Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Don't Pay To Play

Don't fall for bullshit ploys

ARTISTS: Do you want to have your own show? (Houston/Montrose) Reply to:
Date: 2008-04-15, 11:18PM CDT

The 'Hans Payan Art Gallery' in Houston is offering it's space for private shows and art parties/performances to artists from all Texas for almost any media, our space is a 700sq.ft. white canvas with great lighting system (dimer), a small kitchen and a bathroom. It is on a great location on 2016 Dunlavy Street in the heart of Montrose. Available are leases for one weekend, one week and up. With the space we include an e-vite of your show to our own mailing list and some online advertisement.

Terms: You organize and advertise your show in your own way, you layout and hang your art your own way and you entertain and serve your own whine-food or any other of your choice, we have a microwave and refrigerator. Shows can be open until 10:00PM.
You can have the gallery for a weekend (3days) for $350.00, a week for $500.00, two weeks for $700.00, three weeks is $1000.00 and a Month is $1,150.00. Electricity is included. A refundable deposit is required (amount depends on duration of the lease).
Attached are some pictures of the gallery or you can schedule a visit to see it in person. Please reply to this email for any inquire or question

Artists do not pay to show their work. If you do you're a hack.
(Sometimes we're all hacks, rules are meant to be broken)

"Renting" space in a gallery is NEVER worth it unless you have a lot of rich friends who will go anywhere to buy your work. If that is the case cut the gallery out of it and sell out of your studio.

Anyone looking to gather a large show and charge entry fees is fucking you over.

The only time galleries are worth dealing with as an artist, they will not ask for payment in order to exhibit.


Vanessa Tanith VanAlstyne said...

yeah, i could see if they made a donation request, but even if this was legit those prices are HIGH.

god i wish i could find some space that was cheep enough for me to rent that i could convert into gallery.

but i be poor.

Anonymous said...

I think this post is worthy of a Part II.
I think it's more complicated than this dude.
For example, Art Crawl. Sure, I could run my own show at the same time and not pay an entry fee to help with the organization/printing/etc...
Is it morally sound? Would you be considered a hack? Answers are probably no but some might consider you a cheat instead. I don't mind paying such an entry fee because I know it's an independently run event and that it does take time/money/effort to pull off. I'm totally down for supporting my local 'scene.' Regardless of my ability to raise the money back off of sales.

But while we're on the subject, why don't we talk about other related issues such as entry fees to get published in a directory and/or gallery compensation on sales? In specific, everyone's new favorite bookstore, Domy. Aside from many other shady occurrences (such as not letting the Free Press be distributed there) These people have hired artists at little more than min. wage and still jack (from what I hear) 30-40% of their sales. Maybe I'm wrong with the number but WTF? That's just as bad as Elder St. Art Gallery asking me to be a part of a group show (one-night-only) for $35 even though I fucking live in the complex. Domy (Dan) obviously has money. So why not support the local arts (which in turn brings cafe/book business) instead of exploit it? (Maybe this is why Mixture was a failure?) If your RED HOT artist brings in 2k+ people then why the hell would you be worried about taking a cut from the artist? You're obviously making money off of other product. Not to mention the priceless amount of exposure. I could go on about this space but I'll leave it alone with this last comment. Real Galleries take money from artists as a way to keep the Gallery afloat. Where else would they get funding outside of donors? However, Domy is a Book Store, NOT a Gallery. THey have many products and avenues to make money and stay alive. There is no reasoning behind their choice to operate like a Gallery would. Which is why they receive no business from me.

Anyway, The reason I'm writing examples with no ending point to sell you on is because it really is a fine line and comes down to an individuals intellect and morales. Maybe even their pocket book. They should decide for themselves what works for them and work with opportunities like this if it makes sense for their style and audience. Sure, what's posted here looks like a horrible idea and reminds me of galleries involved with Yale St. Arts Market. BUT I also think that what's going on with other businesses isn't much better. Just think about what you're doing people. Don't be used. Make sure both you and the organization are benefiting from an event. Otherwise it's probably not worth pursuing.

One more thing, the reasoning in this article is VERY confusing considering your public stance on the Hunting Prize & Red Bull Art of Can competition. These don't cost money to play and the rewards are huge. So that's wrong and now stuff like this as well? Please explain what's morally sound from your perspective so we know where you're really coming from.


b.s. said...

all good questions- see Part II!