Comments I wrote to the Contemporary Art Group on LinkedIn, feel free to join us there…

Joseph & Sari Grove • Hello…Wanted to add some points: 1)In Canada a gallery can opt in to pay CARFAC fees according to the easily found CARFAC schedule on their website…Depending on the artist’s level, the breadth of the gallery & various other factors, one can figure out on the chart what exactly you can be paid for what sort of show…Galleries list this on their calls for artists as “CARFAC fees paid”…This has been going on for decades…2)Galleries that sell usually opt out under the assumption that revenues will come out of commissions…The problem area is when the gallery, or the work is not selling…Ways to avoid this situation include pulling your work quickly after a show, as opposed to leaving it hanging around in inventory…Also, cutting back on production to lower quantity output & raising quality helps keep out excess, duds, & leftovers…3)In the “old” days galleries did buy art outright from artists- they did this sort of as a stipend to keep artists they liked producing…Not sure when that fell out of favour, but it sure used to be common…Yes, artists were more like wholesalers & might sell a bunch to a gallery owner for a deal…Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • Oldtimers know standard practice is one third to gallery, two thirds to artist…Galleries charging more are either ignorant or exploitative or both…The nice thing about a wholesale model is the collector gets work at a fairer price, since they aren’t contributing to exorbitant rent…A gallery in a tony urban area will set your prices way higher than the out of the way gallery- & funny thing is the people I worked with just now in the out of the way gallery all had M.F.A.s or equivalent , & their show brought in the local politicians- which was helpful for me ’cause I need some red tape approvals on public art…It feels like the more grass roots you go the higher you get up the tree…I think the fancy route has got tired…Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • Note: 1)A wholesale price is only given if the gallery or other retailer BUYS a quantity of work from the ar ist or manufacturer…Asking for 50% on consignment is not correct-whether it is “done” where you are or not…2)Galleries are going out of business because they have forgotten that if you don’t have the artists’ support, you don’t have anything…A correct split will bring back the artist’s favour…3)This information is not biased- gallery owner’s who understand correct business practices can pull back & fix their broken businesses…This thread is not Against gallery owners if they are smart enough to see the problem & take it as counsel from the people they need the most…4)The public already pays to see art briefly…This is not a huge paradigm shift…Sari Grove

Joseph & Sari Grove • Ok…*the reason for the 1/3 to 2/3 split is because the gallery has 40 artists or more to grab a slice out of to cover costs, while the artist may be depending on that gallery for income…If that is understood philosophically to all then appropriate disbursements could happen & artists would stop selling directly on the fly from their studios because they are peeved at the lousy cut…*wholesale just means that the retailer pays me up front…You put cash in my hand & walk away with some art…That little bit of money goes a whole long way in the artist’s life…It makes it easier for them not to have to deliver, consign, sign a contract, worry about inventory, wonder if work sold, theft, insurance, gallery closing suddenly with work inside…Sorry that is not at all degrading to me for you as the gallery owner to buy from me up front…If you give me a thousand dollars then sell for 10K 10 years later, then droit de suite laws might give me a 3% royalty on the 9 thou, but generally speaking you walk away richer for having taken a chance on me before anyone else did…At the moment, it is spotty as to any other money for the artist besides droit de suite, but the artist does benefit by the gallery’s work insofar as now the artist’s secondary market pricepoint has been raised- which might mean that other works in the artist’s collection might also experience a gain in perceived value…Hey- it’s good for the gallery to buy “wholesale” as I call it…It’s also pretty nice for the artist to get that instant gratification…Not all sales have to go down that way, but I am not seeing that method of transaction happening right now in the marketplace, & it is a gap…Artists need materials money now, not later, or if & when they have a show with many works, or if it sells or whatever…Anyways…I am very impressed with all of your grace & intelligence & am pleased that my comments were not taken the wrong way…My compliments to all of you, now I must go look at all of your websites…I am happy to have joined this group & look forward to learning & bouncing around with ideas unfinished or not…Cheers, Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • p.s. In terms of cut of a cover charge, yes, I’d like to see artists getting a bigger cut…What I see now is a whole lot of middle people in the arts administration sector getting paid regular salaries while the creators walk around in tatters…I think the power has to be given back to the creators, & the only way to do that is to change the split, including split of cover…I just think there is a weird snobbery going around that is making cultural institutions & their employees more important than the people coming up with the big ideas…Probably because the cultural administrative workers are making more money…That is not fair & is wrong… :(Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • The truth is artists are getting annoyed with other people looking at their work for a long time, then getting the work returned to them, slightly used, seen, but no cash…Honestly I have always felt this & the best solution in some cases, for the artist, is to return to having studio shows, selling directly, & cut the galleries out of the system…At least you don’t feel that irritation from all of those wannabe artist gallery girls, art students, curators who suddenly “get inspired” to show their own work “influenced” by yours…(It’s not just the possible collectors who are looking for free- it is all the gallery people themselves that cause consternation…) Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • I was trying to run the numbers in my head…If 0.1% per work of art per day was the required amount a gallery paid to the artist for the privilege of having that or those works of art in their gallery, then a $1000.00 piece would bring in a tiny amount of $1 dollar per day…A two month stay in the gallery would cost $60.00 for that work…That small amount in principle would assuage possibly the anger the artist feels when a work is returned bruised & used & enjoyed by many…Just enough to give a nod to the artist that no in fact the work was not indeed bad, in fact there was nothing wrong with it, but it simply did not sell in the allotted time frame…Just a thought…Sari p.s. also the required amount would force an exchange of receipt that could serve better as a consignment proof than the nebulous & varied consignment contracts we are presented with…
On the topic of entertainment: I have a letter from the Pope (not to me personally), which indicates the three reasons they make allowances for art- 1)Veneration 2)Education 3)Decoration (When I say allowances I mean that I was asking an M.Div. candidate how the Roman Catholic Church allowed likenesses now?) The Sistine Chapel for example fulfills all three…Though very controversial at the time…
On the topic of shop or gallery?: I am not sure anymore of those distinctions as they have become blurry with the commodification of art…Possibly the fact that people may buy jewellery more by what material it is made of, makes it less esoteric at times, but I have seen collectors clamour for gold leaf paintings possibly for the same reason of intrinsic value…I think art has benefited from being so complex to understand but also has suffered due to the fact that it is hard to put a price tag on it…
Sustaining thought: I still think the internet has killed many forms of art, though brought to life new forms…The money has shifted from the hands of the physical bricks & mortar to the tender paws of the computer whiz…Pay per view is far more normal on the internet & the future of artist revenue is in the PayPal pay first

Joseph & Sari Grove • I was trying to run the numbers in my head…If 0.1% per work of art per day was the required amount a gallery paid to the artist for the privilege of having that or those works of art in their gallery, then a $1000.00 piece would bring in a tiny amount of $1 dollar per day…A two month stay in the gallery would cost $60.00 for that work…That small amount in principle would assuage possibly the anger the artist feels when a work is returned bruised & used & enjoyed by many…Just enough to give a nod to the artist that no in fact the work was not indeed bad, in fact there was nothing wrong with it, but it simply did not sell in the allotted time frame…Just a thought…Sari p.s. also the required amount would force an exchange of receipt that could serve better as a consignment proof than the nebulous & varied consignment contracts we are presented with… 

On the topic of entertainment: I have a letter from the Pope (not to me personally), which indicates the three reasons they make allowances for art- 1)Veneration 2)Education 3)Decoration (When I say allowances I mean that I was asking an M.Div. candidate how the Roman Catholic Church allowed likenesses now?) The Sistine Chapel for example fulfills all three…Though very controversial at the time…
On the topic of shop or gallery?: I am not sure anymore of those distinctions as they have become blurry with the commodification of art…Possibly the fact that people may buy jewellery more by what material it is made of, makes it less esoteric at times, but I have seen collectors clamour for gold leaf paintings possibly for the same reason of intrinsic value…I think art has benefited from being so complex to understand but also has suffered due to the fact that it is hard to put a price tag on it…

Sustaining thought: I still think the internet has killed many forms of art, though brought to life new forms…The money has shifted from the hands of the physical bricks & mortar to the tender paws of the computer whiz…Pay per view is far more normal on the internet & the future of artist revenue is in the PayPal pay first art show online- the pay to have a peek, like the old fashioned filmic peep shows that lasted a minute…Sari art show online- the pay to have a peek, like the old fashioned filmic peep shows that lasted a minute…Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • *or, perhaps more swallowable: Make the 0.1% per work per day a “deposit” of sorts…ie: gallery gives artist 60 dollars on a $1000 work for a 2 month stint…Work sells, gallery deducts the $60 from payout…Work doesn’t sell, artist retrieves piece, keeps $60 dollars…If work sells much later, gallery can still deduct $60 if they want…Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • I’m also thinking something like a layaway plan for things like sculpture which apparently can take years to sell…The gallery agrees to pay the artist a percentage of the sculpture retail price on a semi-regular basis, possibly allowing that money to go towards the gallery’s purchase of the item…So if the gallery keeps something long enough eventually they own it & the artist has already been paid…Sari

Joseph & Sari Grove • “Then it will be to the advantage of the galleries that do this because they will have the pick of the crop whom they show because all the artists want to be in that gallery.” 

Sari: Love this!
Regarding costs of “rent”: Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill… Well, I suppose… we would have to discuss terms, of course…
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.
*So I am thinking that if one has 400 pieces of unpaid works in inventory, that means that one is also moving more work than the average gallery…One would be inclined to give that gallery a “bulk discount” on rent…At that point it might be just a simple nod or acknowledgment that the work is not indeed belonging to the gallery- one could move the number to 0.1% per work per Month (rather than per day)…So $400 dollars per month might be more manageable…(a privileged fee for a larger gallery)…
Comment: This is all in fun & with a grain of salt- We are playing with ideas here & I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings in the design stage…Though it does pain me to imagine 400 orphaned works by artists in a gallery inventory- a tiny amount of rent might remind the artist the work is out & that they might take it back if they could just remember where they left it? Sari Grove 🙂

Today we paid $30 dollars each to see the ABEX show at the AGO…(Abstract Expressionist show at the Art Gallery of Ontario)…The extra $5 dollars over the $25 admission fee was a deal they offered to include lunch at the Cafe AGO…So after walking the ABEX show, we went for a sandwich, a cookie, & a drink…(which were superb)…On the walls of the large downstairs cafe were works of art that you could rent or buy…But they were showing for free to anyone who had lunch there…The works were very fresh & good…Why did we pay to see the older faded pieces in the upper galleries, but the young freshly painted ones were free to enjoy? Most of the ABEX show pieces I had seen already in books…The restaurant pieces were new to me…Would I rent or buy one of those pieces? No…It was enough to look at them for free…Could I have been convinced to pay a dollar to merely look at new works by local artists? Yes, of course…Why not? I think the paying of an entrance fee adds value to the experience…It is just a new idea that we have to endorse & implement…Perhaps if we start small, a pittance, it can take hold…A dollar is not too much is it? Sari p.s. perhaps by asking a dollar as retail gallery entrance fee, galleries will have a better demographic to focus on…Better meaning more serious…Not more rich necessarily…

• Good…Kristina…Good…If you gave me $10 dollars as my share of the door after a 6 week show, & all the other artists also got $10 dollars? That is good! It tells me how many people came to look (something I never really know), it tells me they each cared enough to give a dollar (which means alot to me), & it tells me that there is a possibility of this idea being accepted on some level…Around the corner from us, local comedians are performing 20 minute sets at a bar/restaurant on Saturday nights in exchange for free chicken wings…Those free chicken wings are bringing in comics who have already performed on television specials…$10 dollars is very meaningful actually…
Honestly my comment about not renting nor buying the younger works was just because I am an artist as is my husband & I have enough of our own work for our living spaces…I am not interested either in the famous work from that perspective either…So I am just a looker…As is my husband…Many people are that- just lookers…As a looker I value the ability to get a look…I have paid to look in all sorts of venues, non-profits, charity functions, Art fairs…An Art Fair is just a really big gallery show & costs alot…All those galleries are openly selling at the art fairs…A retail gallery is just a smaller version of that…So, less to look at maybe, for less money…
But some of the good retail galleries have works that are very precious that I don’t get to see…Up the street from me, an antique dealer showed me once a real Monet, in his back room…Up close, on the floor & he showed me the back too…I saw the thick old linen…This was special for me…Ok, we are back to someone famous, sorry…But what I mean to say is that I want to look at what you have in your gallery & I’d like to pay you a small amount for that privilege so that I don’t have to feel the pressure to buy & I don’t have to feel your scorn when I don’t…Sari

It occurs to me that the real problem lies in the freebie look on artist websites, blogs, Google photos, gallery websites etc….Once a work has been “seen” online, it reduces the urge to see in person, it offers a copyable jpeg albeit in a lower resolution at times, & discourages the need to actually purchase a work…The browsing & looking behaviour that we are training in as habit may also be causing the same sort of browsing & looking behaviours in person…Perhaps the real entrance fee shift should be at the gate of websites where art can be perused at leisure…? Sari p.s. Michael, I find your ideas broaden the discussion a bit correctly- insofar as I think the denigration of artists when they walk into a gallery occurs because the gallery may perceive the artist as being merely an image thief not a source of revenue…Which is why if a small “looking fee” was instituted, maybe even as voluntarily enforced, it might make gallerists a little less condescending when an artist walks in…Sari ”

A new way for visual artists to work with art galleries. Join the discussion, because we can make this work!

“ Just love the richness of the responses…I really like Rudolf’s idea of offering a sneak peek ticket to an online location before the gallery show…Possibly tantalizing enough to get people to buy in…Of course, selling tickets to art show openings has been done before & still happens…The bundle of booze, food & art seems to be a fair way for people to buy a ticket…A charity give thrown into that mix usually pushes the tickets better too…So- selling tickets to the gallery art opening might become more normal? Sari… ”

http://www.katharinemulherin.com/dynamic/art_fairs.asp Oh I am so boring! Totally apologize for posting again! I came across this today- just scan down at the Opening Preview prices for the Fair- $285.00 Cad… So if that means like you get 56 galleries at $5 dollars each, or maybe you only really look at 28 galleries for $10 dollars each- then that breaks down to a per gallery looking fee sort of…The food & drink are um, yuck, so you are really paying for the look…Ok, I shut up now Miss mouthy…Regards, Sari ”

Joseph & Sari Grove  commented on A new way for visual artists to work with art galleries. Join the discussion, because we can make this work!

 http://www.propellerctr.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=230:call-for-submissions-timeless-an-exhibition-curated-by-moses-znaimer-deadline-september-23-2011&catid=29:submissions&Itemid=27 Long link…So much for being quiet…Ok, at the link is a hybrid call for submissions…They write that they pay Carfac fees to all selected artist (but I am not sure what that amount is exactly now)…The show is at both a large public exhibition venue, but as well on another date at a big new retail gallery in downtown…Whether or not the work is put up for sale, in the retail location (Twist Gallery), I am sure artists or the gallery will be able to secure deals if necessary…Now the submission fee is exorbitant at $42.50, which I have been told by Carfac that above $25 is considered by them excessive…Also the submission on CD is duress for some artists…But I think this call for artists points to the fact that retail galleries are aware of standard fees needing to be paid to artists, especially in a slow selling season…Sari 

Just to follow-up on the previous link where Carfac fees are paid in a retail gallery setting- Well…Last year the venue had 30 artists showing…The fees were based on the number of artists…Each artist got $50 dollars…Now, to put this in perspective, the submission fee this year is $42.50…So, what it looks like this venue is doing is basically just returning your submission fee if you get selected…Other artists who submit but get turned down don’t get any money back…Now that in itself is an interesting proposition…If you pay a submission fee to any kind of show, & get accepted, you get your fee back…That at least is doable for most…Isn’t it? Sari Grove

I wonder if the word gallery alters the business model perception? I’ve been reading about how the consignment model for business is terrible as a prognosticator for survival insofar as the consignment philosophy puts no pressure on the retailer to sell…If you call a gallery a store, it becomes clearer…Most stores buy wholesale then resell for profit, with invested pressure to learn marketing techniques & sell under time constraints…I wonder if galleries that are also purchasing & reselling do better in terms of longevity than those who don’t put out money for inventory? (statistically)…Sari p.s. yes, the art market here in Canada is cruel & traffic is like tumbleweed on a dusty road…

David (Arnold) makes a very good point about selling wholesale…But I see even that paradigm changing with the internet…You see something in a retail store, & then go home & look for it on Ebay for cheaper…If you find a listing you buy it there for less…I think the internet has both destroyed the music industry & the visual art industry while also nurturing another sector…The freedom of information online has helped a huge number of people, wives stuck at home with children, the disabled, tiny businesses who can’t afford shop rent costs, people looking for medical information, the list goes on…It has been fruitful perhaps for knowledge, but not for wallets…I suppose this is why we are whining like babies…But the wholesale paradigm is significant to note: If we as artists want to sell at wholesale, perhaps that model has to follow the traditional one of limiting who we sell to…Not just the pricepoint, but who gets that pricepoint? Sari Grove

Richard Florida speaks to the benefit of art & artists from a much larger perspective…He points to grungy decrepit neighbourhoods…Artists arrive…They make the neighbourhood more beautiful, clean out gunk, fix things…Tourists & locals start going to the area…Money is exchanged for the art…The area gets nicer…restaurants, bakeries, delis move in…Now bigger galleries arrive…A theatre…It becomes a destination spot, a happening place…Then real estate developers arrive & build condos & other niceties for people to live nearby…It becomes a nice place…The grass roots artists often leave at that point, looking for something more grass roots again…Some stay…Supporting art is investing in your own community…It is integral to urban renewal as part of that flow chain process…It helps to prevent crime in forgotten parts of cities…It is a need now, no more merely a luxury…Sari ”

Two well known Canadian artists, Jack Bush & William Ronald, both had gallery owners to their studios where works were bought in some quantity at wholesale prices…These works were then resold for whatever the market would bear without restrictions from the artist…The better the gallery at selling, the better they did…If they didn’t sell at least they built wonderful art collections that are worth much more today…Where do the gallery owners get the money? Well, that is why it is a somewhat elite business to be in…If you don’t have money to buy from the artist then maybe you are in the wrong business…Why would a collector buy from a gallery when the gallery hasn’t bought anything from the artist yet? Sari

About GroveCanada

Artist Statement: I like to push...Push the fold...Innovate...Figure out how to do something then figure out how to do it even better...I get bored once I accomplish something...I can’t seem to make multiples...Once it is done, it is done ; I am not going to make another one...This can hurt profitability...But I feel the paradigm of repetitive production is obsolete...I see a future where pure intellectual innovation will be rewarded without the need to commercialize it somehow...I wonder about the Star Trek idea of a new culture where money is not the driving force...I live that future already... Bio: Sari is an optimist by nature, someone who always sees the sunny side of things, even if there is no sunny side really...She grew up with two wonderful parents & a great brother...Later she married the very best guy in the world, another artist named Joseph Grove...She likes art because it is for her a happy place to be...A place where joy can reside...So she decided to make art herself because that was the nicest thing she thought she could do for people’s lives...I’d tell you more about angst or strife or misery or struggling, but really, that was not the case...But perhaps, because I am Sari ; I am writing this, my perception is warped by my extreme positivity...But, to tell you the truth, life has been good... p.s.You can read more about my credentials on my main website at http://www.grovecanada.ca ...But I have left a few things out, credential-wise... My feeling is:"By their fruits, ye shall know them" which is from the New Testament, Book of Mathew(7, 16-20)... So read my books ; see if the fruit tastes good to you...I feel those are better credentials than telling you something on a resume... p.p.s. I am a Christian...Whatever that word means to you...
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