Tag Archives: collecting

Donations, Charities, Auctions and Art

I’ve discussed donating art a few years ago on this blog, but since this is such a debated topic, I thought it would be useful to revisit it.  It’s great to have someone think so highly of your art that they believe it would help their organization to auction it off.  On the other hand, as your career progresses, you’ll find that you are being asked to donate your work to auctions A LOT.  Sometimes one a week.  At that rate, you won’t have any art left to sell.  So what’s an up and coming artist with a heart of gold to do?  Well it won’t be easy, but you’ll have to pick the ones you want to help (and feasibly can) and politely let the others know that you can’t.

Sounds simple enough, right?  There are a few considerations to keep in mind first.  Obviously if the auction/charity/event is to benefit something close to your heart, then those are the causes you’ll want to start with.  Some causes may not be in line with your beliefs- for example, I am a vegan, therefore I will only donate to charities that do not test on animals.  While you are narrowing down your favorites, also take a look at the event details:

Where is the event venue?  Is it a venue that you are proud to be associated with?

What is to become of your donated art- is it going to be hung on a museum wall or is it being used in an auction?

If it is an auction, what happens if the work is not sold– do you get it back?

Do you like the other artists’ work that will be seen with yours?

If it is an auction, is the starting bid price at a reasonable rate so as not to devalue your work?  Can you set the starting bid price yourself?  Can you set a reserve amount?

Do you get a percentage of the sale?

Will you receive free tickets to the event (presumably for you and a guest)?

If you cannot answer these questions, then don’t be shy- find out from the event organizer or coordinator.  Many organizations, while they mean well, do not realize that artists get these requests quite often and that they are essentially asking you for a donation worth hundreds or thousands of dollars, so don’t feel bad about looking out for yourself.  Also, be aware many organizations will try to sell you on the idea of donating as a tax write-off.  This is only partly true.  You can only deduct the supplies/materials used to create the piece.  You cannot write-off the actual art donated.  (This only applies to collectors of art that has appreciated so they donate to museums and get out of paying income tax on the appreciation.)  It’s unfair, I know, but that’s how it works, at least in the United States.  If you’re looking to get some sort of deduction, you should just write a check to the organization.  If you are happy with the event parameters and have available work to donate, go ahead with it, attend the event, and do some networking. Perhaps the auction winner will become your next collector…



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Collecting Art

"Cuzco" by Frededric O. Daspit; wood with acrylic and iron oxide
"Cuzco" by Frededric O. Daspit; wood with acrylic and iron oxide

I recently purchased a wall sculpture by Fred Daspit and thought it would be nice to share some photos of a few pieces from my art collection. I spend a lot of time showing my work, meeting other artists, and obviously hanging out in galleries, so it’s no surprise that I’d get the collecting bug. It’s one thing to hang your own art in your home, but to have work from other artists in different styles and media is entirely another.

As I was taking photos, I started to consider why I purchased these particular works of art. Given the fact that I am an artist, I thought it might be interesting to consider collecting art from the buyer’s perspective. Obviously I enjoy the art in my collection and find it aesthetically pleasing, but clearly there’s more to it than that. So what drives one to buy art? I think this is something all artists, myself included, have asked ourselves at some point in time. I don’t know that there is any one answer, given there are different buying

Untitled by Tom Ladousa; ceramic
Untitled by Tom Ladousa; ceramic

“styles” out there. However, I do think there are a few common traits amongst buyers. As I said, I buy art because I like it and most people like the art they purchase (those that purchase art solely as an investment may not necessarily like the work).

"Ship" by Troy Dugas; vintage prints on wood panel
"Ship" by Troy Dugas; vintage prints on wood panel

As an artist, I also understand the value of art. I’m well-aware that it took a hell of a lot of time to create that masterpiece I’m about to buy, and it’s only fair that the artist is paid for their time and skill. I don’t give away my work, so I certainly don’t expect anyone else to.

Another factor is liking the artist. It’s not just about liking the work, but also liking the person behind the work. I have purchased from artists I never met, or met after the fact, but most works are by people I know and like. Those I don’t know personally have a good reputation amongst the art community, though.

Lastly, the fact that these artists are in the public eye on a regular basis serves as a great reminder that I should buy their work. And when I say public eye, I don’t necessarily mean they are featured in the news or received some big accolade. It could be their personal emails to me or a postcard invitation to a show. Anytime I see their name, it just reminds me of their work and the fact that I would like to own a piece.

Some people buy on impulse, some buy because it’s just a great deal, but I think it’s safe to say that all of us should get out there and meet and greet if we want to sell art. With that said, if you would like to see and learn more about my work, be sure to check out my website at www.AmyGuidry.com.