Everything in the art world slows down during the summer months. The number of exhibitions and openings dwindle as many galleries close for vacation. The summer is therefore the perfect time for artists to rethink their presentation materials. With that in mind, the Hotline’s first column is a refresher course on one of the basics: the artist’s portfolio. Here are some answers to questions concerning your portfolio.
1. What is the difference between copyright and trademark?
A trademark is a word, phrase, symbol, or design, or combination thereof, which serves to identify and distinguish a source of goods or services of one party from another. A copyright protects original works of authorship, including literary, dramatic, musical, artistic and certain other intellectual works.
2. How do I copyright my work?
Grants are only one piece of pie for artists. They are one part of a whole strategy that you come up with for yourself.
The arts stimulate the senses, and the opportunity to create a marketing tactic for your work can be as challenging and fun as creating the work itself.
This column addresses the issue of contracts between artists, galleries and collectors. A contract is the essential tool that informs both parties of their responsibilities and objectives. If you and your gallery/collector work well together, you will rarely, if ever, refer to it.
This is my third and final installment in a special series of articles discussing the process of curating at various types of venues. For this issue, I have chosen to focus on corporate curating and collecting. For quite some time now, I have wanted to profile the unusual and staunchly pro-artist practices of Altoids, The Curiously Strong Mints, and its Curiously Strong Collection, which it began in 1998.
Every time you send off a portfolio of your work to a gallery, curator, grant program, slide registry or other such person or entity, you take the risk of being rejected and disappointed.
Have you ever heard the classic George Harrison song, “My Sweet Lord”? It goes something like: “I really want to see you / Really want to be with you / Hallelujah / Hare Krishna. . . .” In 1976, United States District Court Judge Richard Owen, arguing that Harrison had heard the song’s melody in someone else’s song long before having written his own, ruled that Harrison was guilty of copyright infringement.
Can an artist deduct the fair market value of a work they donate to charity? According to existing tax laws, in the eyes of the IRS your donated artwork is worth nothing more than the sum of its parts, i.e., the total cost of the materials that went into making it.
What are art consultants, or, as they are sometimes known, art reps or private art dealers? They are essentially people who sell art but who do not have a gallery.
In this column, NYFA Program Officer Edith Meeks interviews performing artists about issues relating to their working careers. Here, she speaks with David Sharp about artists and finance.
Edith Meeks: You’ve made a pretty unusual career combination of dancing and corporate financial consulting. Do you make any connection between the two?
While artists with disabilities face unique challenges in their careers, artist-in-residency programs present an even greater challenge.
Pay yourself! This is a new concept for some artists, but it's smarter to figure out now what your time is worth, represent this time in your project budget, and raise money based upon these real costs than to underbudget the project and wind up maxing out your credit cards with expensive, last-minute charges and cash advances.
You’re an artist, so you don’t have to worry about some of the constraints that come with running a business. Or do you? Unfortunately, concentrating solely on the process of creating your art is not always possible.
1. Do I need an accountant?
If you are able to do your bookkeeping and file your tax returns yourself, then you probably do not need an accountant. Once your business becomes more complicated or more time-consuming, then it is probably advisable to hire an accountant and a bookkeeper. It is also advisable to hire a qualified professional such as an accountant or an attorney during the initial setup of your organization. Both professionals will be able to clarify questions and help with the choice of the most appropriate business entity.