Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Art of Giving/The Giving of Art

Every year about this time I ask myself if Pablo Picasso had to put up with the same give me, give me. Now is the time when all the non-profit organizations in town ask for a donation of art for their fundraisers. A starving artist could go completely belly up donating to worthwhile organizations. So some years back I decided to cut back on the giving, and be more selective.

This decision was prompted in part by a volunteer working for an organization I routinely had donated to even though every year they cut back the benefits they gave in relationship to the price of work donated. When I told this volunteer, I didn't think I could afford to give that particular year he said, "Come on, it is not like you are giving money."

Well, it is money. I live off the prices my art brings at a sale and every art piece I give away is that much less money.

The other line they feed you is that it is tax deductible. Well, no. If you bought it and donated it you would be able to deduct the entire price. I, however, can only take off the price of materials which I do anyway on my income tax forms. Once organizations promised exposure and advertising for your donation. Live auctions brought interest and often more than the price you would sell at ergo raising the value of your work. But now it is cheaper to do silent auction. Art magazines have denounced this most favorite form of making money off the art donated. Everyone knows what hideously low price the winner bid and it lowers the value of all the artist's work. A mystery auction where only the winner knows what they paid is much more fair to the creator of a piece of art.

So this year I decided whether or not a piece I donated would go in a mystery auction would be my criteria for donations. The Angel Fire Library fundraiser this year will be part mystery and part live auction so I gave them a work of art. They advertised that I was one of the donors so I also got some nice advertising off it. But it let another Angel Fire group know I was in a giving mood. I have been called by three people requesting I donate a mask for their silent auction since.

Sorry, Charlie. This group with Angel Fire in their name has picked a Taos artist to feature for their poster every year but one. And they don't even know I paint! And they won't even consider a mystery auction! "Well, maybe the board could consider it for next year." Maybe I can consider going to a few concerts next year then.

BTW this is the same group that had the volunteer who told me it wasn't like I was giving money. How about a little volunteer training on asking for donations? I will even donate my time to address the workshop: The art of asking for art.

1 comment:

  1. amasing colors, again. some people just don't use there brain.


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