Projects in 2003
Sale of Artists Skills and Services
Artquest was commissioned by Arts Council England in 2003 to manage the organisation and delivery of events designed to solicit intelligence on artists’ (and agencies) experience of the sale of artists skills and services and how they manage and promote this. Artquest’s research was intended to complement major research into Taste Buds: Developing the Sales and Commissions of Contemporary Art (Morris Hargreaves McIntyre 2002) by providing a small scoping project investigating the Sale of Artists’ Skills and Services.
Artists are increasingly interested in producing work which is deliberately outside of the commercial arena (in terms of producing ‘work’ to sell). They are not driven to create ‘product’. Their output is often temporary, time limited and / or issue driven. This enables artists to be more inventive and provocative, questioning and challenging assumptions and ideas within society. Concern about the sustainability of all aspects of production and consumption are generating new approaches to what constitutes ‘art’, how it is made or produced and for whom.
Expectation amongst practitioners to operate in more transient situations continues to expand. Associated with this is a growing awareness of the contribution they can make to a range of environments, and the people and communities operating within them. Increasingly, artists are engaged by external agencies as much for their intellectual skills as their outputs or products.
Commerce, industry and government recognise the value and need for creativity and invention within all areas of society. Living, working, social and economic pressures require new approaches to problem solving. Creative practitioners could have a greater role, but more understanding is required within the commercial, business and funding sectors, of the contribution artists can make.
Paul Hedge and Mary Doyle
This seminar / interview focussed on people who ‘manage’ art – as opposed to those who create it. It looked at the role of those responsible for selecting and judging art and responding to proposals submitted by artists.
Entering competitions, open submission exhibitions and submitting proposals for various opportunities comprises an important element of artists’ activity throughout their career. This seminar offered a fascinating and unmissable insight into what goes on behind the closed doors of the judging room, giving a taste of selectors’ experiences when faced with creating shortlists from hundreds of entries or choosing the most fitting proposal for a commission or residency.
Mary Doyle is Collections Curator at the Contemporary Art Society, responsible for managing the Special Collection Scheme, a £3.5m lottery funded project, set up to develop the contemporary art collections of fifteen museums throughout England. Working alongside curators in museums she helps to identify works for their collections and oversees the Contemporary Art Society gifts and donations of works to other member museums. She has previously held posts at the British Council, Arts Council National Touring Exhibitions, commercial galleries and an art magazine. She is also co-founder and curator of The Drawing Room, a new public gallery space dedicated to the exploration of contemporary drawing practice in its broadest sense.
The Hales gallery, established by Paul Hedge and his partner Paul Maslin in the late 1990’s, has quickly become a leading player in the contemporary commercial gallery scene with an increasing international reputation. Paul Hedge initially trained as a visual artist, and perhaps because of this he remains very much in touch with the concerns important to artists in terms of managing their careers on a long term basis. He frequently contributes to professional practice programmes in art colleges, and has a brilliant knack of deconstructing central issues in a most accessible and entertaining way.
Andrew Bick and Gordon Cheung
This is an interview with Andrew Bick and Gordon Cheung who have both adopted the dual role of artist and curator. The interview focused on the philosophy and concept of artist as curator and also looked at the practical issues involved. Given their wide experience of curating shows in both artist-led project spaces and in public and commercial galleries they were able to offer an insider perspective on the role, along with valuable practical advice on everything from making proposals, to containing super-egos!
The Artlaw Archive launch
In 1976, Henry Lydiate, then a newly qualified barrister, received funding from the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation to set up a practice specifically providing legal advice to visual artists. Artlaw Services provided free information and legal advice to artists until 1983, when funding cuts meant the advice could no longer be given for free.
Since this time, Henry has also been writing his ‘Artlaw’ column in Art Monthly, covering relevant and contemporary issues facing visual artists and craftspeople. Henry’s columns refer to current legal and related issues in the art world. This archive, comprising every article written by Henry and published under the ‘Artlaw’ banner in Art Monthly, is both an historical document and a useful source of current legal information for artists.
In 2002, Henry and Artquest began collaborating on this archive. Articles will be archived here one month after they have been published in the newest edition of Art Monthly, ensuring the archive is kept up to date.
For legal advice and information specifically tailored for visual artists and craftspeople, you can visit Artlaw online.