Monday, January 7, 2013

Where have all the honest people gone?

I'm not one to rant publicly but this really bugs me. Today I went to pick up artwork left over from a gallery here in town that hosts a holiday market every year. It is a juried event in which they invite local artist to sell their art at a gallery that has a fair amount of traffic. Supposedly it is a win-win situation for the artists and the gallery. The artists get a 60% commission (Not so great but it's the going rate.) and they get to show their work in this well known gallery. The gallery makes money because they are offering art from 30 area artists who are not part of the coop. So there is far more high qualilty art available than on a regulary basis.

So back to this morning. I pick up my items and realize that one item is not accounted for. Stolen. Then I realize this gallery does not inventory the items that come in nor do they insure any items damaged, lost or stolen. Yep, it was in the fine print and I missed it. LESSON LEARNED. LESSON LEARNED. LESSON LEARNED.  I've had art work stolen before at another gallery, but it was insured and I received reimbursement for it. In my mind I'm thinking this can't happen again, but IT DID. It's not a huge amount of money. But it is the time, effort, meticulous attention to detail that I put into my work that is the big loss and the big hurt. I do what I do because I love to do it, and I put it out into the world with good faith that someone will value it and appreciate it. I guess not.

Even with this, the biggest hurt is that this gallery that SUPPOSEDLY has such a good name and reputation treats artists who are not in their coop so poorly by not caring insurance. Artist are regularly undervalued by the general public. I find being undervalued by your peers pathetic and only adding to the issue of artist not being able to make a living at what they love to do, or anything close to that, impossible.

A fellow artist shared this with me. "I once read an intro to a beautiful book by a photographer who in the intro said something like 'if you are poor and you steal this book, you will rob me and the shop owner of our rightful compensation. But I will also take it as a compliment that you would risk jail time because you love my book so much." That helps some but I do wish there were more honest people in the world and more of an atmosphere of  artist helping other artist.



  1. So sorry, Peggy. Sorry that the gallery was so busy it couldn't monitor it's customers...what else went missing under their watch? Sorry that it's not genuinely poor people who steal art (they steal food and money or something for quick turn over). Rather, it is those who are poor in spirit who steal art or books or other gift items...just because they think they can get away with it. But they cannot steal your gift for making art; neither can they steal your keep going and do not let them try. Meanwhile, report the theft to the gallery and advise them to check with other artists who may have had items stolen, so that the gallery can move forward and do the right thing by investing in insurance. And invest in your own, if need be.


  2. Thank you, Margaret for your kind words. You made my day.