Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Donating Art: A Struggle, A Rant and a Rare Occurrence

Artists are asked all the time to donate their work to benefit various worthy causes. As a co-owner of a gallery for many years I can tell you that almost weekly someone called or came in for that specific reason. I heard "give me your art so I can make money" so many times that I had to begin to define some personal parameters and some personal responses to this. I think anyone who knows me would agree that I am a generous person both with my time and my money...so why then does this bother me so much?

Perhaps I need to say this: I live in an area where art is not valued the way it is in some other areas of the country and I am on a personal mission to change that!  Perhaps that is why this is such a sticking point for me. Perhaps the attitude "Let the artists make the sacrifice" or "wouldn't it be lovely to have art?" or whatever the discussion is in various committee meetings begs this question: Why do people who normally do not perceive monetary value in original art (the "beer" fund is much higher than the "art" fund) then think there will be monetary value for fundraising?

As a group my gallery members once gave works to a worthy local organization. We were told that we could set a reserve price and that nothing would sell for less than that. We later found out that this agreement was not honored and that many of our pieces that normally were worth between $200 and $600 were sold for $10-$15!!! One of our artists later had one of his collectors purchase one of his works from a rummage sale for $10!!!

So I began to create boundaries around my giving determined to maintain the value of my work. Life is a circus but my art is not!

All that being said: Open the floodgates!!!...Cancer has occurred in my family...my sons beautiful girlfriend of many years is undergoing chemo at this writing. There is a fund raiser to off set the enormous costs of treatment being held at the Art*Bar in Riverwest ( http://artbar-riverwest.com/ ) this coming Thursday Sept. 20th and donations of any kind will be auctioned off. I have donated five pieces of art for the cause...this is what I have to give and give I will. For "love covers a multitude of sins"! 

These 5 pieces will be auctioned off at the Art*Bar this Thursday for the Save-a-Sweetheart fundraiser offsetting the Cost of Chemo Treatment for one very beautiful young woman!!! No reserve...all proceeds go to this cause!

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