I had a blast from the past the other day…well, usually that is associated with a good thing, but in this case, it isn’t. I never did write about this in my blog before because it just slipped my mind. Better late than never. I received an email a couple of days ago from a gallery in Santa Monica (see link provided for more info). I thought it was strange because I suddenly found myself on their mailing list, yet I had contacted them years ago (not knowing any better…keep reading) and never received emails from them before. Odd that a gallery would want to reach out after all these years of no contact. Anyway, I contacted them back when I was first starting out my painting career because I found a call for artists. Turns out they only wanted to see me if I lived in California. Strange since galleries will take you on no matter where you live. So I was looking around on the internet and found out they are a vanity gallery. Blech. Read more proof here: http://http://gyst-ink.com/blog/?p=177 And yes, I spoke with “Heidi,” too.
Vanity galleries, as you may very well know already, require a fee (and a large one at that) from artists in order to represent them. Basically you are paying your way in. Any gallery worth its salt does not have to survive by taking money from its artists. They survive on SALES of work. If they can’t do that, something is wrong. In addition to a yearly fee, many vanity galleries also require the artist to install the show themselves, pay for promotional materials and invitations, cover all shipping costs, and do a required amount of gallery-sitting. Which begs the question…And what does the gallery do for you? As in any bad relationship, you are left doing all the work while your partner is living it up at your expense, with no real love in return. It’s best to dump the loser (or gallery…we are still talking about art here) and wait it out until the “right one” comes along.
Questions? Comments? Know of any other losers we should all avoid? Let me know!
I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to further my art career. Unfortunately, there are some losers out there who are looking to take advantage of that. I did a little research online concerning an opportunity I came across that sounded too good to be true. Apparently that’s because it is. ArtistGrants.org is promoting their Biennial Competition with a $10K first place award- yes, 10,000 dollars. Aside from the fantastic prize money, I had to wonder about this since I’d never even heard of them before. I’ve heard of many artist grants organizations, but never this one. So I kept an eye on their site… interestingly enough, I discovered that their entry fee kept changing (increasing, of course) over the past couple of months. And the deadline has been extended three times so far (at least since I’ve discovered this “competition”). And who the hell are the jurors?
Well, further investigation has dug up some more interesting tidbits… According to Art Opportunities Monthly, ArtistGrants.org tried to get their Biennial listed in their classifieds. Turns out AOM discovered their domain had been registered for a matter of days before they were listing their competition. AOM also states that the address provided to them for the listing “was a private home which had been bought for well over the asking price just a short time ago (arousing a newspaper’s suspicions that a kickback and finagling with mortgage money was involved). And now, the house just appeared on the market as a HUD foreclosure, meaning that the extra money the buyers had borrowed will not be paid back.”
In addition, AOM also asked about their organization, judging, funding, etc. and never received a response. I found the same to be true for others’ attempts to contact ArtistGrants.org. So, after finding out all of this, I am steering clear of this “opportunity” and passing on this information to everyone in the blogosphere! Just goes to show that unless you are already familiar with an organization, you should always look into them before entering or sending them money. Many artist listings sites have a disclaimer that they are not responsible if it turns out a listing is a scam and that they do not do background checks, so to speak. So be sure to do your homework!