I can't believe what I just read!
It was yet another call for art where a charity organization was asking local artists to donate a piece of their artwork to be auctioned off at their fundraiser.
Don't get me wrong; I understand the concept that charities need to ask for donations in order to raise funds. As a matter of fact, just this past month one of my pieces sold at a similar type auction. I do give away some of my art to certain organizations, although I need to keep most of my hard-earned product for paying customers so that I can put food on my table. I also like to see that there is a minimum bid required in the auction. This means that if the minimum is not reached during bidding, the artist may retain his or her art, so as not to devalue it. I think that is an important factor, which respects the artist AND the artist's current collectors who paid an appropriate price for their piece.(Another acceptable situation is when the organization only asks the artist to donate a portion of the sale.)
What got me ticked off was that this organization, after asking for artists to give their art for the auction, (with no mention of a minimum bid, by the way) had the nerve to ask for an image of the artwork if "you would like to be considered for the benefit". It's a juried show! Now, you get to ASK them if they'll accept your donation. Unbelievable.
I want to repeat, I'm a giver. But I'm also an artist who takes my career seriously and is trying to survive financially in this crazy world. It just doesn't seem right to me. It's hard enough for an artist to invest in the needed supplies, spend the time, money, physical and mental energy required to complete a work of art only to hand it over for donation, but now they need to go through a jury process in order to do it. If someone's art isn't of the highest caliber, then the free market will decide that; it won't get a million dollar bid. But at least give the artist the dignity and freedom to be allowed to turn the art into something good.
I'm not trying to be mean, but what's that old saying? Beggars can't be choosers?
What do you think? Am I off the mark on this one?