This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
34


And finally I would say to them: “If the only reason you are doing this is to create a tourist attraction, then shame on you. But if the reason you are building a cultural district is to show that you value and honour art and culture, then why don’t you show that by also paying the artists a decent fee for their work?”


But now, speaking to my fellow sculptors, I would like to say that we all know that being a sculptor is a calling, not a business decision. We all hope to be able to sell enough to not have to have another job, but unfortunately most artists have to support their work some other way than by sales. I know and understand why a sculptor would create a major piece for only the costs of production. We tell ourselves “at least the piece will get built and will be out there”. I have done it myself and I believe there are situations where it is valid. But I think we need to be aware that we are establishing the principle that you can get large sculptures just by paying for the materials.


Now I would like to speak to anyone planning a sculpture symposium. If the reason for the symposium is to have a collection of sculpture at the end, then show that you value the art and that you respect the artists by paying the artists for their talent and time. You are exploiting the passion and dedication of artists if you expect them to make sculptures for you by only paying for the costs of materials and housing the artists.


LONG TERM LOANS OF SCULPTURE Recently someone from a medium sized city in


California approached me to solicit my


participation in a project for a new ‘Sculpture Plaza’ in the center of the city. She explained that the city wanted the plaza to be filled with monumental sculpture because the city believed in the value of sculpture in the urban environment. Needless to say, I showed my enthusiasm for the


idea and asked what the range of the acquisition budget was. She then explained that the city didn’t plan to buy the sculptures but planned to borrow them from the artists for a 5-year period. She proudly explained that they did have a budget for insurance. I asked her if she, as the administrator for the project, was being paid. She said she was. I asked her if the landscape architect who designed the plaza had been paid. The answer was “of course”. I asked if the contractor who built the plaza had been paid. She said “of course” I asked, “Do I have this right, that the only people involved in the project to provide monumental sculpture in the city center that are NOT being paid are the artists?” Her reaction was very instructive. She, and everyone else involved thought they were doing the artists a favour. She said that they thought they were providing an opportunity for sculptors to show large works so others might buy them. My response was, “Who do you think is our market for monumental sculptures? It is cities. If your city shows that you can get them for free, why would any city ever pay for them?”


I know that sculptors who make large works on their own without a commission are often hungry to have somewhere to place them. I am one of them. It can seem very attractive to have a prominent location in a city to place a sculpture for a long- term loan. I have done it myself, but I will not do it again. We delude ourselves into thinking that the city will finally purchase the sculpture because it looks so wonderful there. Your sculpture will look wonderful there, but they never buy it. What the cities learn is that sculptors are desperate to place their works, and that municipalities can have them for free.


I believe both of these problems have at the core of them a pernicious attitude. At the heart of it they are saying that they are doing us a favour


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44