Letter to the Artists Guild on June 7, 1986
"I have received the prospectus for your exhibition. I note that a
condition of participation is an entry or handling fee. The BVAU
(Boston Visual Artists Union), National Artists Equity, National
Association of Artists Organizations, and the National Endowment for
the Arts strongly oppose such fees. The major benefit to your
institution and to the public you serve is the high quality art
selected for your exhibition.
After the artist had spent time and money creating the work and
preparing slides, you ask him/her to pay a non-refundable entry fee.
Juried exhibitions that charge entry fees are largely funded by rejected artists who derive no benefit whatever. Providing adequate funding to cover exhibition costs is the function of your institution and your board. By loaning their work, accepted artists provide a considerable service to your institution.
I am sure you wish to improve the stature of artists in our
society. Exhibitions do take money to mount. However, it is
inappropriate for artists (accepted or rejected) to be a source of
these funds. By making money a condition for possible participation in your exhibition, you exploit their need to reach a public and diminish their professional stature. The public has shown it is willing to pay for artistic performances and services. It is your institution's responsibility to garner public support for the work you wish to exhibit. Pursuing other forms of funding, gives recognition to artists
and the seriousness of their commitment to their art."
Dan Wasil, Director of the San Diego Arts Resource Center