Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Reading & Advocacy: WAGE for artists

A new group of artists has gotten together to argue for standards of paying artists for exhibiting their work. According to this article, Working Artists and the Greater Economy (WAGE) formed as "a group of artists, performers, and independent curators who believe that we should be paid for our labor by U.S. art institutions." Such pay schedules already are law in Canada where artists receive royalties depending on the size of institution.

In Oklahoma, we are so used to expecting artists to show their work just for "exposure" (whatever that means). Of course many arts institutions are strapped for cash, but shouldn't it be part of the budget to give some funds to artists? I know John McNeese, OVAC's Founder, argued for fees to artists for all exhibitions (and paid them in VisionMakers and Biennial) for many years and was pretty well ignored.

What do you think? Have you seen fair processes for artists out there? Can you imagine a standardized system working?

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