Sunday, February 19, 2006

Tacky, tacky, tacky

This is EXACTLY what I am talking about.

A.I.R. Gallery invites you to participate in an invitational exhibiton of small works, Generations 5, March 9 - April 1, 2006. The exhibition includes a s i l e n t auction of the work on view - held online for the duration of the show - to benefit Women’s eNews and A.I.R. Gallery. Please join this biennial celebration of art made by women!
To reserve space in the exhibition, please fill out and return PART ONE of the registration form with your handling fee by 2/24/06. The handling fee is $40. Please make payment by cash, credit or check. Make checks payable to A.I.R. Gallery.
BENEFIT: A . I . R . is happy to announce this year ’s collaboration with Women's eNews ( - an internet-based news service bridging the gender gap in media coverage. Women’s eNews has 25,000 subscribers, and readers in the millions around the globe. A.I.R. will share proceeds from Generations 5 with Women’s eNews. Please Support both A.I.R. and Women's eNews by participating!
SILENT AUCTION:To participate in the silent online auction, please indicate on PART ONE the lowest minimum bid you will accept on your piece and submit a digital image. Each artist’s place in the online auction will include a link to her website. Bidding will begin at your lowest minimum bid and increase at increments set based on the value of the piece. The Generations 5 sales commission is 30%. Auction URL to be announced.
DIGITAL IMAGE FOR SILENT AUCTION: Please provide a web quality digital image of your work by FEBRUARY 24 (jpeg; 72dpi; not to exceed 700 pixels in height or width, or 300k in memory). Images will be accepted on CDrom, mailed with PARTONE of the entry form to 511 W.25 #301, NYC, NY 10001 or by email to
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Ready-to-hang wall work in all media will be accepted. No pedestals. (Note: Easy-to-install sculpture shelves must be provided by artist and fit within size limitations.)
SIZE LIMITATIONS: Not to exceed 14” in any dimension, including the frame.
A.I.R. reserves the right to refuse any work that does not fit the size limitation, is wet, is not properly prepared for hanging, or requires unusual installation.
DELIVERY OF WORK: Work must be delivered IN PERSON between 11am and 6pm on Sunday,March 5; Monday,March 6; or,Tuesday,March 7.
Hello? An invitational, benefit exhibition that charges a FORTY DOLLAR 'HANGING FEE'? What kind of P.C. blackmail IS this?

It makes me ashamed to be a 'woman artist.' Notice the strong ghettoization factor--supporting 'women's eNews,' with 25,000 subscribers? What about doing something to get women's art on the news that's read by the other eight billion people in the world?

This particular gallery is one of the worst offenders, in terms of obnoxious behavior of all sorts. They're a non-profit co-operative that has existed in Manhattan for 25 years; my first encounter with them was when I entered a jurying for their "biennial", with stiff application fee. (I no longer pay competition fees, ever. No artist should. They're a scam and an insult.) They sent me a rejection by email on Christmas Eve. Since a friend of mine from college WAS accepted, I looked forward to the opening regardless--except that they didn't invite me. I didn't see any publicity about it whatsoever.

Which would explain why they have to shake us down with fees and regular fundraising letters. They don't seem to have much of a patron or critic base, even after having 25 years to build one. I dropped by one exhibition of theirs in Chelsea--there was a small group show of very indifferent work in the front gallery, and an excellent one-person show in the back gallery. The excellent work was very reasonably priced, in fact it was UNDER-priced. but almost none of it had sold.

So whatever they're doing to help women artist's careers, they're not helping the good ones very much. Women have GOT to stop trading on 'victim' status to get attention. "Oh, poor under-represented us, we must form a non-profit collective with no quality control and beg people for money, and charge our underprivileged women artists fees to participate, and have them sit in the gallery one day a month because we can't afford the $10 an hour to pay an intern." This makes me BOIL.

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