Money offers an entry
For a long time, I worked the ’emerging artist’ scene here in Los Angeles. This is the lowest level of the Fine Arts world. It works like this:folks who are (or, more often, simply deem themselves) artist go looking for places to exhibit their work. Maybe this is a pay-to-play artist run space or organization, or, maybe it’s an on-line ‘gallery’ that asks for money to put you in a ‘show.’ More than likely, you’ll pay a small gallery a fee to have a chance to be juried into a group show, the juror being a local arts luminary, writer, or academic. They take your money, and you might get into a group show.
What you’re supposed to do, as a professional artist, is to get yourself curated into shows at reputable galleries, by a known, or, up and coming curators.
Same thing, different medium
Recently, I’ve been working more in video. My collaborator – Alfredo de Batuc – on one project, “Bosquejario I,” suggested we enter the ‘film’ into some film festivals. Great idea, I thought. As we submitted our picture to these (numerous) festivals dotted all over the world, the routine was sadly predictable – the routine of money changing hands with the pressing of each SUBMIT button. We hope they will show our work, but, there is no guarantee. The only sure thing, is that someone takes your money. [note: through a generous donation, we had $$ to spend on film festival ‘promotions.’]
Helping the hopeful
It is clear that we have one group of aspiring artists, many just scraping by to pay for their oil paint and canvas, or, their subscriptions to Adobe Premiere Pro, and, we have another group of enablers eager to lighten the purses of these artists, or, auteurs-to-be. The enablers are engaged in a sure thing, but the artists have hope, or, faith that one day their ship will come in. I don’t know about that. There will always be a certain number of creative folk who will never be dissuaded from their chosen task, just as there will always be someone close at hand to aid creative folk in their artistic journeys.
If everyone’s happy with the arrangement, there is no foul. If not, you write a blog post.
[ featured image: https://flic.kr/p/9hnQR4 ]