallery that really is  
able to sell my work on a regular basis then they deserve the 40-50%.  
That's because all the entering and schlepping around from show to  
show eats up lots of time and money (entry fees, gas, bridge toll,  
time to drop off, pick up, go to receptions. . . in addition to the  
art materials and framing). As you say, society needs art. Art has  
been around since we lived in caves. Humans have always had art. It  
feeds our soul. But it surely is a challenge to keep putting it out  
there. And it is really bizarre that artists, who are among the  
poorest in terms of compensation for effort made, are so often tapped  
for entry fees, donations, etc.

Back to the letter I got: I have e-mailed the lady specified to handle  
inquiries and very politely yet pointedly told her that the wording is  
misleading and that artists receive no tax benefit from donating their  
work other than the deduction of materials taken in the year they  
purchase the supplies (which they already get). I have suggested that  
next time the auction committee sends out a similar letter that they  
reword it to indicate that a portion of the donation "may" be tax  
deductible and to consult their tax advisor for details. Needless to  
say (I think it's needless), I will not be donating my art to their  
auction. . .


On Sep 20, 2013, at 8:46 AM, Kathleen Garness wrote:

> You *should* feel put upon. I think that's taking the business of  
> art just a bridge too far. ; )
> I was juried into several galleries in recent years and felt pleased  
> at the time. After all, good exposure in a downtown situation, etc,  
> etc, right? Well, I didn't really think through the $$ side of it: I  
> did the work, spent substantial $$ matting, framing and shipping the  
> work, and, when sold, the galleries got 40 or 50% depending on the  
> venue. I appreciate that they provide space, staff and promotion but  
> when it costs me at least $100-200 to frame a piece, and the gallery  
> discourages me from sending anything that retails at more than $300- 
> $400 (for a original; prints much less), after the dozen or so hours  
> invested in each piece, it kind of discourages me from pursuing the  
> 'fine art' aspect of my work. Having said that, the business of fine  
> art has always been difficult and uneven for so many. But if you  
> take art - in all its many forms - out of civilization, then we have  
> something like the apocryphal Winston Churchill quote when someone  
> suggested that he cut funding to the arts to pay for Britain’s war:  
> “Then what would we be fighting for?”
> The arts really do make a difference. I'm not always sure how, but I  
> try to keep with it. -K

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