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Comment Archives: Stories: Arts+Movies: Features

Re: “Sarah Miller brings a fresh, contemporary gallery to East Bay

Congratulations Sarah! Can't wait to come and see your treasures, your gallery will be a wonderful addition to the Charleston Art Scene! Best wishes, Celia

2 of 4 people like this.
Posted by celia Rochford on June 28, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

I would donate work, and get frustrated with the $$ they got, auctioning the pieces.

I began just donating cash, and keeping my work.

Lately, though.. there's a cause I am devoted to that I DO donate to. They get the $$ I believe the work to be worth, and it gives me pleasure (though the 'exposure' part is ludicrous) to be able to help them make some money. For them, I donate without expectation of anything.

it's a well that's running dry, generally. New paradigms are needed. Artists seem to donate work that haven't sold for a while (understandable) and the whole auction becomes tired looking.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Helen Gene Nichols on June 16, 2017 at 9:06 AM

Re: “5 South Carolina authors you wish you’d heard of

I have been writing books for decades,s.c.will bloom a group of novelist

Posted by Willis Mattress on May 25, 2017 at 10:31 AM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

Maria Brophy's approach works well. I also am connected with a number of nonprofits - and from the nonprofit side, understand the pressure to ask. The most effective asks really do consider benefits to everyone in the relationship (including other nonprofits in the community who may not be directly affected by the fundraiser). If you want stuff, be nice about it. And don't pout and be punitive if you don't get your way.

Posted by Kathy Bowman on May 14, 2017 at 9:53 AM

Re: “Making a case for a downtown movie theater

awesome idea!!! given the rush to close everything that would be practical to locals let's start an online pledge drive to have a movieplex. given that the one on james island just closed to build an apartment complex and the downtown area can't support a grocery store because no one lives there lets...Hooray. pretend that we can have a place to watch what everyone watches at home and won't support. Hooray, we have no idea about economics. i want to be a journalist with my head up my ass. I love those picture shows.... Hooray.

5 of 8 people like this.
Posted by rukiddingme on May 11, 2017 at 9:16 PM

Re: “Making a case for a downtown movie theater

The guys who own & run the Terrace should run the theater downtown. They do such a fabulous job! It is close to home but I would love to have the movie going experiences I had as a child seeing movies on King street again, too.

3 of 4 people like this.
Posted by jmm619 on May 11, 2017 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Making a case for a downtown movie theater

I have not and will never watch a movie on my iPad, laptop or phone.

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Mary Lou Scott on May 11, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Making a case for a downtown movie theater

I felt the same way. This particular theater is why I fell in love with Charleston in the first place during military leave and why I decided to relocate after service. Cinebarre is nice but this to me was nicer because of it's nostalgia. I too was wondering it's cost to reopen.

3 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Alicia Wright-Philpott on May 10, 2017 at 5:24 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

I've been in the art business for nearly 20 years. About 15 years ago I realized that if we kept giving art away to charities, we would go out of business. We stopped giving art an started donating money to our favorite charities instead.

And for all other charities, we started a program for where we let them choose:
1 - Either buy the art at wholesale cost (50% of the retail value) or:
2 - Give a 50/50 split of the auction revenues (we set the starting bid price.)

Anything they earn over the 50% or split is our "donation" and in some cases can be as much as $4,000 - that's very generous of us and great for them!

With this deal, we offer the best pieces we have, so the buyer benefits as well.

Now, many charities say "no thank you" to having to pay us, but some do pay us, and it's a win-win-win for everyone.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Maria Brophy on May 1, 2017 at 3:50 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

Great article, Mary Scott Hardaway.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Gary Keaton on April 30, 2017 at 9:52 AM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

I have a question and I'm not trying to be mean, I am serious. In this article some artists say they donated works worth x amount but it sold for only q amount. Who decides what the piece is worth? On the lighter side, perhaps you could direct the charities to other artists, such as the artisanal pizza, artisanal bakery or artisanal sandwich shops. People always need food

1 of 4 people like this.
Posted by Michael Hodge on April 28, 2017 at 1:20 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

We all want to be a part of our communities, not just live in them. Im hopeful that this will be the start of an open, honest and productive discussion that brings artists (and designers, developer, volunteers, et al as Buff Ross pointed out) and the non-profit community closer together. Thank you to the Nathansons for stepping forward publicly.

9 of 9 people like this.
Posted by Vincent J. Musi on April 28, 2017 at 7:28 AM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

In Houston Avenue formerly known as Avenue CDC which develops affordable housing has for over 20 years had a big ticketed event with an art auction where the participating artists can choose to donate either %50 %75 %100 of the purchase price. There is a preview event that tickets are about $100 each to come and the artists all come free. Also the Sat. event is about $30 a person now and artists come free. Most of us also volunteer time to help with the event. The desire among artists to participate has grown so each artist can only submit one large piece or two small ones. I have been participating almost since the beginning and usually sell one of my figure watercolors. We also get to set the market value and minimum bid and the then the buy now based on that. Images are on their website before the auction. it is a big success because of the split between artist and charity. I have tried to get some other organizations to do similar events but no luck . Only one other so far and they set the minimum bid and only give %30 to the artist. More organizations should consider a split if they want donations

6 of 7 people like this.
Posted by Rona Lesser on April 27, 2017 at 7:36 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

Tom Starland - This is not about this issue just being discovered. ITS ABOUT IT STILL HAPPENING. But you couldn't resist just being mean. Per usual.
If you weren't running such an outdated publication and had any readership, maybe someone would take notice of what you say.

7 of 12 people like this.
Posted by jforest on April 27, 2017 at 6:29 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

The real bullshit is that I have written many a commentary about this problem in my arts publications, Charleston Arts and Carolina Arts over the last 30 years. Yet the problem continues because some top artists continue to give and they receive exposure and then the organizations use them as a example to recruit other artists. If artists just say no there wouldn't be a problem. I have always recommended to them - If you want to make a contribution to a charity - sell your art at normal price and give them a cash donation. That protects your market. Or sell your work to a patron of your work who then can give that work to the charity and get the full donation cost of the artwork. The real bullshit is folks who act like they just discovered this problem. Tom Starland, editor and publisher of Carolina Arts.

14 of 23 people like this.
Posted by Tom Starland on April 27, 2017 at 2:27 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

When my wife and I came to Charleston we were approached by a growing stream of charities, all with their angle and message. We supported very many, Spoleto included but to be honest, after 5 years I'm a little jaded from the experience and in the instance of Spoleto it really was a one-way street. You see a gushing approach once per year and nothing in between or are made to feel inadequate for saying politely no. I'd like to see some rationalization and concentration on ones that deliver real value to hard pushed sections of our community or work for change. Chris Leigh-Jones, LS Group, 95 Broad St.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Chris Leigh-Jones on April 27, 2017 at 1:12 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

I went bankrupt under that principal- exposure... the mortgage company called- they asked if I was going to pay.. I replied, I'm working for exposure.
NEVER AGAIN.. it sends a really bad message to those of us who, as authors, artists- whatever- that we are not worthy of your attention, but your pocket certainly fattened- and not by the Hoppin' John at New Year's Eve.

3 of 3 people like this.
Posted by Warren Bobrow on April 27, 2017 at 10:39 AM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

I would go further than the article and say that charitable organizations simply should not hold art auctions at all, even IF they give something to the artist in return.

The problem with art auctions is that they tend to bring prices that are far lower than the actual value of the work they are selling. That devalues art. It devalues the art of the artist giving it and it devalues the the value of art in general when people see things sell too cheaply.

AND, the great irony of these charitable events is that they are often attended by wealthier patrons. Patrons who actually have the means to purchase the art at full retail price should they so choose. By purchasing at a discount, they are getting a benefit that the producing artist doesn't get at all.

Artists and galleries just need to learn to say "NO".

22 of 22 people like this.
Posted by David Bjurstrom on April 26, 2017 at 3:16 PM

Re: “The Exposure Myth

Great article and very considered look at a complex situation. Sorry if this comment is longer than actual article just an important topic to me personally. As Mark Sloan mentions in the article, this is conversation that has been going on among artists and gallerists for years. The The Southern's guidelines for non-profits is a great suggestion. I agree with those bullets. To non-profits, be flexible, an artist can always choose to give back their cut if they really have deep commitment to the organization.

I am certainly not trying to defend art auctions or make suggestions to improve them, this article does an excellent job of the latter. The one issue I would like to illuminate though is this isnt then exclusive purview of Visual artists. Graphic designers, developers, accountants, lawyers and many other trades are also approached for pro bono work with an exposure carrot dangled out there (at least for design). Sure that can happen but don't promise it. Charitable decisions should be based on the organization's mission and your commitment to it. It happens with all sorts of services and asks as Angel Passailaigue Postell pointed out in her F&B focused piece last month.

Artists and Gallerists must adopt their own giving guidelines and stick by them. Figure out what organizations matter to you, align with your heart and how much you are willing to help. For certain organizations you might be happy to donate everything and others you might have a % that you are not willing to waiver on and, obviously be willing to say no. Many of us face that same decision on a monthly basis.

Just to clarify one point in the article, the lack of tax exemption is in no way exclusive to artists. People who volunteer their time and expertise believe they have something valuable to offer. So, you may find it distressing that your services, expert though they may be, are worth a tax deduction of precisely zero. This rule is not unique to volunteer work; in fact, it is consistent with other tax laws. With only rare exceptions, the general rule is that you must spend cold, hard cash or give away stuff before you may claim a deduction. That applies to design, legal work, volunteer accounting and pretty much any Service provided. I would offer that is a flaw of the tax system and not a cultural devaluation of art (an excellent conversation for another beer).

Similarly, I would contend that the devaluation of an artists work is not completely cut and dry. The implication and allure of the charity auction is to get a deal and support an organization. If I got a $100 gift certificate for a restaurant for $70, I wouldnt feel empowered to walk in a month later and expect to pay %70 of my bill. That is why the articles suggestion of a minimum and estimated value are very important and should be adopted.

Finally, and if youve made this far, FINALLY, I thought one of the important issues was tucked into the final paragraphs of the article; the increasing economic pressure squeezing young and emerging artists right off of this skinny peninsula. This is an article unto itself and just one of the layers of the complex phyllo dough of gentrification swirling around us.

I did want to highlight that combatting this is the core mission of Redux Contemporary Art Center. We opened our new doors down the street just last night. We now have an larger facility that offers an even greater amount of subsidized studio space for those who face the economic hurdles of creating art in this city. Having living breathing art making here is an integral facet in helping Charleston maintain its diversity and appeal as a living breathing community versus a tourist destination to check off a list.

If you care about this, or hell if you dont, please consider becoming a member, donating, support us and sate your curiosity by coming to the opening events currently being planned. (will link below)

Again, great article and thanks Charleston City Paper for highlighting this issue.

"The most important thing for the creation of art is cheap rent." ~ Charles Bukowski

22 of 22 people like this.
Posted by Buff Ross on April 26, 2017 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Local audiences need a lesson in etiquette

Were you there, Thomas? For someone who didn't attend , maybe you should be more entertaing when you write.

Posted by Mary Full of Grace on April 24, 2017 at 9:58 AM
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