Sunday, February 10, 2013

Raw Artists: Give us money and we'll throw a party with your art?

The RAW Artists wagon rolled through town this past Thursday.   I am skeptical of any organization or gallery who makes the artist pay up front without anything tangible in return.  I didn't attend so I don't have that end of things to contribute.  I certainly wouldn't call it a scam but it certainly should be looked at critically from the standpoint of the artist.  

From a numbers standpoint the artists selling tickets account for roughly 480 of the 500 people who attended the Raw Artists Pittsburgh event.  From the website and fakebook page I could identify a minimum of 24 artists so figuring each artist had to sell 20 tickets at $10 a piece that accounts for 96% of the total attendance which the Post Gazette identified as 500.  It doesn't look good when you look at it from the artists' perspective when you consider the 24 artists and bands brought the majority of the people who attended.  That's like paying a gallery and then having to bring all the people and either make them pay to get in or cover them yourself.  And we haven't even gotten to sales, real exposure etc and the artist is down $200. 

Maybe it will turn into something much bigger down the line but for now I would remain skeptical and would push for details as far as who and what they are bringing to the table.

The following is worth taking a look at below. 

Galleries that ask you to pay to show with them, in most cases, are a red-flag.

It seemed to me that they were using artists to promote them instead of the other way around. 

The artist above contributed quotes to a story at LA Weekly Blogs .

Eyes on Pittsburgh
Formerly the Pittsburgh Art Blog, Eyes on Pittsburgh focuses on cultural aspects of the region, including visual and performing arts, as well as locavore, development and environmental issues through original, analytical writing and interviews. Pittsburgh area galleries and art venues are listed at the sister site The blog and website are volunteer projects from fine art photographer and Pittsburgh artist advocate rick byerly.